The first time you drive somewhere you know every street name, the distance between every turn and notice each building and discernible landmark, mentally dropping bread crumbs so you can find your way back. The first time you drive somewhere the journey is long in comparison to each one after.

During our vacation in Southern California we drove the Pacific Coast Highway, taking in the unending scenery of sun, sky and sea. Some places we intended to stop, some places made us stop. We didn’t stop enough and never long enough.  But I dropped as many bread crumbs as I could so that I could find my way back.

Balboa Island, Newport Harbor as seen from our private electric boat.


Crystal Cove, Newport Beach, obscured by acres of woodland, a serendipitous find.


Heisler Park, Laguna Beach, a brief stop to take in the incredible views.

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Laguna Beach, sitting at the waters edge we had drinks and lunch at The Deck.

IMG_2746IMG_2753La Jolla Casa Beach, a tiny cove protected by a concrete breakwater, was once a swimming area for children but is now a seal sanctuary. The kids enjoyed observing pupping season, finding many friendly seals “smiling” at them.

On Coronado Island we stayed at Hotel Del Coronado, open since 1888 and one of the few surviving examples of a wooden Victorian beach resort. We stayed in the newly constructed Beach Village, had breakfast each morning staring out at the ocean but only dipped our toes, favoring the heated pool over the cold sea.


35 miles north of Coronado Island is the charming town of Del Mar. Jake’s restaurant, right on the beach, gave us our last meal staring at the water, drinking Pimm’s Cup, eating lobster BLT, feeling the breeze and watching the kids color.


IMG_2866After a full day at Legoland we made it to Carlsbad just in time to see our last sunset.


“The two girls grew up at the edge of the ocean and knew it was paradise, and better than Eden, which was only a garden.”
― Eve Babitz