SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 - Houston TX to Orange County, CA
Our friend, J.W.B., who drives part time for TLC Transportation, picks us up at 6:30AM and delivers us to Bush Intercontinental in Houston a little before 8:00AM. We have our boarding passes for our Continental flight to John Wayne Orange County Airport and check in goes very smoothly. Even clearing security is easy. We wait in the Continental VIP lounge until a little before 9:00AM and then walk to gate E9. Our flight is already boarding so we get in line and take our Business Class seats 2A&B. The plane pushes back on time but we have a short delay in taking off and leave the ground 15 minutes late but arrive in California a few minutes early.
A very nice porter helps us with our five bags and waits while Dick checks in with Hertz. He upgrades us to a Cadillac Escalade with just under 12,000 miles on it. We get the car out of the right stall but it is the wrong car as to VIN number so we have to wait while that is cleared up. It does not take but a few minutes and then we are off.
We head direct to Newport Beach and the Pacific Coast Highway #1 takes us south along the coast through throngs of Saturday crowds. It is a good thing we are not in a hurry as we rarely get over 30 MPH. We need a hotel for tonight and decide to check out the town of Dana Point. Our first try is at Blue Lantern Inn but they are full. Our next choice is the local Double Tree Hotel and they have a beachfront room, well actually a mini-suite, for us. We check in, get settled and head out to pick up various sundries we had elected to buy here as opposed to put in our suitcases. We manage to use up an hour or so shopping for some snacks and toiletries
It is now after 4:00PM and we are famished. A very early, light breakfast at home, an early, light lunch on the plane and we have gained two hours. To us, it is 6:00PM! Carolyn noticed a restaurant next door to the Blue Lantern Inn, Cannon’s Restaurant, with nice views of the ocean. They open at 4:30PM and we are standing at the door
They have a gorgeous setting on a cliff overlooking Dana Harbor and the ocean plus a very popular "Happy Two Hours" starting at 4:30PM. We were the first dinner guests and they filled up fast. They offer us a table on the cliff hanging balcony, but it is a bit chilly! So we get a nice table by the windows. There is a wedding taking place out on the lower patio as we enjoy cocktails. During our seafood dinner and dance music from the wedding below us, the moon rises in the SOUTH! Well it seems like it should be the South. Doesn’t the California coast run North and South? If it does, then the moon out here rises in the South!
With a nice dinner under our belts, we drive down into the Dana Point Yacht Harbor and admire the boats and enjoy the fading light of day and the cool breeze off the sea. As darkness approaches, we head back to the hotel and are bathed and in bed by 8:30PM! Sleep soon follows.