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Beachy Vibes: San Clemente, California

Greetings! It has been a while since my last post. Much has happened between then and now, including my parents-in-law celebrating retirement and moving to their ‘new’ home in San Clemente.

It is a place our family frequented in past years, as the house belonged to the husband’s grandmother. Nevertheless, the change is bittersweet. Our family has been fortunate to live in close proximity, within only a few miles of both sets of parents/grandparents. The sad feeling is compounded by the fact that my mother-in-law was a fixture in our community with her constant involvement in our church and schools, even long after her boys graduated and even as her grandchildren continued on in the same school district. It is no wonder that she is so well-loved; she’s really just a kind person. She will be sorely missed by many in our community. On the flip side, visits to Grammy’s house aren’t so much over the river and through the woods.  It’s more like down the Golden State Freeway to South Orange County and to the beach. I guess I can live with that…

San Clemente is known best for its surfing, which is all year long.  Many go to catch waves at T-street, the Pier and more. This is all within a mile of Grammy’s house. There is a cute downtown area characterized, as is much of the town, by Mediterranean-style architecture, white stucco, and red tile roofs. There are also some great places to eat (though sadly my favorite Beach Garden cafe closed a couple years ago).

After hearing much about Antoines, which boasts the ‘best coffee, best bagels, and best breakfast’ for the past eight years, we decided to try Saturday brunch there this past weekend. The girls and I took Grammy while on a break from decorating their ‘new’ digs. We figured there would be a wait as Antoines is popular with both locals and tourists, but it wasn’t too bad (about 20 minutes), probably because it was 10:30, more brunch than breakfast time. The menu offered some tempting bagel selections, such as the avocado bagel, but no bagel orders came from our table on this trip. I went with the California Benedict, poached eggs, tomato, avocado, bacon and Hollandaise sauce on a toasted English muffin. I had the bacon on the side so that Sami could take it. I tend to prefer my Hollandaise to have a bit more citrus, but it was a decent California Benedict. My hash browns were a bit burned, but Sami loved the dark hot chocolate with its mountain of whipped cream. The prices were what one would expect being in a beach town, about $15 per person. I would go back to try one of their bagels, but it probably is not a place I would frequent.

We will certainly have more San Clemente adventures which will be shared here in future posts. There are a few coffee shops and restaurants I would like to try on our subsequent trips. Life won’t be the same not having the grandparents around all the time, but one really can’t blame them for retiring to their beachside locale. After all the view is stunning.

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