Enjoying Spring Break in Laguna Beach

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Some of you may know I am originally from California. I grew up there and raised my children there. My favorite place in California is Laguna Beach. For 10 years I lived over the hill from LB and spent weekends walking on the beach early in the morning as often as possible. My children have an attachment to this beach too! When my daughter Amber asked us if we would like to plan on sharing spring break with her and the kids in Laguna Beach, I was on board! This took some real planing as spring is when the phone starts ringing with people anxious to get their gardens in order. But in my heart I knew my grandchildren will not be young forever and we must enjoy the moment. We rented a large apartment above the Village Gallery right on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). Across the street is the Laguna Hotel and just to the north of the hotel is Main Beach.View across PCH from our apartment over the gallery.

-View across PCH from our apartment over the gallery.

The life guard tower at Main Beach in Laguna Beach California.

-The life guard tower at Main Beach in Laguna Beach California.

Laguna Beach California

Giant White Bird of Paradise, Natal Strelitzia, Wild Strelitzia Strelitzia nicolai

As we walked around we noticed many plants in bloom, even on the back alley we used to get to our rooms. Laguna Beach like most of Southern California has a mild Mediterranean climate. Daily temperatures range from 68 °F in January to 80 °F in August. The average annual rainfall is around 12-14 inches. The ocean is usually cold, in the fifties in the winter. In late summer it can get up to 72 °F depending on offshore winds, air temperature, and sunshine. PCH is lined with little restaurants, clothing stores, gift shops and lots of art galleries.  There is appropriately a very eclectic nursery and that will be my next blog post. IMG_7137The weather was unseasonably hot when we were there with highs in the 90’s. The winds were blowing from the east (desert) pushing the fog out to sea. This meant is was very clear and the kids could enjoy the water much longer than usual for this time of year.

-This is our view from one of the open air restaurants. That is Catalina on the horizon. Catalina Island is 22 miles off the coast and usually obscured by fog.

Even the meters had plants surround them.

-Even the meters had plants surround them.

We saw hibiscus blooming everywhere.

We saw hibiscus blooming everywhere.

Laguna Beach has always been known for drawing artistic and eclectic people. In the 1930’s people from Hollywood would come here to escape and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The whole town is nestled in a little canyon. It has been inhabited much longer than that however. In 1933 a fossilized skull was found during construction on St. Ann’s Drive. It is known as “Laguna Woman”. It is thought to originated during the Holocene era 11,700 years ago and since then several prehistoric encampment sites have been found in and around the canyon and nearby hills.Fun sign high up on a pole.

-Fun sign high up on a pole.

Moon of the ocean at Laguna Beach.

Moon over the ocean at Laguna Beach with Catalina on the horizon.

Birds of Paradise and Indian Hawthorn in bloom outside the Laguna Hotel.

Birds of Paradise and Indian Hawthorn in bloom outside the Laguna Hotel.

Unique use of Pencil Plant (Euphorbia tirucalli)

Unique use of Pencil Plant (Euphorbia tirucalli)

We enjoyed the sun even though it was a bit too warm. Getting away from work is always nice. Shawn didn’t get as much of a break. He was managing the crew from afar via his mobile phone. He did get time to play in the surf with my daughter and the kids.IMG_7136We had great local food. Even thought it was spring break it was no more crowed than a typical summer day. The best part for me was sitting on the sand under the umbrella (I am not a sun worshiper) and watching our grandchildren play.Justin (5) jumping waves!

Justin (5) jumping waves!

Isabelle (8) dancing in the surf!

Isabelle (8) dancing in the surf!

One evening we took the kids down to watch the sun go down. I told them to listen for the hiss as the hot sun dips into the cool water : ) If you have not experienced the sun setting in the Pacific ocean I highly recommend it…it is very beautiful and relaxing!South Coast-20121022-00548Sharing my favorite beach with my husband, beautiful daughter Amber and her children is now a treasured memory!

-great family photo Shawn took with Justin photo bombing!

-great family photo Shawn took with Justin photo bombing!

IMG_7168

And it is a good one!

Shawn and I have traveled back to Laguna Beach several time. It is beautiful, comfortable, walkable and very refreshing. Shawn says I am bringing him to my “Mother” country, he is a native Houstonian. For me it is a visit home!

Happy Gardening!

 

 

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