Best Orange County beach towns

Over the past few months, I’ve been getting to know the best Orange County beach towns to live in and to visit. My boyfriend, Dave, got a killer job opportunity in Southern California, and as a result decided to relocate to the Los Angeles/Orange County area. May and June so far have been whirlwind months trying to get him moved out there from Denver and settled, and then also starting the long-distance relationship thing since I’m still based in Denver. At first I was not so happy about him being in Southern California, since that’s where I grew up (Thousand Oaks to be precise, which is in Ventura County). I had a lot of negative bias from my childhood about everything from Ventura to San Diego. I moved to the East Coast when I was 17 and never looked backed (and never wanted to go back, other than the obligatory holidays and family functions). That all changed on our apartment hunting trip in early May, where we tried to find the best Orange County beach towns for Dave (and me part-time) to live in. Prior to the trip, we had had several informational calls with friends of mine who had previously….

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Leaving San Francisco – Day 3

We had a great second day, and were sad to be leaving San Francisco after our all-too-short weekend jaunt  in this fabulous city. We started the morning around 10AM, packing, and discussing how anyone can afford to live in this city. We had had a long conversation with our Lyft driver the previous night, where he told us that anyone new to the city had to “know someone” in order to find affordable, rent controlled apartments. They existed, but people didn’t let them go and preferred to sub-let (which is not technically legal), but created a secondary market around “knowing the right people”. We also discussed the possibility of creating a business that targeted affording housing solutions for upper middle class (folks making more than $150K), who actually are some of the most hard-pressed people in SFO because they don’t qualify for subsidized housing or for rent-controlled apartments. Final Meal Before Leaving San Francisco We checked out of The Triton and left our stuff behind the desk and set out for a walk, which turned in to finding the dim sum place Dave had eaten at one of the last times he was in SFO. Of course we had to try….

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Exploring San Francisco – Day 2

We spent our first day exploring San Francisco around the China Town area, and already had some great experiences at the waterfront and walking around. Dave got an early start on our second day and went down to Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf area to fly his drone, while I slept a little longer. I met him around 10AM, after a brisk walk through China Town and Little Italy, at the entrance to the tourist trap at Pier 39. We spent some time walking around the marina and enjoying the boats, further exploring San Francisco. Exploring San Francisco’s Waterfront We also got some great shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz from afar, and also of the sea lions. Here’s Dave’s shot of Alcatraz from his drone (DJI Phantom 5). We observed the seal lions for about an hour and were so surprised that they acted just like dogs (really big dogs). Same mannerisms. This guy reminded us of Homer Simpson. He just needed beer. All this photography and observation had worked up an appetite in us, so we decided to head to Boudin’s for a sourdough bread-bowl with clam chowder – this is one of my favorite things to do each….

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Great drives from Carbondale, CO

After two great days driving around Western Colorado, we wanted to make the most of our final day and get in some more great drives from Carbondale. After considering staying one more night, and asking about the rates at the front desk – we decided that the rate hike, in addition to our room not being made up the previous day (apparently the cleaning staff hadn’t shown up), did not warrant staying another night. So, as I checked out of the Redstone Inn (which we summed up as an above average but not exceptional stay), Dave got in a drone flight over the Redstone river. We waved goodbye to the inn as the flags waved goodbye back to us. We knew that we first needed breakfast, and all the locals said that the best place in the Redstone/Carbondale area was the Village Smithy. We made it so. Breakfast was delicious – the real deal. I had the breakfast sandwich with a side of blueberry corn cakes (think cornbread with blueberries!), while Dave had eggs benedict. We even had the choice of maple syrup from Vermont and organic eggs. This place was awesome, and we highly recommend. Not only was the food great, but so….

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