The wedding in Vancouver was at a perfect time, as I’d planned to accompany Damien on a road trip starting in Las Vegas two and a half weeks later. I took advantage of being on the west coast of Canada to fly down to Los Angeles to spend the middle 4 days with another friend whom I’d met through whilst teaching photography for African Impact in South Africa. Silke lives in a town called Laguna Beach about 50 miles away from LAX and very kindly drove up to pick me up from the airport. I’d already cleared immigration for the US in Vancouver, so as soon as I landed in LAX I was able to go straight to baggage reclaim where Silke met me. It felt so strange to see her there, as I’m used to all sorts of security before being able to exit an airport. Anyway, it was a great reunion and we chatted all the way to Laguna Beach. I wasn’t able to stay with her as she has a small studio apartment but a friend of hers had very kindly offered me his spare room, and as he lives a five minute drive away I gratefully accepted it.
I was surprised to find that mornings were on the cool side, as the area experiences something that is known as ‘June Gloom’. It’s a Southern Californian term for a weather pattern that results in cloudy, overcast skies at the ocean in late spring/early summer, and often follows ‘May Grey’. You can often drive inland for just 15 minutes or so and the clouds clear, the sky is blue, and the temperature rise dramatically. By the afternoons at Laguna Beach the sky had usually cleared though, and I enjoyed watching the beach volleyball.
And gulls close up.
You know you’re abroad when there are lots of palm trees 🙂
One day we went to a pretty town and had a wander round. The Americans are so much more patriotic than we are.
We ate out one evening overlooking the beach, watching a lone paddle boarder,the sunset, and listening to a great live band who were playing. The atmosphere was buzzing 🙂
One of the days we discovered that a collectible car auction was taking place so we went along. I’m sure those auctioneers just make up words and that I heard a “ding ding a dang’ in there, but it’s fascinating to listen to.
Silke had suggested we go on a whale watching trip, and even though I’d done it in Vancouver I was happy to go again, especially as the whales that had been spotted in the area were different to the Orcas I’d seen a couple of weeks previously. She also promised me pelicans, and delivered on that promise!
Sadly, we weren’t able to find the whales, but we did have a great sighting of dolphins
We had a bit of ‘June Gloom’ that day, but we were still happy 🙂
The sky did clear for a while
And on the way back we saw sleeping seals taking advantage of a buoy. (Or they may have been sea lions, I’m not sure which!)
I don’t know why there was a sailing ship there but it looked good 🙂
On my last night we went to a very kitsch diner, and I felt like I’d stepped into an American film such as ‘back to the future’. It was great 🙂
Sadly the time flew by too fast and it was time to say goodbye. Thank you Silke for a lovely few days.