Sunday, April 22, 2007
Our Wonderful Weekend at Laguna Beach
In the midst of a negotiations crisis, it was heavenly to be able to get away for a weekend at the beach. Yes, it was a "working retreat," but it was still a retreat. I joined 14 colleagues from several other local chapters (Redlands, Jurupa, and Rialto) at a planning retreat for our Uniserv. We stayed at the Inn at Laguna Beach, which is truly ON the beach.
Don and I drove down early Friday afternoon, through the pouring rain, and found the place easily. We were lucky enough to get a room with an ocean view. It had a porch we spent many hours on, where we could sit and watch not only the waves, the boats, and the dolphins, but the people: a walking path goes right by our room. This walking path is used by everyone, it seems, and while we may have seen them, they never noticed us. So we still felt "isolated." All the walkers would come up the hill from the beach, and stop to rest at the bench in the photo to the right. This is the view from our little porch.
We drove down to Dana Point so Don could check in on the sportfishing trip, and then we ate dinner at Wind & Sea - a great restaurant on the harbor. He had the Sesame-Crusted Ahi, which he'd had when we came down here 4 years ago, and I had the Seafood Combination - shrimp, scallops, and albacore. Delighful!
Saturday morning, Don got up really early, and went deep sea fishing all day while I spent the day in our planning session. I got lucky - it was in THIS room. And I sat in one of the chairs facing the ocean - where I found myself staring often. We finished early, and I was able to spend some more time on my little porch, reading and watching the walkers and the waves.
This was our view in the other direction :
Dinner Saturday night was at Las Brisas, a very nice Mexican restaurant next to the hotel. What a feast! Appetizers: jumbo fried shrimp, calimari, guacamole and chips, tuna salad, chicken skewers, and roasted tomato salsa. Salad: mixed field greens, candied walnuts, cranberries, feta cheese, grape tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette. Entree: Filet Mignon with truffle sauce, golden beets, asparagus, and a potato-corn dish (that I didn't eat). Dessert (which was shared by Ashley, Dan, Don, and me): cheesecake, chocolate cream puffs, creme brulee with fresh berries, chocolate layer cake, and chocolate-coated strawberries.
We waddled back to our rooms.
This morning, we awoke early to make coffee in our room so we could sit outside again for an hour before we walked up to the restaurant for breakfast. We saw a large pod of dolphins heading south, but didn't see any whales. Breakfast was at The Cottage, and I re-dedicated myself to low-carbing. The Eggs Florentine hit the spot.
After a short business meeting, we had to leave. I hated to check out. But we had to go home. Maybe we'll go down there again sometime. Maybe I can convince my executive board to go there for their retreat in the fall!