Sunday, July 3, 2011
Our first destination was the beach, after we got some coffee, that is. En route to Starbucks we found this welcoming sign to make us smile.
On the way back to the car we came to two lovely churches, side by side. The first was Episcopal and not open on a Wednesday afternoon, but we thought the second, the American Catholic Church, Saint Francis by-the-Sea, might be.
http://www.jessicadestefano.com/index.htm, where you can see her and some of her lovely work, some serious, some delightfully whimsical. We wound up joining the tour and enjoying it very much. The other couple were very nice, as was their guide, Lorraine Brown, who turned out to be a U of A graduate; we knew we looked familiar to each other! I tried to find her online but couldn't, nor any listings for tour guides in Laguna Beach, but I think she'd be a wonderful one, if only we knew how to get in touch with her.
When we got back to Sam and Vera's, Joe googled American Catholic Church; it does exist outside Laguna Beach but Saint Francis by-the-Sea seems to be independent of the national organization, which is very small. It is located at 430 Park Avenue, just up the hill from Laguna Beach's main street, and although there's no website for the church itself, it's mentioned on several others. The contact phone is (949) 497-4678. It's well worth a visit.
Our serendipitous tour of Saint Francis marked the end of a great day of exploring: hiking, picnicking, strolling along the Dana Point harbor, wading in the surf, and not going into a single shop or restaurant, except for that one necessary brief stop at Starbucks! How wonderful it was to top it off by spending time with friendly and interesting people who introduced us to a piece of history we hadn't known about and its beautiful setting. Mark Twain was right: "...nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people."
Saturday, July 2, 2011
On Tuesday Joe and I flew over to visit my aunt and uncle in Corona del Mar, Orange County, CA. We left as the temperature was climbing to 115 in Tucson and arrived on a cool (mid-70s) and beautiful sunny day - we could smell the sea air as soon as we stepped out of the airport!
Does the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
In the next picture you'll see the end of the road, where we parked; if you can pick it out, the tiny little dot on the far left of the wider road on the left is my uncle's car, so you can see it was a bit of a climb, especially as we circled the hill rather than going straight up, choosing the longer rather than the much steeper trail (though we did take the steeper trail going down, which in retrospect wasn't terribly smart).
The nicest part of our walk was the park that runs parallel to the breakwater,
where people were enjoying the water, where I learned that Dana Point is named for Richard Henry Dana, Jr., who wrote the classic Two Years Before the Mast (which I've never read, but now I think I will),