Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Remember how my friend Heb moved to L.A? Well, that wasn't entirely true. We pretended that's what was happening for a little while but Truth stared us squarely in eyes once it came time for me to buy my first plane ticket to visit her and James in their new home. There was no denying the reality that LAX would not be my travel destination. Nope, I'd be landing at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

We both find it endlessly humorous that Heb now lives in The O.C. While I was visiting, comments such as "Hey, what do you want to do tomorrow? We could always check out any one of the THREE Targets within walking distance from my house," sent us into fits of giggles despite their disturbing accuracy.

While it's true that one can be overwhelmed by the endless collections of strip malls and the sheer number of criss-crossing six-lane highways, The O.C. is by no means devoid of endearing gems.

Exhibit A: This charming beach restaurant we went to for a Saturday brunch. To get there, we took a walk along a small village of bungalows just feet away from the water, arriving at the sandy hostess podium slightly winded, with our jeans rolled up ever-so-casually. "Table for two, please." "Oh, sure, we'd love an ocean view. Thank you..."

This quirky little establishment seemed to be stuck in the 1940s with music and mood to further set the scene…and there wasn't a Target in sight. One of many exciting things about this place was that every chair had a blanket folded over its back--in any one of several colors, depending on where the hostess decided to seat you. So if a crisp breeze were to come in off the ocean while you were enjoying your breakfast, not to worry. Rather than endure a chill, simply wrap yourself in a a red, blue, green or perhaps an orange blanket, take a sip of mimosa, breathe in the fresh, salty air and continue onward and upward with your organic omelet. Cheers!

Exhibit B: The Rose Bowl Swap Meet. First of all, do you know the term "swap meet" (not to be confused with swap meat)? I didn't....until I went to The O.C. Apparently, it's another way to say flea market, California style. Vocabulary aside, it was the best shopping experience I've had in a very long time.

Between the two of us, we walked away with a pair of hand-sewn pillow cases, a delicate little necklace, a hand-made glass chandelier, a stylie sundress with subtle Asian flair, a set of sage green plates proudly displaying a "Made in California" imprint on the back, two soy candles smelling of rose and eggnog respectively and a pair of big, gold earrings in the shape of leaves that look way cooler than they sound...especially when Heb wears them.

Exhibit C: The sky is sunny and blue with puffy little white clouds! Rumor has it the reason for this is that the Santa Anna mountain range blocks the L.A. smog. This keeps the skies of The O.C. clear and bright creating the perfect conditions for Heb to take note of plastic surgery recipients while cruising the strip malls.

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