I am an experience person. Gifts are nice, but experiences make my world go round. Both Monday and Friday were challenging days emotionally. The weight of everything setting in, I suppose.
Yesterday (Saturday), I was set to drive to Laguna Niguel for a night at the Ritz-Carlton before heading to San Diego today for Passover. The emotions of Friday carried over to Saturday. Before heading out of town, I stopped at 32 Shea. Thankfully a friend was sitting at the bar. We ended up having a nice chat where my friend encouraged me to take the 74 from Palm Desert rather than continuing on the 10. This friend knows my affinity for curvy roads at fast clips.
There was no reason to rush to get to Laguna this time as there was nothing waiting for me other than a nice day at the beach. I ended up doubling up on the 74 when I discovered that the 74 started again just a little ways up the 15. The first stretch of the 74 is more desert scenery while the second stretch is more lush like driving thru the back roads of Napa or Sonoma.
Alas there are no photos of either stretch of road this time as I was quite enjoying the driving experience. The only thing that would have made the drive better was being in my Subaru Crosstek (stick shift, of course), which arrives at the end of May. I handle my Highlander like a sports car though, so it is all good.
My saying lately has been that the sign of a good weekend is music on MAX and gas tank on empty. Now, don’t fret I know my car well enough to know just when I need to pull into the gas station. As it happened yesterday, I needed to pull off just after the sign that I saw for Dole Whips on the 10.
That Dole Whip Float was clearly a must enjoy. Perfectly refreshing on a hot day. Merlin desperately tried to figure out how he could get just a taste of it. As it turned out, the exit I needed to get off the 10 was exactly the exit to hook up with the 74 – perfection.
Once on the 74, I paced with an I8 for awhile, which was super fun. Thankfully, Merlin enjoys driving as much as I do and loved having the windows down with the wind whipping thru his hair too. 🙂
By the time I pulled into the Ritz, my mood was decidedly more upbeat. I decided to forgo the hike I planned for a walk on the beach to get my toes in the ocean pronto.
When we checked into the hotel, they offered me a sweet ocean view upgrade. There are so many merits to being kind and loyal to brands. Oh, and by the way this night is free. It was part of the deal when DB signed up for his Ritz card last year. Working the points system is like a game to me and makes me quite happy like driving well.
We walked the entire stretch of the beach by the Ritz enjoying a moment at the end on a rock just taking it all in.
When we got back to the room there was a nice cheese plate waiting for me, which worked well as I was famished, so I got to sit on the balcony overlooking the ocean eating a snack. Not a bad life at all.
After the snack, I enjoyed getting ready at a leisurely pace, enjoying their amazing bathroom and hot shower before lounging in their robe while my hair dried.
Once I was ready, we headed down to Blu-180 for dinner. The views of the sunset are always incredible and they have sushi on Saturdays.
Bryan, our server from August, was there so I said hello, but Allan ended up serving us. I found a table right by the edge of the balcony with the perfect sunset view. I shared a table with a couple. Turns out the woman went to my high school – small world.
On the way back to the room, I got some pretzel sticks and a small bottle of “pop” as it was $15 and 15 is my lucky number right now. I enjoyed it on the balcony while FaceTiming with my business partner.
It was a perfect finish to a perfect day.