Sunday, October 20, 2013

San Clemente: Keeping It Camino Real

"They're still surfing out at the Trestles, but that blood it never burned in her veins.
Now I hear she's got a house up in Talega, in a style she's trying to maintain" *Bruce.

San Clemente is like one big Springsteen, Eagles and Beach Boys song rolled into one. This very cool, laid back 60's-70's beach town that definitely has a Surfing Safari, Peaceful Easy Feeling vibe with a bit of Rosalita thrown in the mix. A vibe where the bars and even restaurants use live music to make it feel energized. Of course, being able to stagger home and not drive after a Pub Crawl helps keep you alive as well. ( for more info on the Bar/Restaurants check out our future Swine and Dine section)

The Pacific Ocean is the life of this town. The ocean consumes you, cleanses you, punishes you and can break you, but it also gives us life, renews our spirit  and creates a community, and it's grip on the community is ever present. It is the great equalizer, as no matter what socio-economic place you have come from, whether it be the CEO Baby Boomer catching a few waves in the AM, a regular surfer dude or dudette, students in surfing class or surfing after class, Marines from Camp Pendleton on R&R, or 50 other varieties of human beings, we become the same with a board between our legs. And its not just surfers embracing nature, with year round concerts and festivals held on the Pier and beach, it is a community that celebrates as if in Mass, the powerful ocean, the warmth of a sandy beach and the awe-inspiring, majestic sunsets over the Pacific. 

There are issues, Environmentalist vs Toll Road people, growth vs "Keep it a Village" groups, (I am whole-heartily for the Village side, retain it's unique quality not found elsewhere in the OC, or maybe  So Cal) and newbies wanting mansions that block views of long time residents, (ugh),

Wow Richard - deep.   It seems the biggest issue with the locals I have talked to is which Mexican Restaurant serves the best breakfast burrito, is it La Tendita or Pedro's?  I know you love carnitas, so wax poetic on that.

Si, mi espousa..... We enjoyed our 3 months here - morning walks with coffee to the end of the Pier, great beach walks, and good people. If you want pretentious, try Newport Beach, if you want to keep it real, San Clemente is the place. 

.... I actually could have stayed longer - it's a little paradise in the big OC, but we have our visas and tickets, so the adventure begins!

Before we take off here are a few of our favorite pictures:

A special shout-out to our Lighthouse Rental Cottage owners -Maureen and Allen, as warm, inviting and comfortable a couple as you will meet - San Clemente personified. They can be reached at if you decide you want a short visit here.

Beautiful Sunsets are the norm here-  you almost take them for granted

Rich (at his thinnest) and great nephew Brett posing

We have seen a lot of drunk idiots jumping from the end of the pier - The pigeons of San Clemente know how to behave

Lots of great restaurants in San Clemente - a few of our favorite hangouts you can't miss if you are there.  Iva Lees, Beach Fire Grill where Renata and her buddies did not miss a happy hour, The Cellar - thumbs up for the best cookie and of course the wine!! Nick's and the seasonal squash from The Brick.

Adios!  We will be back........


Bon jour, Gruss Gott, Allo, Hola, Aloha..

It was a year ago when we returned from a trip to Europe that the "itch" to travel longer than our 2 week vacations began - so we set a goal to start a 3+ year adventure around the globe!  We realized it would take a great deal of effort and planning  to become Nomads, since we had responsibilities such as jobs, a house full of possessions,  a couple cars, and a daughter (who will have to figure things out too).....A plan of action was needed.  Thus, the 9 Steps to Becoming a Nomad was formulated. The last 4 months I have started to post them on Facebook and gave a thumbnail version of each step. You can look in Archives (when I get to it) for the steps in their entirety and if anyone else follows them, good luck and we hope to meet you down the road.

Step 1. Sell the house and most of the stuff in it. Estate Sale, Garage Sale, Rummage Sale, Friends.
Step 2. Buy One-Way tickets to Paris
Step 3. Lose 30 lbs of Excess Baggage, the luggage is heavy enough.
Step 4. Get your Docs in Order, Visas, Passports, Frequent miles points, Int. Drivers Lic.
Step 5. Rent a Furnished Funky Beach Rental when your stuff sells too fast.
Step 6. Quit your Job !! Yay!! No more In-Car-ceration Auto-Biography.
Step 7. Reserve your first 4 Months of Europe in Chateaus, B&B's and condos.
Step 8. Say good by to Family and Friends you may not see for years to come.
Step 9. Get on a Plane and Start a Blog, "Richer for Wandering"