The fourth post in a series, January Dreaming. Click for the series, and see the end of the post for the backstory.
Time for a Detour
Headed to LAX after a lovely time with friends in the wine country of Temecula a couple of years ago, we had time for a detour in Laguna Beach. What a wonderful town – more quirky than cool (fine by me!), colorful, artsy and fully embracing its California beachy character.
We landed at The Cliff as though it was fate. Literally perched on the edge of the cliff, this restaurant is perfectly situated for dining al fresco with a view of the deep blue. The Cliff serves hearty, unpretentious coastal fare and throws in the view for free. Their tag line is apropos: “Beauty on the Beach”. See for yourself below.
The Cliff was a great place to enjoy a meal and “pass a good time” as they say in Cajun Country.
Just next to The Cliff is Brown’s Park. The land was donated to the city of Laguna Beach by a businessman after his grandfather’s seaside house, which had been in the family since the 1930s, was demolished by a winter storm in 1998. It’s an unusual park consisting of a single scenic walkway and a beachside lookout with stained glass.
Along the way, there are benches, and the table and chairs are actually bronze statues.
The brickwork itself is intricate and beautiful.
At the lookout, there is a poem embedded in two stained glass panels which heralds the park’s purpose:
In this fleeting moment
what extravagant respite
as booming surf speaks its
mystical passage across
the undreamed depths.
There’s also a plaque with a poem from the original owner of the land:
Let me live in a house by the side of the sea,
Where men and women wander by
Where there is beauty and grace and excitement that's free
On the beach, in the sun let me lie
Let me listen to ocean's melodious roar
And its rhythm, so soothing to hear
As the foam-covered waves seem to reach for the shore
Under skies that are sunny and clear.
-Joseph E. Brown
“Where there is beauty and grace and excitement that’s free” – we felt it!
A Quirky and Artsy Town
We spent just a bit more time on this lovely June day walking through the city. It oozes beachy personality.
Flora and Fauna Abound
The trees, plants and flowers in Laguna Beach are abundant and vivid, almost as though they’re in Technicolor in an old Hollywood movie.
Goodbye, Laguna Beach
No trip to a seaside community is complete without a walk on the beach.
Back on the road, we were already reminiscing about our short time in this charismatic little haven, and we still are on this cold January day as we dream of summer good times.