Laguna Beach: A Happy 24 Hours

Adventures with my boys make my heart skip a beat. We spontaneously packed up the van, found a cheap deal on a seaside hotel, and headed to the beach a few days ago for a quick trip! Little man got to play in the sand and it was a fun getaway for our little family to spend some time together. 

The proposal, September 2014. In this very spot, just below the cliffs. 

Showing our boy the place we got engaged.

The succulents and plants in Laguna are huge and lush!

The Montage hotel in Laguna is right above our engagement spot and it's just divine. We've never stayed there (maybe for a big anniversary someday :) but one of our favorite things in life is to sit by the fire on the hill overlooking the proposal spot and sip drinks while watching the always-epic, almost always pink sunsets. 

In the morning, we each got a bowl from Banzai Bowls! In blog land, I've seen so much hype about it so we had to try! We got the Maui Sunrise -- super delicious! A little sweet for our taste for breakfast (we are savory breakfast people, as a general rule ;) but would be perfect for a snack or dessert. Very fresh! 

The town is full of unique, sweet little shops overlooking the ocean.

Our favorite tacos in Laguna! Papa's Tacos. Daniel says the burrito is the best he's ever had!

Beach time with my boys

No filter on this gorgeous water!

I have always wanted to visit the mysterious 60-foot, castle-inspired La Tour Tower and it did not disappoint! You can read more about it's history here

There is a beachside cement pool beside the "castle tower" that once formed a circle and is now partially filled in with sand. If the tide is high enough, waves splash up against it (and they did yesterday -- a little too much for this mama's liking!) But Daniel played with Weston in it, and held him and moved out of the way when a big wave came, so it was safe! It made for a fun kiddy pool (especially for older kids, I think, to freely play in.) Weston absolutely loved splashing in it and the waves kept crashing over and spraying or cascading down the wall like a waterfall. It just added a little extra fun and magic! 

Oops, I def missed a couple buttons on Weston's Ergo -- we just walked a couple minutes up the beach so he was all good! Super baby lives on! ;) 

We ended our beach day at Peppertree Lane. Oh, it holds sweet memories. If you read my book, At Long Last, you know that the first week Daniel and I met - when he flew to California to meet me in person - we ended the whirlwind week in Laguna. We stood on a rock out in the sea (where we would, later that year, get engaged. And then stumbled upon Watermarc restaurant where we had dinner. Our first "real date" kind of dinner. This restaurant is in Peppertree Lane, a charming and darling spot -- the most precious lane in the world! When we first had that date, I told Daniel, "It reminds me of Disneyland!" (He'd not yet been to Disney so he didn't know what I was talking about haha) And it smells like heaven. It is literally something out of Europe, or Disney, or heaven. "Gelato Paradiso" is a little gem inside the lane -- lines always out it's open doors, and it smells like sugar. It actually smells even better than the gelato tastes (and it's amazingly good!) Ugh. I can just smell it now. It will always remind me of our first, twinkly-eyed date there and how we were beginning to fall very fast in love.

It was sweet to bring our boy, eat gelato, remember, and smile.

 The table we had out first date is directly across from the sweetest little chocolate shop. It is literally a dream, so quaint, charming and cute.

The table we had out first date is directly across from the sweetest little chocolate shop. It is literally a dream, so quaint, charming and cute.

I'll write a guide to Laguna Beach sometime -- this was just a quick trip! 

I love Lauren Conrad's Guide to Laguna Beach if you are traveling there and need some good pro tips -- who better than Lauren, right? (Total former "Laguna Beach" TV show watcher over here ;)