Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Relaxing in San Clemente

San Clemente is a smallish, upscale, retirement beach town at the very Southern end of the madness that is Los Angeles and Orange County. The beaches are long sandy stretches backed by high bluffs which are topped by million dollar (or more) homes. The area is easy on the eyes and has a pleasant laid back feel (unless you are trying to shop at the Trader Joes shopping center - what a zoo!).

Rosie does lazy very well.
AND, we are finally finished with the 3 weeks of twice daily antibiotics - YAY!

We're spending a lazy week at San Clemente State Beach. This state park has about 50 full hook up sites all lined up in rows and about 75 no hook up sites scattered haphazardly around a bluff. Some of the no hook up sites have amazing ocean views...but are not big enough for the likes of us. The full hookups are $47/night, a bargain for SoCal beaches.

Aloe arborescens in fine form at San Clemente State Beach.

There's been lots of walking along the beach...

Pelican feeding frenzy in the late afternoon.

Sunsets from the bluff or the beach each evening...

We've had the pleasure of meeting our neighbors and fellow full timers Lynda and Ken over happy hour in their lovely Phaeton. They happened to start full timing the same day we did in 2012!

There's a path at the base of the cliffs heading North for several miles from our campground. The San Clemente pier and access to downtown lies along this walkway about a mile up the beach. Casa Romantica, the former home of Ole Hanson, co-founder of San Clemente, sits on the bluff above the pier and made a nice afternoon destination for us one day.

Casa Romatica, as seen from the pier, is now dwarfed by condo buildings on either side.

Ole Hanson wanted to create a "Spanish village by the sea" and in 1925 San Clemente was born as one of California's first master planned communities. All of the homes had to be built in the Spanish Revival style and Casa Romantica has been preserved as a cultural center and museum. We enjoyed the graceful architecture, beautiful settings and learned some history of area beach cities, nearby Camp Pendleton and surfing.

Keyhole entry to Casa Romantica.

The Ocean Porch opens onto spectacular views over the Pacific.

Inside, the main salons are rich in Spanish-style details.

Hanging out in the garden enjoying the view.

And what a view it is!

Beehive fireplace and gorgeous tile floors in this pleasant outdoor patio.

After the Casa we walked a few blocks to the library and hung out for a bit then headed back to the beach for a sunset walk home...

A minus tide makes for perfect beach walking.

Back at the campground just in time.


  1. I think we could live very comfortably in Casa Romantica!

    1. :-) Having lived in SoCal all my life I love Spanish architecture, though the Casa would feel a bit too big after living in the RV! A little Spanish bungalow with a view of the ocean would be awesome!

  2. Can we park our RV's on the lawn there?
    Very nice...almost back to your neck of the woods after a long loop. I bet it feels good. Rest up and get ready for round two :))
    Box Canyon Mark

    1. :-) Truth be told, I'd love to be in the red rock country like you guys!

  3. Looks like a great area and Ole Hanson built himself a beautiful place. I love to watch pelicans feed - they go into the water so ungracefully, like they have been shot out of the sky.

  4. You truly are in relax mode! Must be Rosie's behavior is wearing off on you two. I don't think I can remember the last time you didn't have a hike or two in the blog. I guess it is good to relax and enjoy the surf with the beautiful views. At least that is what I was trying to tell myself for the last two weeks and the months to come. I'm with you, Lisa, I'd rather be in red rock country:)

    Have a fun week at the beach:)

  5. The Casa is just gorgeous. That's a beautiful part of California. I love your seabird flying towards the setting sun.