The weekend before this past one, my friend Jon came to visit, and we had adventures.





dana point


The thing you should know about Jon is that everyone loves him. No, really. Everyone. It's hard not to. He's genuine, intelligent, insightful, and extremely funny. All of these characteristics made it easy for us to flock together for a weekend of fun.





dana point


We had an itinerary...





itinerary


...and while I'd say we followed it fairly closely, we let the days ebb and flow as needed.

We took Jon to all of the usual spots, like the overlooks along Mulholland Drive...





universal city overlook

hollywood sign bowl overlook

hollywood bowl overlook


...but we also mixed it up a bit, doing activities that we don't usually take the time to do, like setting up a beach bonfire or taking a day trip down to Orange County.

The bonfire started out as a bit of a failure, because we got there after all of the high school kids had staked claim to every single pit on the beach, but the weather was balmy enough to allow some lounging in the dark near the waves, with mini bottles of wine and birthday cake frosting-ed Oreos.





dockweiler beach bonfire

dockweiler beach

dockweiler beach

dockweiler beach

dockweiler beach


We marveled at the swollen, just-past-full moon rising over the hill, and admired the planes taking off over our heads from the LAX runway directly across the highway behind us.





dockweiler beach bonfire

dockweiler beach bonfire
dockweiler beach bonfire
See the little white dots of the lights on the wings of the plane? Bleep. Bleep. Bleep.



We ended up waiting around long enough for a group at a pit near us to ditch out on their fire early. The beach closed at ten, and it was nine thirty; just enough time to get the flames going and soak some warmth into our feet.





dockweiler beach bonfire

dockweiler beach bonfire

dockweiler beach bonfire

dockweiler beach bonfire

dockweiler beach bonfire

dockweiler beach bonfire


The next day we headed to Santa Monica and Venice Beach and strolled in the sunshine among the tourists and marijuana "clinics".





santa monica pier

santa monica pier

santa monica pier

santa monica pier

santa monica pier

santa monica pier

santa monica pier

santa monica pier

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach


We led Jon down to the beach as the sun sank low on the horizon, hoping to show him a hearty, colorful SoCal sunset. It didn't end up being as epic as we had hoped, but it's all relative; if I had been visiting, I think I would've actually been pretty impressed.





venice beachvenice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beachvenice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach

venice beach


The grand finale of the weekend was a day trip down to Dana Point, which is located in southern Orange County, just down the coast from Laguna Beach. The day we went was the last day of the Festival of Whales, and we wanted to check out the festivities and hopefully see some whales while we were at it (the latter was a no-go...next year we'll try actually paying money to go out onto the deep water in a boat).

The festival was pretty standard: a beer garden, live music on a floating stage, and the smell of sunscreen and food wafting through the air. It was fun, but the food was mostly meat, and half of our group leans vegetarian, so we opted to head to the other end of the marina to eat at a restaurant recommended by a friend, followed by kicking off our shoes for a little beach exploration.




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(Off-handed throwing contest):




dana point

dana point

dana point


It was one of those days. We played, conversed, and relaxed. We knew we had to get Jon back to Los Angeles to catch his flight, but we didn't feel rushed. I experienced existation that day, and it was delicious.



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dana point

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We ended the day with an attempt at seeing some whales from a cliff (as I mentioned before: fruitless) and an ice-cream-and-sunset stop in Laguna Beach.



dana point

dana point

dana point

laguna beach

laguna beach

laguna beach

laguna beach

laguna beach

laguna beach

laguna beach

laguna beach

laguna beach

laguna beach

laguna beach


The sunset again failed to be epic, but I savored it nonetheless. As the sun dipped low and the clouds took over the horizon, a chilly breeze swept over us, and words ceased to flow. I don't know what anyone else was thinking, but in that moment of silence as we all gazed out at the ocean, I contemplated the meaning of friendship and the understanding that nothing needed to be said. I felt incredibly present, sitting there amidst the tide pools and rocks with people that I love.

It was a beautiful weekend. As my friend Eliza said to Jon after he left, we missed him the second he walked through the airport doors, but the memories and stories and photos (oh my eff, so many photos) will hopefully be enough to tide us over until his next visit (or until we convince him to move here, *cough cough, nudge nudge*, Jon).

I hope your week is going splendiferically! I'm SO glad I finally got these photos up. Now on to the millions of San Francisco pictures I took this past weekend! It never ends...=]

Happy day!



dana point