11 July 2008
Chasing the Muse
The power of a vacation a can hardly be underestimated.
The long four-day weekend seemed like a tonic, even with the throngs of visitors that flooded our streets and parking spaces.
The weather was generous – cool fog-laden mornings gave way to sunny breezy afternoons. Those who dragged their beach chairs and umbrellas to the shoreline in the early hours to claim their spaces were not disappointed.
Laguna showed off her stuff! Our unique cove-shaped beaches and our recently renovated Heisler Park were packed with visitors of all sizes and shapes. There is no doubt about our continued status as a treasured destination.
With glee I watched parents guide their children across Coast Highway, through the ‘slot’ between the city-erected white and orange pedestrian barriers. Beach buckets & shovels, pull toys and balls, towels and coolers, Frisbees and paddle balls made their way from parked cars to parked beach spots.
Everyone was smiling. Everyone felt the power of getting away from work and basking in the tonic of a day at the beach. Summer has formally begun!
And after the beach?
The restaurants were packed! Yahoo! The bar at Nirvana was raucous, crowded – and oh so much fun! I know for some of our eating establishments, who have born the weight of our turn-downed economy, that the long drought of spring has been less than encouraging. Now, they turn toward our popular summer months and anticipate hungry crowds, while locals have to remind themselves to once again make reservations.
The Fourth itself is enough cause for celebration, and is certainly a good reason for a party! Steve and I decorated our house with a multitude of flags and red and white balloons. Red roses on the dining table mingled with mini-red/white/and blue flags.
Our deck provides a great viewing platform for fireworks, even from the distances of Newport Beach and Avalon. Years past, those snarky fog banks have hung right at the shoreline, producing a kind of muted colored cloud blob mixed with smoke, that precluded any actual viewing.
This year, the fireworks show was pure delight with clear skies alive with brilliant colored explosions of Laguna, Emerald Bay and Irvine Cove. No fog/smoke diminished the display (okay, we couldn’t see Avalon), and every house on our street filled the neighborhood with oooohs and aaaaahs.
Our guests – Lynn Capouya, Skip Kuhn, Lynn & James Brown, Kerri Pike and Cooper Lee – shared food, wine, laughter – and a bag of poppers that Steve picked up at our local Ralphs. The dogs weren’t crazy about the noise. It was Buster’s first Fourth, and he needed strong hugs and reassurance.
We finished our evening with a sinfully rich chocolate cake – thanks to Lynn and James – and said our goodnights. Steve and I cleared the dishes and lumbered off to firework-filled dreams.
To add more measure to the weekend, the Festival of Arts opening party was on Saturday night. And what a great party it was! Plenty of tasty foods, wonderful live music, and people, people, people.
The partygoers arrived in typical Laguna fashion – everything from long evening gowns to flops, shorts & Hawaiian shirts. Our own columnist, Barbara Diamond, dressed in a beautiful white outfit, pen and paper in hand, was madly taking notes and interviewing those who interested her.
The FOA party is held before the Pagent of the Masters opens, and is dedicated to the artists. It was a night for the exhibitors – both new and returning – to revel in their work, share conversations with collectors (and wanna-bes), and even write up some sales. Jeweler, Dan Miller, received some of my husband’s funds, and I left with a new necklace.
After the party, Kerri, Steve and I found ourselves back at Nirvana (this might be a new trend) for a late evening snack (and to check if owners Laura and Luis had given birth to their son, Diego). Also, back at Nirvana were Cathy and Greg Abel, along with Barbara and Greg MacGillivray. Yes, too much fun seemed to be the watchword for this holiday.
The weekend ended too soon for me. Suddenly, it was Sunday afternoon and the Monday ‘call’ began to rumble around in the back of my head. I tried to put it to rest by taking a short nap on the lounge chair, but when I woke it remained, reminding me of my do-lists and a busy week.
Still, I had given myself a decent vacation. I hung up the phone, left emails to deal with themselves until Monday, and celebrated – what all of us need more of – a break.
As a result of that break – that disconnect with my normal jam and slam workweek, I find that I’m refreshed, renewed and recharged … and plotting my next get-a-way!
Catharine Cooper has a new Coastline Pilot blog! http://www.coastlinepilot.com/cpblogger/muse/ Thanks, Cindy!
She can also be reached via email: email@example.com