Laguna Beach

If it's July...

| The usual suspects — Jim, Angela, Bob, Carolyn, and I — made our annual visit to Laguna Beach to see the Pageant of the Masters, to eat, to sit, to chat, to eat, to eat, to eat.... With the exception of last year, we have made these trips every year for several years.

By The Sea Inn
My room at By The Sea Inn

Way back when, we used to stay at By The Sea Inn in the north end of town, but at one point we became so disgusted by the front desk lady that we began staying at Eiler's Inn, which we absolutely loved. Unfortunately, Eiler's Inn went out of business last December, and we were forced to seek other accommodations. As luck would have it, we ended up back at By The Sea Inn and were delightfully surprised to find it completely renovated and restaffed. Again by luck, I was given a fantastic room, second only to the bridal suite.

On Tuesday we took a little trip to the site of Eiler's Inn to see what was happening there. We didn't like it. Everything that made Eiler's Inn such a wonderful pied à terre for us has been stripped away and replaced by ultra chic for the nouveaux riches. It will now be called Seven 4 One, and the sign in the window bills it as "hip ~ exclusive ~ hotel." I think that can be translated as "beautiful people" and "expensive."

The old Eiler's Inn
The new Eiler's Inn
Staging a tableau

As usual, the Pageant of the Masters was a stunning spectacle integrating live performance and film with the traditional tableaux vivants. For those who haven't seen the Pageant, it's hard to explain, but here goes: Take a piece of art, enlarge it so it fills the stage, then substitute live persons for the people. For the minute or so that the piece is displayed, the people simply do not move a muscle. It's a little mind-boggling: making a 3-dimensional representation of a 2-dimensional piece of art representing something three-dimensional, then lighting it so it looks like the 2-dimensional piece again.

No trip to Laguna would be complete without visiting our favorite eateries.

It was going to be a toss-up between Partners Bistro and Aegean Cafe for our big dinner. The issue was moot — Partners is closed. So, Aegean it was, and we had a veritable feast: Carolyn had moussaka, Angela had Athenian chicken, Jim had lamb shank, and Bob and I both had lamb chops. Yum-o!

 
Madison Square
Madison Square
Las Brisas
Las Brisas
The Cottage
Aegean
Aegean Cafe

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Last updated on Sep 6, 2016

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