Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Watch

Still in the throes of moving my aunt from one room to another.  It'll be a long, busy week spent going over there almost every day and hauling the contents of her closet, treasures from the curio cabinet, and who-knows-what-all from the shelves and cubbies in her various pieces of furniture.  And then there's the furniture move on Saturday. Oi...

Happily, there were some fun things that happened last weekend that were so relaxing and enjoyable, I've had some good times to think about this week.  L and I went on a whale watch out of Newport Harbor.  Now technically, as my cousin Brad pointed out, since we didn't see any whales, it was just a "watch."  But no matter - it was one of the most gorgeous days in recent history.  Blue skies, sun shining, the whole lot.  Everything you all come here for on vacation.

As you head out of Newport Harbor, it's a kind of narrow bay between Newport and Balboa Island.  You see a lot of homes just like this one lining the bay as you head out.

Humble little places.  Are you kidding me???  Actually, they're so fabulous and out of reach that you're not even jealous.  It just amazes me that there are people who really get up everyday and live like this, and you can't help but gawk a little bit.

We headed out past the jetty and turned down the coast towards Laguna.  There's a great hotel in South Laguna called The Montage.  I've been lucky enough to stay there twice.  I think the cheap rooms there are now up to about $750.00.  Both of my stays were for business, and the first time, since I was the meeting planner, they comped L and I a SUITE.  I thought I'd died and gone to heaven for sure.  It was awesome.  Anyway, here it is, perched on the cliffs of South Laguna Beach:

There is no lovelier location for a hotel.  Maybe the Bacarra in Santa Barbara, which is just as pretty, although in a colder climate.  Anyway, L and I gave it a wistful little nod and wave as we sailed by.  It was nice there for sure, but I'd have to have a lot more money than I do now to pay those prices.  But work was paying for it before, so I'm glad we had our couple of chances to live large.

We turned away from the coastline and headed a little more out into the ocean.  We saw 2 dolphin playing in the distance, jumping out of the water close to a paddle boarder.  We saw lots of sea birds and pelicans.  We saw tons of seals.  But no whales.  No dolphin pods.  Mostly just a lot of this:

And somehow, that was okay.  It was peaceful and pretty and satisfying.  L and I went up to the bow of the ship and stood there feeling the boat lift and drop with the ocean swells.  I loved the feeling of that.  So free with the sun on my face and the salty spray.  I understood the passion of people who own sailboats.  We could see Catalina Island in the distance, and I wished we could go all the way there, riding the rise and fall of the huge ocean surrounding us.

Too soon, it was time to turn back into Newport Harbor.  The whales had eluded us that day.  Somewhere, they were in hiding.  Luckily, we hadn't really seen more than the couple of dolphin, so we all got a voucher to come back another day and try it again.  I was a little disappointed we hadn't seen any whales, but on a day as gorgeous as that, it's hard to have any regrets.  Just outside the harbor, there is a bouy, and as usual it was full of seals of all shapes and ages napping in the sun.  Big ones, little ones laying on their mamas, big daddy ones all snoozing away in the afternoon warmth.

And what did we do after we stepped off the boat?  Why, we went and had some fish and chips and clam chowder, of course!  A perfect end to the perfect, peaceful afternoon with my sweetheart that I'd been craving.  The worries and responsibilities of the daily grind were kept at bay for a few short hours, and we were able to enjoy a classic, made-to-order Southern California day.  I can't wait to get out on the water again.


  1. Sounds like you've been REALLY busy! Hope your Dad and Aunt are doing better...health is everything.
    Just settling back in after several busy weeks. Catching up online and glad to see your happy face.

  2. Twenty-six miles across the sea
    Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
    Santa Catalina, the island of romance
    A tropical heaven out in the ocean
    Covered with trees and girls
    If I have to swim, I'll do it forever
    'Til I'm gazin' on those island pearls

    What an awesome adventure, karen! I hope everyone clicks to enlarge the wonderful pictures you took of your servants' quarters in Newport Harbor (: and of the open water and whimsical seals basking in the sun on the buoy. You didn't spot any whales (or come face to face with Jaws) but it was the journey and the time spent in the fresh air, sunshine and salt spray that you will long remember. This week, when you are back in the grind and immersed in work and responsibility, take a moment to close your eyes and imagine yourself back out there on the water. Within seconds you will feel refreshed and energized. I guarantee it! Thank you for a delightful post, dear friend karen!

  3. Whale watching!! I would love to do this someday. I may add this to my bucket list :)

  4. What a lovely, lovely day. I could go out into that every day! I'm so glad you got to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing it with us~

  5. Oooh that sounds perfect. I used to date a guy with a sailboat. Too bad he was an idiot! But the sailing was fun :)

  6. When we lived near Seattle, one time we were taking the ferry to Victoria, B.C. and we saw a whale -- a beautiful sight. We always saw masses of seals in the bay.


  7. Ahhh... the blue sky and sea is so inviting... reminds of teenage days at the beach.

  8. Sounds so lovely Karen. And that picture of the sparkling water is beautiful! Makes me want to be near the water.... nice days you never want to forget!

  9. Please tell me you didn't stand there and yell "I'm King of the world"...or sing the song from Titanic! Sounds simply heavenly...I wouldn't care if I didn't see the whales since seeing the sun would be such a rare sighting for me. Love all the other wildlife and the seals look so comfy there! However, I get seasick very easily..even your description of the rising and falling of the waves has made me a bit queasy..sorry! Have a great week!

  10. That post has me craving a trip to the beach! Richard used to own a sailboat when he lived in Savannah, GA. He loved it so much that he decided to live on it. I'm sure he must secretly be totally bored to have a house and a yard now. I'm so glad you were able to have a day out with L, sailing and dining and just enjoying this beautiful world!

  11. I've had the good fortune to go on some great business trips with the phone company. Many times I took Jilda with me and we'd stay the weekend after my meetings.
    I'd love to go whale watching, even if we didn't see any.
    Lovely photos.

  12. What a beautiful spot to go out on the sea. Whales or not, it sounds perfect.

    And I would love one of the humble little homes..

  13. I love riding in a sailboat, dolphins and whales or not.

    It's such a great spot, isn't it?



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