My toes getting friendly with the beach
Our trip to Huntington Beach is over and I have colorful results to report back from my “assignment”. My biggest failure is not getting in a surf lesson which feels like blasphemy when you are visiting “Surf City”. Also a word of advice; Make sure when you rent a vacation home that it's not next door to one of these guys!
Yes, it's an oil well. There are many in HB but this was the only one in this particular area of homes. Yes, they smell like oil, and sometimes people show up to loudly work on them at 7am.
We tried to visit a few cities in SoCal that we've never been too. That's getting to be a challenge. Having been to San Diego and LA so often and appreciating the generous use of color, I guess I was expecting the same throughout all of SoCal.
Biggest joy at HB was riding bikes along the Strand during the day and to dinner in the evening.
The immense beaches such as Bolsa Chica were sparsely populated. The water was warmish and the waves were the best ever for boogie boarding. Lovely! Also there are fire pits to use at night which is a rarity in California.
I really appreciated the creative touches of color I saw in unexpected places.
Half wall by parking lot at Bolsa Chica Beach
The disappointment was the lack of architectural color near the beach. Taupes, beiges and pale terra cottas abound with only occasional glimpses of anything else. Granted, the homes near the beach are newer, larger homes.
You are not likely to see wild, colorful palattes on homes of this size but some contrasts would be nice. This IS possible using only neutrals. Yikes, what they must cost!
The homes like we were staying in further away from the beach were older and smaller. Occasionally, you'd see a little pop of color, but not often.
Although neutral, I enjoyed riding by this home everyday because it had some style and flair! (Sorry for the picture quality as these were "drive by" shots from my bike)
We spent a day in Newport Beach. I was amazed at the tiny ferries carrying cars over to Balboa Island!
Waterfront ferris wheel. Too bad I'm too afraid to ride them!
Newport Beach was a pleasant surprise with some nice drive-bys of great architectural color more in line for what I was expecting to see.
My poor family endured another long ride around the area so I could go back and take a pic of this intriguing blue home with a pale lavender door and rocking chair. It fits in perfectly here!
While this would look strange or tacky in the wrong setting, it's small size and location near the ocean made it appealing to me. In this situation, it looked hip and fun. I think there was a small business located inside:
Interesting garage door:
This colorful clothing store was exactly the sort of retail I was hoping the run across. I'll take this over a chain store any day! The owner is studying to be a stylist.
San Juan Capistrano was also a colorful adventure on another day. Thumbs up from the whole family for great vibe, loads of flowers and a great Round Table Pizza (we seem to seek out Round Table Pizza Parlors in our travels.) The mission had some walls with incredible, rich patina.
Gorgeous fountain and Koi fish.
Nature always provides us with the best palettes!
And finally, there was some of this:
As you can tell from the pained look on my son's face, one was all I was going to get that day. I guess his root beer just wasn't as exciting. .....and let's face it, watching your parents have a beer is taking away from possible other fun kid stuff.
Since we had the dubious luck of heading out of LA on the much televised "Carmegeddon" (the weekend much of Highway 405 was to be shut down) we headed out early, and to the relief of light traffic through LA on Highway 5, to hit one more stop for our kids. Galco Soda Pop Stop was a colorful surprise set in a once old grocery store in LA. Here is a sample of some beautiful colors from our stash:
Now that we've got the beach covered. We're soon heading up into the Sierra's to log in some time in the mountains and lakes. Vacations are always a great opportunity to notice and enjoy colors, palettes and regional outside your area and comfort zone. I know it gives me a playful push in appreciation and application of color.