California Dreamin’ III

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– the flakes drifted down lazy and white like dandelion fluff.  The out-doors felt cozy, the air scrubbed clean by ice crystal ions, all sound muffled in soft white snow . . .

It was currently six below, not counting the windchill . . . Plus, this was Minnesota.  If the temperature topped zero in January, we referred to it as a “warm snap.”  I didn’t expect to see above-freezing temps until March.  That was fine be me – winter is a magical season, if you have the heart for it.  ~ Mira James speaking in January Thaw, Jess Lourey’s recent murder-by-month mystery novel, p. 1-2.

cloudsEditor’s note:  Snowbirds love hearing about our weather, so let’s oblige!  😉  The top photo is our stairwell down to the lake.  Lotsa luck getting there . . . maybe by hang glider.  This winter will not be a record setter – lots of colder ones in the 1800’s (I believe Crazy remembers those days).  But we are currently – when I say we, it’s what we get from Twin Cities TV – in about a 3-week straight stretch of daily sub-zero temperatures.   And by Wednesday, when they’re finally forecasting “normal” temps (in the 20’s), the Cities will have had 46 days this winter season with sub-zero temperatures.  As a local wag said, add 10 more days to that for Alex.  I know those who don’t live here can’t believe you adjust.  A couple of days ago I went to the gym at sunrise and it was 14 below – I thought not bad, there was no wind.  Unbelievably, however, we’re currently in a stretch of a week without snow – that’s by far the longest stretch this season.  But always remember, for you older folks out there, doesn’t matter where you live you still spend 95 per cent of your time inside – and if you live where it’s 100 degrees all summer, you don’t go out much then either.  As I’ve always babbled, air conditioning changed the demographics of the entire world.  But this posting is all about . . . California Dreamin’, as I recall.  🙂

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[It’s now January 2 (yeah, I know, I’m getting way behind)  and here’s the quintessential California photo op – a lifeguard tower on a beach.  I expected to see Sam Elliott and Anne Archer come strolling down the beach in Lifeguard (pretty good B movie in 1976).]

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[This was probably my favorite sight-seeing day.  Just head to the Coast Highway and go north.  And in the morning, we could enjoy the marine layer.  On this day, however, the marine layer hung around most of the day.  I love the marine layer!  🙂   ]

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[FAA grounded all avians because of the limited visibility.]

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[So this is where we were,  a tad south of Laguna Beach.]

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[Ocean front property for those making slightly more than minimum wage.]

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[Families waiting for the burn-off that never happened.]

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[From out of the gloaming comes . . . The Attack of the Killer Palm Trees!]

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[No rain here since 1945, but the marine layer laid some puddles on the sidewalks.]

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[The kind of place Sherlock Holmes would admire.]

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[Houses with an ocean view.]

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[We did have a destination in mind.  We just didn’t know where to park.  We left the car at Aliso Beach and walked up the Coast Highway.  Often times on the Coast Highway, dodging BMW convertibles, in areas where there was no sidewalk.]

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[The Biddies ISO . . .  whatever.]

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[Pretty flowers (personal assessment).]

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[Looking back at whence we came – still gloaming back there.]

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[Looking ahead.  This may be hard to believe (it was for us) but this (and four previous) is a county park.  I can be done with a mere sprinkling of $$$$.  A squadron of pelicans does a fly-over.]]

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[This is nice!  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – The Biddies know “nice.”]

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[This is nice.   If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – I know “nice.”]

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[Describing “nice,” above.]

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[And The Biddies are off again, heading for the quarter pole.]

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[Kinda like our view of beautiful Lake Darling.]

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[This beach was made for walking . . . ]

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[The Biddies forge ahead, our destination in sight.]

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[The beginning of Montage Laguna Beach, a luxury resort hotel complex.  I could stay here.]

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[Just for the walking views.]

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[The main lodge.]

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[Their stairway to the beach (unlike those on beautiful Lake Darling, not covered by snow over the railings).]

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[Those pretty red flowers again . . . I believe their scientific name is “pretty red flower.”]

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[Loverly!]

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[Overlook ahead.]

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[Still part of the resort.]

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[Again, looking back at whence we came.]

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[Remember, this is all a county park!]

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[The Biddies went down here.  I didn’t want to get sand in my shoes.]

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[The California hide-out for the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang.]

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[Loverly, part deux.]

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[We’ll get to the overlook soon.  And then we’ll see what we’re overlooking.]

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[Curling is on the Olympics right now.  Ooops, getting my story lines confused.]

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[Overlook, at last!]

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[This was an interesting surprise to come upon in the overlook . . . ]

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[I, obviously, was willing to lead a search party to find the owner of the misplaced garment.  In the cool of the marine layer morning, she could catch a death of cold!]

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[Yeah, I like this one too.]

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[We’re down!]

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[A paddle surfboarder.]

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[The Biddies go exploring.]

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[A daughter’s first beach photo shoot.]

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[Too cute!]

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[All I can see is fog?]

The following seven photos are submitted courtesy of the supervisor:

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[Tide level.]

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[Beachcombers]

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[The Hole-in-the-Wall from sea level.]

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[MASTER OF ALL HE SURVEYS!]

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[So he keeps on surveying!]

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[“Reets” and me!]

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[A plant . . . a red one, I believe!  Thanks supervisor for these contributions.  🙂  ]

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[OK, where’d the ocean go?]

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[One of the “limp” plants?]

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[“Reets” beats me back to “Voyager.”]

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[She’s a cutie!]

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[Let’s get some more pictures of that.]

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[A different angle looking back over the ocean.]

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[Another “limper.”]

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[Bird of Paradise]

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[redux]

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[For the diary, walking back to Aliso Beach, the supervisor liked these garage doors.]

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[Ocean air is salty – beat the rust with a stainless steel house!]

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[The hills still covered by the marine layer.]

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[Back to Aliso Beach.]

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[By accident, the sea gull made the photo.]

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[Still in the gloaming on the beach.  But I’m a guy who loves light jacket weather.  🙂 ]

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[On to San Juan Capistrano.  You’re inland a bit here, so we were out of the marine layer.]

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[I had been here before; I believe “Reets” had too.  The supervisor said she had been to hundreds of other missions, so going in wasn’t a necessity.  We thought the entry price exorbitant . . .]

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[So, walking back to the car, I stuck my camera over the wall and shot blindly . . . ]

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[Had pretty good luck, too.  😉  ]

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[Then it was on to Dana Point, just a couple miles to the west of Capistrano.]

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[Dana Point is named for Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of Two Years Before the Mast, and this is a replica of his ship, Pilgrim.]

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[The beach, in the harbor.]

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[The harbor]

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[The ubiquitous California houses on the hill.]

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[The Biddies study up local lore.]

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[Paddleboarding to the breakwater.]

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[Welcome back, marine layer.]

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[The point in Dana Point.]

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[It was getting all Londony again.]

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[Head on with the point.]

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[We’ll go up here soon.]

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[The Ocean Institute – we were going to take the tour but were running out of time.]

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[The Biddies plot strategy.]

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[We some how all got lost from each other here?]

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[That’s where to the tour would have been.]

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[Back to the Pilgrim.]

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[We’ve now driven up to the top of the point . . .]

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[Looks like there’s an overlook out there . . .]

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[Wending my way . . .]

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[On the trail . . . ]

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[Whoa! . . . ]

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[Loved it out here . . . ]

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[I could have spent a lot of time here . . . ]

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[But we were running out of daylight . . . ]

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[Still, there’s nothing cooler than gloaming shots . . . ]

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[This guy apparently had been out here for quite a while, setting up the perfect photo(s).]

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[Three other people came as I was leaving.  I was really surprised by the lack of photographers out here?]

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[Fire away, ladies.  The end of a perfectly lovely vacation day.]

Curmudgeon quote of the post:  When you’re in love it’s the most glorious two-and-a-half days of your life.  ~  Richard Lewis

 Girls hockey sections begin tonight!

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