Around So Cal: Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Balboa Island

For our last summer “hurrah” we went south.  For those of us who live in Northern California, So Cal feels almost like another state — warm beaches, insane traffic (ok, we’re catching up), and Disneyland (none of our theme parks even come close!). While we spent two days immersed in all things Disney, I’ll spare you my endless roller coaster and parade shots.  Instead, I’ll take you through some of what I shot outside of Disney — a few of the beaches and coastal towns. I wish I’d had time to explore and shoot more.

We stayed at the Marriott Newport Coast Villas.  They have beautiful views of the ocean, but it’s a hike to get there.  The grounds, though, are gorgeous and we spent evenings hiking around the massive property. P1000718

Neither my husband nor I had ever been to Laguna Beach.  It’s a beautifully typical beach town.

The real find for us was Balboa Island, where we spent a lovely afternoon among the rich and famous. The homes on the waterfront and canals are stunning and we spent time dreaming about what it would be like to have our own private dock and beach. The best thing was finding frozen bananas — they are a wonderful thing and I enjoyed every bite of mine, dipped in chocolate.

On our last day, we hiked through Crystal Cove State Park and down to the beach.  From one of the points at the top of the cliffs of Crystal Cove, you can see the little beach resort that has sprung up. There are a number of ways you can get down to the beach but no matter what way you choose, Crystal Cove doesn’t disappoint.

Like all good things, vacations must come to an end and so we took advantage of every sunset, viewed from the Marriott and from the beach. They were glorious.  Some might think sunsets are a dime a dozen, but I marvel at the way each day invites the dark, resting hours, so I shoot and shoot and shoot:

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Today, I get back into the real world of school bells and schedules.  While I’m anxious to have some structure to my days once again, I wish I could have packed the ocean as a souvenir. My memories will have to do.

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