Monday, July 18, 2011

Crystal Cove

On any typical Sunday, Rondi, Teresa and I go to breakfast, then we try hard to come up with something to buy. This way we can go on the hunt, to find the perfect thing to buy. We usually go to Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Goods, Costco and numerous other stores, to find the perfect thing to buy. And, we usually have a stash of coupons for our discounts.

This Sunday was different. We hadn't made any plans to get together. It was 10 am, I was sitting at the kitchen table drinking my coffee and reading the jobs section of the LA Times (for the kids). The phone rang and it was Rondi, still lounging in bed watching TV or reading. She said that Teresa was also lounging in bed watching TV. They were game to get out and do something.

I told them that I would come up with something different to do that did not include shopping. It was a beautiful warm day so I thought we need to be at the beach. A nice restaurant overlooking the waves for lunch would be perfect. Then I remembered a news story from last week about a camp area opening up at Crystal Cove. I've always wanted to go see that area so I looked online to see if there was a restaurant, and there was. We headed down the freeway and I was going to surprise the both of them.

We drove to Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach and headed south. Crystal Cove is located about halfway between Newport Beach and Laguna. We parked in the lot on the inland side of PCH and took the shuttle bus to the Beachcomber Cafe, paying the $1 fee. It took us down a winding road to the beach below, then we walked a dirt trail and found the cafe.

There is a place to rent umbrellas, chairs, sun block and just about anything.

Families with lots of kids and beach umbrellas scattered all up and down the small sandy beach.

We put our name in for lunch at the cafe and had a 2 hour wait. We explored while waiting. Teresa and I were busy taking pictures.

Crystal Cove was owned by the Irvine company and in the late 1930's a development of 46 cottages were built and lived in along the beach and bluffs.

The State of California purchased Crystal Cove from The Irvine Company in 1979, and declared it Crystal Cove State Park and put it in the National Register of Historic Places.

Looking towards the tide pools.

The original cottages still stand, sort of, and are all being restored. About half of them have been completed and the other half are falling down. It's amazing how close you can lay your towel to the old cottages. Nobody seems to tamper with them. (click on photo to see larger, then click again)

This cottage looks like it's broken right down the middle.

Teresa and Rondi walking in the wet sand. This was the perfect day as far as weather goes.


Tidepools with critters all around.

This is the Beachcomber Bar, part of the Cafe. I had a delicious Bloody Mary.

An original cottage, restored.

A possible subject for a watercolor painting.

This is the visitor center, another restored cottage. It had pictures on the walls of life at the beach back in the day. Crystal Cove has been the setting for many motion pictures.

All in all it was a wonderful adventure with my two close friends. I can't wait to go back there and take Carl, and anyone else who would like to join us.