Summer is coming and a couple of days or week at the beach is a nice getaway for those of us who don't live by the ocean. I rented the Calef Beach Chateau in Laguna Beach from VRBO (vacation rentals by owner) and woke to a beautiful view of the ocean from a lovely studio with a quiet patio, a fully equipped kitchen, and bathroom for only $135 a night. The special touches of owners who live on their property show, from the fluffy bathrobes, to the condiments in the kitchen, everything in their accommodations makes you feel more like an invited guest than a renter. If you are willing to walk the steep hill down to Coast Highway, there is a gourmet restaurant at the bottom, so you don't even have to drive for a meal if you have the shoes and stamina to walk. As with my rental in Paris, they offer a welcome bottle of wine upon arrival; sipping a glass of wine at sunset or having coffee in the morning on the beautiful patio is a perk you don't get in hotel rooms at this price. My friend Cindy, who lives nearby, came over and said she would send friends and relatives here when they come to visit her because it really is a nice home away from home.
If you do decide to drive down the hill, go to my favorite restaurant Sapphire Laguna (see earlier post), or 230 Forest Ave in the heart of town (order the tuna nicoise salad-the BEST I have eaten anywhere, then indulge in the croissant bread pudding for dessert). If you want to truly feel like you're on vacation, head over to Eva's Caribbean Kitchen which welcomes you with a smile, a sense of humor, spicy food and sweet drinks. Their menu belies their spirit and humor as wine is listed under "old fermented grape juice" and you are warned that they are on Caribbean time (you can't rush a good thing, you know, like loving, it takes time and care).
Go to the beach this summer and play!