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Lingering in Laguna Beach

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Lingering in Laguna Beach

Views from every patio. Happy hour on the deck is included with every stay.

Views from every patio. Happy hour on the deck is included with every stay.

In honor of National Dog Day, I'm sharing one of the pet-friendliest hotels around town - the Inn at Laguna Beach. Adjacent to the beach (also dog-friendly!), the Inn welcomes pets with open arms and was quintessential Laguna - sunny, warm, and friendly. 

Franklin exploring the balcony

Franklin exploring the balcony

Beach-inspired rooms with eco-friendly products and plush cotton robes.

Beach-inspired rooms with eco-friendly products and plush cotton robes.

A short drive from home in Santa Monica, it was the perfect low-key getaway for a birthday weekend. It's walking distance to the main shopping area and restaurants. The only time we got in our car was to drive a few miles down the street for dinner and drinks at the renowned Montage at Laguna Beach

Drinks on the patio with this magnificent view before dinner. Other guests on the patio. Grapefruit tequila cocktail and lemon martini.

Drinks on the patio with this magnificent view before dinner. Other guests on the patio. Grapefruit tequila cocktail and lemon martini.

After observing yet another magnificent southern California sunset, we headed to our dinner reservations at The Loft. I had heard amazing raves about the service at The Montage but experiencing in person made our birthday dinner experience all the more memorable. One last note - order the potato soup - you'll be dreaming about these spuds for days.  

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to infinity and beyond

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to infinity and beyond

One step onto the courtyard of the Salk Institute and it feels like you're on the brink of infinity. The zen-like water fountain that flows through the middle of the plaza seems to empty into the Pacific Ocean, a symbol by iconic architect Louis Kahn designed to foster research, fascination and meditation. 

A seamless part of the sea and the sky

A seamless part of the sea and the sky

Teak wood studies for the researchers; each space has an ocean view

Teak wood studies for the researchers; each space has an ocean view

Classically proportioned columns

Classically proportioned columns

A monumental work of art, no image does justice in conveying the sum of all of the parts of this space. Feeling the dynamic sense of light and shadow as the sun moves throughout the space, it is easy to see see how this place inspires the pursuit of a higher good through the melding of art and science.

Besides being an iconic building in the world of architecture, my favorite aspect of the Salk is the careful consideration given to it as a space for reflection and introspection. Most people don't mix the spiritual with science, but this space reveres both, acknowledging that going inward is another form of procuring knowledge and wisdom. 

An interesting tidbit from our guide - almost all of the scientists at the Salk pursue an art form in their "spare" time...

Perched on the edge

Perched on the edge

Reminded of our smallness in the vast universe

Reminded of our smallness in the vast universe

Although a visit to the Salk is free, taking the tour is highly recommended. There is one each weekday starting at 11:45am and reservations can be made online. Not only are you able to access certain areas not allowed to the general viewing public, interesting details about the materials, methods and approach to the building enhance the experience of the space and the complex thought that went into it. 

*Destination tip:  The researchers' cafeteria is open to the public as well, and eating on the terrace overlooking Torrey Pines is not a bad way to spend the afternoon. It might be wise to pack a picnic of your choice.  Afterwards, downtown La Jolla is a mere 6 miles away to explore, dine, shop, or stroll along the beach alongside the pelicans and sea lions.

 

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