Retro Retreat for Retirees?
In fact, I guess we were pretty much... retirees. But we didn't have leathery tans like the ones I remember from my childhood in Florida.
Cement, Stucco, Pastels...
As a child I spent summers in Sarasota, Florida with lots of retired oldsters and lots of pastel, stucco motels. This is the corny look I remember and still love. It sort of makes me sort of sigh.
Laguna Shores, Hiding Its Age
It's hard to believe this oddball collection of buildings was once a seaside motel in the 1920's. Evidently some of that original motel remains on the land that became a timeshare property in the 1970's. 1970's brick and stucco is still retro, but oh how I would have preferred the original look of a roadside motel, standing beside the Pacific Coast Highway!
The office was tidy and proper, with a we prefer no kids feel to it. That's probably not a bit true. I just have memories of crabby motel owners in Florida who fussed when forgot to wear my bathing cap or scolded when the kids got too noisy.
This is the back of Laguna Shores, facing the ocean. The rooms and apartments jut out to offer views as best they can. It's a funny maze of little buildings and Don and I were pretty relieved to discover our studio did have a view.
We were on the second level, sharing a balcony with another room. We had a view of the ocean, plus a view of that awesome fountain... which didn't seem to have water.
The view was the best in the early hours, with no cars parked on the coast highway. This was a top dollar view, from our not so ritzy room, with not so top dollar prices! We know to appreciate this, since Don and I lived 2 blocks up the hill back, almost 35 years ago. We were renters. Oh if only we could have invested in property then!
We had a less lovely view when we didn't shift our chairs towards the beach. This photo only hints at the amusing image of our neighbors' windows and balconies. The air was dry and warm and everyone had open windows and curtains. As evening turned to night, it became as entertaining as Hitchcock's "Rear Window" with all the characters on display. But there were no murders going on and no ballerinas or jazz trumpets or arguments, like the movie. It was sort of a retiree hang out, after all.
The Fine Interior
Timeshare stays are not usually included in my Notable Nights, but this place was just curious. Luckily rooms had been updated since the 70's, but nothing too recent or classy. What I did love was the grand wooden feature on the left!
Legend says, Murphy's hidden bed allowed him to make his bedroom look like a parlor, when he wooed a certain lady to his 1-room apartment!
Besides the kitchen, bed and bath, we had a sweet little table for 2 where we could dine with a view. Or be the view for our neighbors.
There were no swim caps required for the pool and the no metal umbrellas to remind me of the old seaside motels of my past. The lounge chairs were comfy and the weather was warm enough for swimming, so we made use.
Coffee and Popcorn
There was a lounge area not far from the pool with a TV, fireplace and more tidy decor. Coffee was self serve and popcorn was available around 4. I love my popcorn, so I kept an eye on the clock. I was kind of surprised to see empty chairs and tables. The atmosphere seemed pretty ideal for coffee and and a game of Bridge. Not that I play Bridge and know what would be ideal.
Hanging on the Balcony
We made good use of this little balcony. And we hardly bothered with TV, since we had the same view from our couch. What was it that made us enjoy this little world at Laguna Shores? Lord knows we've stayed at ritzier places, with beach views that didn't include a little highway traffic. Why is it, we so fondly keep recalling this fun little getaway from 2 years?
Laguna Beach was an artist and beach community before it was ever a retreat for the rich. We may not be able to afford living in Laguna Beach anymore, but at least we found an affordable short term option... with a Murphy bed!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!