Hello from Laguna Beach!

I crossed another item of my life’s bucket list this morning — I went running on the beach at the Pacific Ocean. (And yes, I stopped a stranger and asked her to take my picture.)

laguna beach run

My friend Trina and I had a frustrating travel day yesterday with our non-stop flight getting cancelled and having to rebook on a flight that connected through Charlotte and arrived five hours later than originally planned. Then after waiting for our bags and spending another 30 minutes waiting for our shuttle, which turned into the ride of our lives, careening at 85 mph down Pacific Coast Highway, we finally arrived at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel frazzled, exhausted, and desperately wishing for a do-over.

We missed an event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (I KNOW!!) and didn’t even get a chance to enjoy the view from our hotel room as it was too late to see much of anything when we arrived. We did enjoy a relaxing chat over some delicious room service before crashing for the night.

But today is a new day.

After a good night’s sleep wrapped in Egyptian cotton, I woke up this morning determined to forget that yesterday even happened and ready to experience everything this spectacular place has to offer. I couldn’t wait to get down to the beach. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so excited to go running in my life.

Laguna Beach

(Yes! I ran THAT BEACH.)

I don’t have words to adequately describe the beauty of this place. It is absolutely breathtaking. I am dead serious when I say that I walked out onto the terrace this morning and almost started to cry at how utterly gorgeous it is. It’s entirely different from anything I’ve ever seen before.

Ritz Carlton Laguna Beach

Most of my travels have taken me up and down the East Coast. And while the East Coast certainly has its own brand of allure, the OC is simply stunning. Forget the decadent mansions and resorts — the magnificence of the ocean and the coastline rock me to my core. Only God, you know?

There was a yoga class taking place in this pavilion overlooking the ocean. I have never done yoga in my life, but I might just have to join them tomorrow morning!

Pavillion at Ritz Carlton

As I ran along the beach to Bob Dylan crooning above the sound of the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, I felt like my life might just be complete.

I wasn’t the only one on the beach enjoying this glorious morning. I ran by young women power walking, old ladies jogging, young buff surfer guys, and one particularly adorable over gentleman who was shuffling along, slightly hunched over, wearing dark glasses, and clearly enjoying the morning as much as I was. As I passed him, he looked at me and smiled, almost as if he could recall his younger days when he might have run along this same beach.

I wonder what his story is. I wonder that about most strangers I pass on the beach. Are they just lucky enough to experience this once in a lifetime at a business conference, as I am?? Do they spend a week every summer here? It’s a public beach, so do they live here year round? What do they do? Do you ever wonder those things about strangers that you pass?

Back at the resort, I walked through the pool area to get to my room and stopped to take this picture.

Pool at Ritz Carlton

As soon as I finish this post and find my bathing suit, I plan to claim one of those chairs and remain there until I look like a lobster or registration starts later this afternoon — whichever comes first.

I know what you’re thinking. Working hard, or hardly working?

Yes, I’m having the time of my life. But once the conference starts tomorrow morning, it will be a whole different ballgame with two full days of conference sessions and networking with brands and bloggers. I’ve heard that the sessions at Mom 2.0 Summit are excellent, so I’m very eager to see what I can learn and take away.

My trip is sponsored by Kid Pointz — a site that I also write for. Without them, I would not be here so I want to make sure to give them a big shout out and thank you!!!!!

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20 Responses

  1. Glad you made it to the West Coast. Having lived on this side of the country all my life, I envy your traveling adventures on the East Coast. Enjoy your time here. BTW–not all of California looks like that. It’s very pretty, but that’s typical SoCal eye fodder. Up in the north it doesn’t quite look all “California-ey, ” You couldn’t pay me enough to live down there. Well, maybe…..

  2. California gets into your pores. I have never lived there, but after several visits, I get homesick for it. You will be back-trust me!

  3. I sometimes can’t believe that I left that beauty to move back to the boring, flat Midwest. I lived in the OC for 4 years, had my two babies there but it just didn’t feel like home. Moved to Iowa (what a contrast !) and then again to Indiana. Enjoy your time! I don’t miss that crazy traffic or plastic surgery look one bit.

  4. It’s so beautiful! And there is nothing like that feeling of running along the ocean – especially when you make it all the way to the Pacific. So happy for you. Enjoy the vacation & biz. xo

  5. Definitely do the yoga! You won’t believe how hard it is (or how sore you’ll be afterward), but you’ll also feel so great.

    Thanks for the pictures. Looks gorgeous!!!

  6. That’s so beautiful! My brother used to live in CA and continues to visit friends there; he now lives in Vegas. He loves the west coast and will never move back here to Ohio. I see why. One of my blogging friends is also in CA-San Fran-for some kind of seminar, and she is also posting gorgeous pictures of that area. Enjoy the rest of your stay!

  7. Heaven on Earth! Can’t wait to get back there again some day soon! Thanks for bringing back the incredible memories. Thanks to my husband’s awesome job, we’ve had the glorious gift of staying there several times. I’m always ready to go back!

    Glad you’re having a beautiful day! How could it be anything but?!

  8. Just beautiful. I too had a terrible flight ordeal just a couple of weeks ago. I know how that can drain the fun out of all that you anticipated, but I applaud you for waking up with a new attitude this morning. Of course, who wouldn’t with that view? Glorious! So happy for you!!

  9. OMG! I just checked out the website for your hotel. One of their ocean view rooms with the outside fireplace would be divine!

    Enjoy your weekend. I look forward to more highlights from the trip.

  10. LB is one of the nicest places I have visited… fond memories… so glad you got to go there. Good choice! 😉

  11. So happy that you had the opportunity to go here! Yes, I agree with you, the East coast does have it’s own sense of allure but the west coast is so totally different. My son lived in Dana Pt. for 10 years, met his wife there and they had their wedding receiption at the Ritz Carlton, so I know! What a place! Enjoy your time there and go back again. If you haven’t left yet venture out to Dana Point, it is beautiful and will remind you a little of the east coast. Lots of boats and great seafood restaurants. Have fun!!

  12. lovely post. so glad to hear you are having a good time and enjoy your trip. I love that feeling of being overwhelmed by beauty to the point of tears!

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