Monday, September 17, 2012

1st Impressions of Cali. Laguna Beach and the smell....

Posted By: Leah
BF and I in Laguna Beach; my first time seeing the Pacific Ocean!

I made such a huge deal about my trip to San Diego that it's only fitting for me to publish several blog posts chronicling my trip.

In a nutshell, California was not what I expected.
I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way... it's just... well... my visions what I 'thought' it would look like were not always a reality in SoCal. But they are in this post! Yay for Laguna Beach and looking like a postcard! That is not to say we had a bad time once we were in San Diego (where many things were sun weathered, dry and bleak. Totally didn't expect that!). BF and I had a great time together. But California definitely took some getting used to... good, bad, and just, well, different.

We touched down in John Wayne Airport in the OC. And you know me, I've watched WAYY too much reality TV, so I had this vision of our rental car being upgraded to a convertible and us cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway next to cliffs and beaches. Stopping in Laguna beach and running into Stephen, Talon, LC and Kristen Cavalari. Maybe even Adam Brodie or one of the Real Housewives of the OC. Yes, I knew none of this would be a reality, but I thought even without the celebrities the beach would look how I envisioned.

Our rental car was upgraded, from a Kia to a Ford Fusion that was decked out in leather and actually a pretty sweet ride. But no convertible (hey, a girl can dream!). Stepping outside of the airport I could breathe. I mean REALLY BREATHE. I'm soo used to humidity that my nose was completely opened up for the first time ever. I felt like I was taking in so much more oxygen and it felt really good.

BF drove as we cruised through the city of Newport down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) that was actually a bunch of stop lights and small towns. I was so so happy, everything was quaint. Not super lush, but I had a feeling that was coming soon....

I had some great tips from fellow bloggers and we ended up stopping for lunch at Umami Burger in Laguna Beach. Just for a quick bite. Not a heavy meal, because we knew we'd be eating really well in San Diego later that evening.

We get out of the car in this gorgeous, lush, perfect green paradise that is Laguna Beach, overlooking the Pacific. And OHMYEVERLOVINGGOD... the smell. It was awful. Like fish + sunscreen + sewage. (Later, actually while writing this post, I discovered this article,about the unusual smell prompting 911 calls). 

So yes, looking at photos now, I think wow what a gorgeous place! But at the time, it was a little difficult for me to get over the gross smell of rotten, sick, fishiness to enjoy my surroundings.
The Pacific Ocean + Lush grass = what my Cali dreams were made of!

The beaches were very crowded. I think it's because it was Labor Day weekend. 
Or maybe this cove in Laguna is just a really popular place to go hang out. 

Umami Burger was really good... BF and I split a truffle burger and sweet potato fries. It's a little tricky to find, if you're ever in Laguna, it's located by the guy in the red shirt.

 Laguna Beach was beautiful. If I ever have a chance to go back to California, this for sure is where I want to go. I had heard stories of people being stuck-up but out of the few people we actually spoke to, all were super down to earth, nice, and helpful.

We didn't get to eat at Las Brisas, but I heard tons of wonderful things. Maybe next time!

PS - these photos are all unedited. The sky was really that blue and the grass that green and lush. We had a hilarious run-in with security in Charlotte getting on the plane that morning. Too much awkwardness to type. But trust me when I say it was a Kodak moment. I think my face is still red! 

Next up.... the parts of SoCal that were hard to get used to....(and more on the gross beach smell) AND some of the stories of the weird and random bad luck we had on this trip :( ....


  1. I am still super jealous - fishy smell and all! It looks fricken' beautiful. I would kill for some salt water and sand right now.

  2. I have wanted to go to Laguna Beach since that damn show on MTV. It really is JUST as gorgeous as they always made it out to be. Take me with you next time?

  3. Honey I live in SoCal and it is my home but not what I envison for the rest of my life. I think it really is the good, bad and ugly and some pretty!! Can't wait to read more!


  4. I love visiting Laguna, it's so pretty. You look super cute in that photo, btw. I want your sweater :)


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