I have fallen head over heels in love; I can’t sleep I want to constantly run up and down or simply gaze at your beauty, yes Laguna Beach I am talking about you and I do declare my love!
So let me back up a little bit, I apologize for my long writing hiatus. I have no excuse we have had many adventures over the past few months and I have even written about a few of them and procrastinated about most. For some reason I have been more of a postponer than poster- now with 4 happy hour margaritas down my throat and the waves licking my feet I resolve to end this dry spell!
So Laguna Beach we fell in love in the first 5 minutes and decided it was the beach equivalent to Canmore there is something quaint, welcoming, warm and magical about this place. Now I will admit right off the bat my penchant for Southern California. I feel that this part of the world can do no wrong. From San Francisco south I am madly in love with the geography, the food and the lifestyle. Every time we come to SoCal it feels like being wrapped in a warm caring hug by your nana. The sun even in the dead of winter has a warmth not found in the north, the fresh fruit and vegetable and eclectic cuisine invigorates taste buds and the genuine laid back relaxed lifestyle fits perfectly with my life mantra!
So when looking for a quick weekend getaway to celebrate my birthday Laguna Beach seemed like a great choice- something unknown and new. We flew direct Calgary to LA which is a smart idea because the flight is convenient and quick (only 2 and a smidge hours). To get to Laguna we decided to take a shared shuttle -brilliant idea- plus booking our reservation online saved us about $15. I had read reviews on trip advisor regarding the shuttles as there are a few options and Prime Time had the best overall score so we booked with Prime Time- I agree they were fantastic. The driver was nice and we had no problem getting to our destination. It took about 1.5 hours from LAX to our hotel front door and because this is a shared shuttle we had to drop off 2 other people on the way. It cost us under $70 to get from LA to the hotel which I think is a great deal. http://www.primetimeshuttle.com/ Remember if you decide to rent a car you have to fight with LA traffic plus pay for parking in Laguna on top of the daily car rental fee- I honestly don’t see that it is worth it as there is so much to do in Laguna itself there isn’t much need to roam.
We booked a vacation package through WestJet Vacations and our accommodation was the Pacific Edge Beach Resort. When I went to Trip Advisor to see what people said the place had mixed reviews and I am not really sure why- it is OUTSTANDING!!
http://www.pacificedgehotel.com/packages.aspx Now a word to the wise and thank you Trip Advisor peeps for the 411: pay for the upgrade to stay ocean front if you don’t you are cheap and a knucklehead. If you don’t pay for the upgrade and look street view then I have no sympathy for your view of the valet parking. The upgrade was less than $100 and wow- it is amazing beyond words or pictures. The sound of crashing waves lulling us to sleep and the feeling of being so close to the power of the ocean is miraculous. The check-in was fast and the reception very kind and helpful and there was a welcome glass of lemon water waiting to parch our thirst in the lobby area. Staying at the hotel means you are an Edge member and your room key is your ticket to saving at local restaurants and businesses- very smart indeed. Our room was spotless and the decor exactly how it should be when you are staying in the surfing mecca of California, laid back, cool and funky. The hotel also offers lounge chairs, umbrellas and towels for free and I thought this was amazing as the last thing you need to lug on an airplane are beach towels and mats! For those that love to get an early morning workout there is an all women’s boot camp at 6am and then a mixed one at 9:30, I am not a morning workout person so can’t comment on the quality- they are free for hotel guests which I think is amazing. Now lets be clear, this is a surfer hotel on the beach…there are no posh carpets because you are dragging sand in all day long and the room is beach decor because that is where you are! Now if you aren’t used to waves crashing you may want to use ear plugs as the waves crash hard and loud all night long, I personally loved the sound and actually recorded it so I would be able to play it at home!
I will admit that I thought Laguna Beach was going to be all blond hair and boob jobs and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to fit in. What I found was a very community feeling place where people respect the beach, ocean and each other. I love how everyone you meet on the street in the morning says hello and the shop clerks are happy to have a real conversation. I love how dog owners clean up their dog droppings and that volunteer groups keep the beach clean. The artistic community adds a perspective and lens through which to see life differently and the calming crash of the waves is a reminder of the beauty and power that surrounds this community. I am thoroughly impressed with our Laguna experience and can’t wait to return!