Laguna Beach – A Review of Sorts

When the question arose as to where we could escape LA for a night and get a little well-deserved R&R, Susan Dearest jumped at the chance to suggest her old stomping ground, Laguna Beach. Perfect for families, perfect for Christmas shopping, lunching, hot tubing, day drinking, tide pool exploring and the like. Theresa and Susan Dearest packed up their families (Kelly Dearest was sadly being a solid professional and had to stay behind to make TV and stuff) and we headed down the 405 to the little paradise that is Laguna Beach.

We started off with a little lunch at The Hotel Laguna, where we were served-up some grub by a lovely waitress. We can attest that the best things about this restaurant are the service, the fries, the view and the wine. These are the only really important factors of any establishment, really.

Hotel Laguna, great views, even in the rain.
Hotel Laguna, great views, even in the rain.

After soaking up the rainy day view of the gorgeous coastline whilst sipping on some vino, the men folk decided to take the girls to explore the tide pools but not before Susan and Bram started arguing about the correct way to install a car seat…in the pouring rain. Note* Bram is Theresa Dearest’s husband, whom Susan Dearest adores but this just proves the fact that car seat installations are just fuel for any man and woman to get into it. Theresa and Susan were then off on their own, sans offspring, to shop, sip and get massages.

Now, as we were trotting up and down Forest Ave. doing a little shopping, we decided that we’d better find a place to book massages before the day got away from us. It was quickly agreed upon the best place to do this would be sitting down, discussing it over a glass of wine. We stopped in to the Watermarc and were served up a crisp glass of something by a wonderful young man named Brandon…or Dylan…or David Silver. Either way, the dude knows his way around olive stuffing (get your mind out of the gutter). He was great at small talk but we were left to wonder, when he left his job at the Watermarc a few years prior, he said he went to do other things but was very unspecific about what. Later that week we saw a man on Facebook who had gone missing and we could swear it was Brandon, Dylan, David Silver. He seemed wholesome and all-American but we believe there’s more to him and only time will tell…only time will tell.

Anyhoo, the only people who would take us for last minute massages were the fine folks down at Beach Feet Spaaahh. Yes, the name alone won us over. When we rolled into the establishment, we were greeted by a lovely woman and led into a room where we needed night vision goggles to see each other. We were told to undress and lay down in these BarcaLounger-type chairs. We hadn’t realized this was going to be a group massage. I asked if we could have private rooms and after some hysteria and some shuffling, we ended up in tiny little massage/storage rooms. Theresa with a man who had just finished-up eating his sandwich and Susan with a cute little woman whose fierceness and super-human strength were still yet to be discovered.

So dark you needed night goggles.
So dark you needed night vision goggles.

Theresa relives her experience. – “The massage room was as wide and as long as a Twinkie. After hopping on top of the bed with me, he was able to slide the door shut and his workspace became the empty inches on either side of my body. My massage began with this slight man walking up and down my back, kneeling on my ass while rubbing my shoulders and standing on my shoulder blades – all at once. Despite this barbaric-sounding rubdown, it was surprisingly relaxing once I got over the claustrophobia and fear that my ribcage would be crushed beneath his feet.”

In conclusion, we’d totally go back. The price was right, they were accommodating and they stomped on any stress we were holding onto prior to our visit.

After such an exhausting day, we decided the best thing to do was to swing by the ol’ Montage Resort and Spa for a little aperitif. As we stepped out of Theresa’s car, the Valet asked her how the surf was this morning. It was as if someone had asked her who the 35th President of Zimbabwe was despite the fact the roof rack was loaded to the gills with surfboards (her husband’s). She immediately stripped us of any cool I was clinging to by actually driving around with the boards to begin with. I’m a total poser. Ah well, let’s get a drink. The Montage Laguna Beach might just be one of the most relaxing places on the planet. It is gorgeous, has amazing views and the staff is never, ever pretentious there which makes the joint extra classy. It’s also one of the most festive places to hang and you can’t beat the free snacks when you order a drink. While we were sipping on our spirits and recapping our masaaggggghhh experiences, there was buzz about the lobby by some mature folk regarding some “Justin Beaver” kid who had jumped on the piano the night before. Right after we eavesdropped on this heart-racing piece of news, coming from the piano was the “Beave’s”, “What do you Mean?” The Dearests went ape shit like two tweens who just got their first bras. I jumped from my seat only to see the Montage Piano player, jamming with passion, creating a hole in my tiny, little heart. Later we found out that The Biebs had been at The Montage Beverly Hills the night before. Timing is everything, people.

Our happy place.
Our happy place.

After one of the loveliest restaurant owners in town at Alessa’s fit our party of six in on a Friday night, without a reservation and we chowed down on some delicious Italian treats, we headed back to the hotel with our exhausted four year olds in tow. We had decided to stay at The Ranch at Laguna Beach because they were throwing this pre-opening special. We paid in the $300’s and I am unsure what the post-opening prices will be but they really need to get their heating situation figured out before that. This is the text message chain that ensued between Susan and Theresa Dearest the morning after a not so restful evening.







*Nacho happens to be Susan Dearest’s cat – a sweet bundle of brown and white fuzz with a penchant for hauling ass out of the house whenever a loud and curious child appears. Unfortunately, for Nacho, her food and water are kept inside, so she can only take a sip of water or a bite of food when the coast is clear. Sometimes Nacho will silently appear in the kitchen, sneakily walking to the doorway, always listening, always on guard for that insane child to come darting out of the living room wielding a gymnastics ribbon wand and screaming the words to The Lion Guard – sending her flying back out of her cat door, starving and parched, once more. Sweet girl. So thirsty. All. Of. The. Time.

Sweaters back on after shutting the heat completely off.
Sweaters back on after waking up completely naked and delirious from the heat.

After a horrific night’s sleep, we gathered the troops and headed off to the Balboa Island Fun Zone. This place is always a good time with kids. We rented a little boat and toured around the harbor for an hour. We got to ogle some sea lions and watch the rich people cruise by on their Kardashian-like yachts while we were slumming it with the travel potty on deck in case of emergencies (which of course there were). Wealth is relative. Right before we took off for home, I volunteered to go on what was the longest Ferris Wheel ride of my life. I’m not sure why they keep it going so long but the girls were super jazzed while I was praying to keep my lunch down.

Here we gooooo...the 75th time around. HELP.
Here we gooooo…the 75th time around. HELP.

All in all, a fantastic time was had by everyone – hell, we may have even sweat off a few pounds overnight – and you can’t knock that! We are definitely excited to see what The Ranch will have to offer once they are completely up and running – it is sure to be an awesome place. So many fun places to visit in the Laguna Beach area – delicious food, fun shopping, beautiful hotels and family friendly activities. We are already looking forward to our next visit – although we may skip the Ferris Wheel ride next time, just sayin’.

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