Lazing about in Laguna Beach

Pageant ticket

And eating too much

This week I went to Laguna Beach with friends Bob, Carolyn, Jim, and Angela to see the Pageant of the Masters and spend a couple of days lazing about. This was the fifth time we have gone to the Pageant together.

beach at Laguna Beach

There is a reason they call it Laguna Beach. The beach is the center point of the village, and it was the scene this year of something truly remarkable. Marsha and Donna, fellow guests at Eilers Inn, piqued our interest at breakfast with their tale of going down to the beach the night before to see the "blue waves." (That's the short form of the story; the long form is far more interesting, but I shall be ever so discrete.) They told of waves turning fluorescent blue when they crashed onto the beach, ostensibly due to the blooming of red tide algae. This had to be seen.

a dog's life
Life is good in Laguna — even the dogs are laid back

That night, we headed for the beach after the Pageant, and at first we saw— nothing. Then suddenly there was a flash of light along the breaking crest of a big wave, followed by another, and another. The effect was stronger sometimes, and nearly unnoticeable at others. It was as if the wave were composed of gazillions of lightning bugs. Ever adventurous, Jim and Bob went down to the water's edge where they drew in the sand as the water receded, producing a blue glow around their fingers. It was awesome!

The phenomenon is called bioluminescence. See sidebar for more info.


glass sculptures
Glass sculptures at Festival of the Arts

The Pageant this year was organized around the theme "On the Road." Pageant of the Masters t-shirt The tableaux included everything from traditional oil paintings to travel posters to hood ornaments. Somehow they even managed to work in the terra cotta soldiers from China and a circus wagon.

The Sawdust Festival was also in full swing, just up Laguna Canyon Road from the Festival of the Arts. We like to listen to the live music and always watch the glassblowing demonstration with fascination and awe.

A band entertained browsers at the Sawdust Festival
glass blowing demo
The glassblowing demonstration is always fascinating

We stayed at Eilers Inn again (see last year's article). The courtyard with its big fountain and a minor jungle of plants is cool and serene, in sharp contrast to the hurly-burly of the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) just outside the front door of the inn.

Bob and Carolyn
Bob and Carolyn at breakfast — they're so lovey-dovey!
bird taking a bath in the fountain
A fine feathered friend takes a bath in the fountain

On Monday night, we tried out The Beach House for dinner. It is near Eilers Inn, with a terrific view of the beach and ocean, from both the bar and dining room. The lobster bisque was exquisite, and the lobster linguine was divine. Some of us later regretted having been such gluttons (moi?), and Angela claims we were "a bit boisterous" while at the bar and table. Hard to imagine, isn't it?

LUVRUSH license plate

Just in case it slipped your mind: Laguna Beach is located in the heart of Orange County.

see slideshow

Don't forget to check out the slideshow of pictures from this year's trip.