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A Quick Trip Guide: Laguna Beach, California

We just got back and settled into our routine after a whirlwind of a trip to the west coast. Eddie was flying into Irvine for a work commitment and asked me to tag along to which I agreed. (side-note: I don't LOVE to travel. Maybe it's because I'm usually filled with anxiety about leaving our pup, flying, and just being out of routine. To learn more about my journey with anxiety check out THIS BLOG POST.)

After talking me into this trip, I started exploring places around our hotel that we could venture to during the day. Turns out, we were only about 20 minutes from somewhere I'd always wanted to see.....Laguna Beach. For those of you wondering, yes, I grew up watching MTV's Laguna Beach as a teenager. That is FOR SURE the real underlying reason behind my desire to travel there. 

We arrived in Irvine around 10am, checked into our hotel (we HIGHLY recommend the STAY by Marriott in Laguna Hills/Irvine. It's a great central location to many places!), and changed clothes before walking to grab some brunch down the street. 

We decided to eat at Snooty Fox (a 5 minute walk from our hotel) because it not only had great yelp reviews, but also served breakfast ALL DAY. I went with the Denver Omelet while Eddie had some sort of breakfast burrito concoction topped with chili. We both LOVED our choices. 

After that, we hopped in a quick (AND CHEAP!) 20 minute Uber to Laguna Beach. The ride was beautiful and well worth the $18 it cost us to get there. Seriously, that drive would've been $80 in Austin! 

We arrived in Laguna around noon which left us about 5 hours to tackle this tiny little beach town. Turns out, that was the perfect amount of time to wander the streets, get Eddie K a new haircut, ride the FREE trolley from downtown Laguna to Dana Point and back, eat the BEST gelato EVER, and have drinks at the perfect beachfront restaurant. 

If you're traveling to LB soon, here's a list of places you must go and things you must do:
- Gelato Paradiso: Stand in line, it moves fast, and it's worth it. I ordered the pistachio and Eddie K went with the strawberry cheesecake. We both agreed to order small cones and only eat a little bit of it so we could still enjoy a dinner on the beach later that afternoon. I must say, throwing away that last bit of it was more difficult than that time I decided to move from Tennessee to Texas. It's THAT GOOD y'all. 

- Laguna Beach Transit: This is a MUST if you wanna see the whole city in a short amount of time. Also, did I mention that it's FREE!? You just find your route, wait to be picked up, hop on and then hop off when you're ready. We went with the Long Route which took you from downtown Laguna Beach to Dana Point and back. The weather was perfect and we thoroughly enjoyed our time sightseeing. 

- The Grove Coffee Shop: I was DYING for a good iced latte and this place REALLY hit the spot. Mixed in with shops of all kind downtown, it's a bit off the main path but worth walking to. Window shopping with an iced caramel latte was good for the soul. 

- Main Beach Park: This is where we started our journey on the beach. We walked for about 15 minutes and just enjoyed the rather chilly water, the views, and our time together. It was a great way to decompress. I'm not sure how enjoyable it would be to swim in, but lots of people were! Brr!

- The Deck on Laguna Beach: This is BY FAR the highlight of our time in LB for me. After our walk on the beach, we hopped up the stairs and were right there! This came highly recommended from my friend Jodie (check out her blog HERE) and I must say, it was everything I wanted it to be. We enjoyed two rounds of drinks and shared the shrimp cocktail appetizer because we were still stuffed with gelato. So yummy....and those views. I miss it already.

After our day in Laguna, we headed back to our hotel and made our way to the Jason Aldean show at FivePoint Amphitheater. If you ever get a chance to see a show there, GO. Awesome venue and you can't beat the weather in late September for an outdoors show. 

Here's a few more of our favorite shots from the trip: