Sunday, July 3, 2011
By the Beautiful Sea Part 2
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."