Exploring Laguna Beach

In almost every tourist spot one goes, it’s expected that finding a decent parking spot is going to be an issue. Good thing we got there early, so we were able to find a decent spot, albeit paid parking, then just rode the Laguna Beach Trolley for free! I think Roan loved it more than I did since he didn’t have to worry about directions and parking spaces; we just simply enjoyed the ride.

We strolled along the streets of Laguna Beach in between trolley rides, just exploring and taking note of significant things or places that struck our interests. The trolleys in Laguna Beach are color-coded. The blue ones are those that travel along the North and South Coast Highway. The red ones are those that travel along Laguna Canyon Road, going to and from the art festivals.

EILER “THE GREETER” LARSEN (MARCH 27, 1890 – MARCH 19, 1975)

Eiler Larsen was named the “Official Greeter of Laguna Beach” in 1963 due to his fame in welcoming weary travelers into the city with his booming voice. He was a Danish vagabond who migrated from the East Coast to San Francisco. He later made Laguna beach his permanent home when he became a cast of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper scene in Laguna Beach’s Pageant of the Masters.

We had lunch at the Pizza Lounge, which had one of the best-tasting pizza we’ve ever had. Roan and I enjoyed our meal so much that we failed to take a single photo of what we ordered. All pizzas are made-to-order, so there’s a 10 to 15 minutes waiting time. We were lucky that we came in just before the place was packed with both locals and tourists alike.

Believe it or not, you’re looking at the world’s second smallest Catholic Church, St. Francis by the Sea. The 1,008 square feet-church was built in 1933 with only 42 seating capacity. Unfortunately, we were unable to peek inside the church because it’s only open during mass or upon request.

“DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ALL THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE TIME OF WAR OR PERIODS OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY” —NOVEMBER 10, 2001 (AMERICAN LEGION POST 222)

Downtown Laguna Beach has got to be one of the ‘cutest’ I’ve ever been to. It’s so small that going in and out of shops and boutiques wasn’t entirely exhausting. We also chanced upon a weekend Farmer’s Market where I had fresh pomegranate juice for the second time in my life (first was in Bangkok, Thailand).

The People’s Council, an art installation by Linda Brunker in 2006Each human statue represents every man, every woman, and every youth. As the sun moves, the black polished obelisk in the center casts a shadow like a sundial on words representing the aspirations of the community. At the time I took these photos, the shadow was pointing to “LOVE”, which I thought was simply appropriate because I fell in love with the charm of Laguna Beach.

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