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Weekend in Orange County

Weekend in Orange County
at Montage Laguna Beach
August 2014 

Mrs. SFO has been grounded in low humidity Denver since her May back surgery and has wanted to go to the ocean.  So this weekend, we are off to Southern California for some R&R and to visit our SoCal travel buddies, who we are going to Israel with at Christmas.  Many things go to the airport in Denver, apparently. 

Progress on the new Westin...

Mrs. SFO was not amused when I answered "who are we flying today?"   IMO, Frontier is the best of a bad lot and is preferrable to United or Southwest.  While UA does have a First Class cabin on some of their DEN-SNA flights, it's not worth $1,400+ roundtrip for two pax.  Frontier's stretch seating has more legroom and only cost $564 roundtrip for two pax.  Frontier offers a la carte pricing so our $282 per person roundtrip included a base RT fare of $202 plus $25 each way for Stretch seating and another $15 each way for a (non-personal item) carry-on. 

Denver-Orange County
Frontier 271
A319
2:05P-3:15P (sked)
1:55P-2:55P (actual)
August 15, 2014
Stretch Seating Econony
Seats 3C and 4D
 

The Mrs. back in 4D...

The Frontier vending machine.  Tempting, but not today.

Water is free, with or without ice.

 All-in-all, a reasonably adequate was to fly for two hours, considering the garbage alternatives.  Anything more than two hours, probably not.

After a quick stop at South Coast Plaza for a forgetten Apple AC adapter, we headed down CA-73 and arrived in Laguna Beach 25 minutes later.
 
 
And the gorgeous Montage Resort.

Our Ocean Surf King room.

We checked in head down for an early dinner at The Loft.

Sunset from our room.

The next morning, both the WSJ and LA Times delivered to our room.

Time to check out the beach.

Reserving out pool chairs.

And back to the room for breakfast.

And a vulture seagull hoping that we would go inside and leave the table for him to raid.

The obligatory airplane pic.

More beach time... 

As Mrs. SFO and one of our friends set up on the beach.

Baby shower, SoCal style.

Lunch at the Mosiac Grill.

And back to the pool after lunch.

The looby lounge for cocktails.

And down to the ocean side Studio for dinner, with an Indian wedding next door... not nearly as elaborate as the ones we saw in Delhi and Jaipur.

And beautiful outdoor dining at the Studio.

After breakfast we left Montage to meet our friends on their boat in Newport Beach.

Montage entrance.

North on the PCH.

Mrs. SFO and friends.

Awe...

Heading out of the harbor.

Sunning themselves on a buoy.

Down to Dana Point.

Back in the harbor between Balboa Island and Peninsula.

And the mandatory airplane pic, taking off from SNA.

Apparently John Wayne's old yacht, now a tourist boat.

After our cruise, we had lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Great location, fun atmosphere, meh food.

Monday morning and most of the weekend crowd had checked out.  We had a great breakfast at The Loft.

Mrs. SFO had a healthy breakfast.

Me? Not so much.  The Rotiserrie Chicken Chilaquiles was amazing!

We checked out and headed south down PCH to explore Dana Point and San Clemente, before heading back north to Newport Beach and lunch at Rick Bayless' amazing Mexican restaurant Red O, adjacent to Fashion Island.

 

After lunch, we headed up McArthur Blvd. for the short drive to SNA, a very convenient airport if your are departing on AA or UA and your gates are in the single digits.  Unfortunately, Frontier operates from Gate 21, the last gate in the airport, seemingly located in LA County.   The Admirals Club is near Gate 8.

Meh, one of the weaker clubs in the system.  But better than nothing.

Looking back to Gates 1-8

And the long walk to Gate 21.

OMG, how much longer?

Orange County-Denver
Frontier 264
3:50P-7:05P
August 18, 2014
Econony Stretch Seating
Seats 3CD

Unfortunately a completely full flight as we both got middle seat mates.  Mrs. SFO lucked our with a reasonably sized person while I got Billy Bob in a Razorback cap.  Yo, F9, how about selling a blocked middle seat like Vueling?

An on time arrival back in Denver and we were home by 8PM.