La Paz

On Sunday morning my family got on the road early.  The return drive to the Bay Area would take all day.  We said our goodbyes and spent some time waiting for Jenny’s parents to arrive at the Beach house.  Jenny’s Dad was an Episcopal priest and Rector of St. Mark’s Church in Glendale (where we were married).  Occasionally her family would go to Laguna after the final service on Sunday.

We decided to take a walk down to the Gazebo overlook where we had kissed on that first night.  The world famous Victor Hugo Inn fronted the gardens along Heisler Park where guests waited for their reservations (the restaurant is now Las Brisas).  From the overlook was an iconic view of the main beach, lifeguard station, Laguna Hotel and Catalina visible on the horizon.  It remains as “our special place.”

Later in the afternoon Jenny’s parents arrived and invited us to dinner at La Paz (a small local restaurant on the edge of town).  La Paz specialized in authentic Mexican food.  Their signature items were the bleu cheese salad dressing and salsa (the recipes were a well-kept secret).  We usually ordered the Sanborn De Luxe, a pork stuffed cheese enchilada topped with a green chile sauce and garnished with sour cream.  It came with a rolled chicken taco and guacamole on top.  The dinner included Tostaditas, Salsa, Tossed Green Salad, Fried Beans and Rice.

There were only two waiters, and we always requested Louis.  He knew us by name and what we would order.  It was an intimate restaurant, although casual, and we would often recognize other guests as regulars.  We had dinner there on our honeymoon, and Louis was excited to hear of our marriage.

After dinner we returned to our apartment in Tustin .  We made plans for the remaining days until the December 20th report date to Staging Battalion at Camp Pendleton.

Next edition:  Dr. Zhivago

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