A day at the cove
Imagine a place that transports you not just physically, but to a completely different era and state of mind. That place for me exists just a few miles down Pacific Coast Highway. Crystal Cove has been the site of so many significant moments of the last five years of my life. Johnny and I took anniversary photos there, brought his mom to our favorite cottage as she neared the end of her battle with cancer, and brought my own mom there this past summer for a reunion with the friends she had made at our wedding. Most recently, we redid our guest room with Crystal Cove as our inspiration, and it has quickly become our favorite part of the Farmhouse.
When asked to plan a teambuilding outing for my department at work, it only made sense that I bring my coworkers to the one place powerful enough to alter my mindset and realign my priorities. That was exactly what took place when, in the middle of a crazy Wednesday, this group of 13 ladies and 1 very lucky gentleman tore themselves away from various crises at the office and allowed themselves to be swept away by the magical nature of the Cove.
The outing began with a relaxing yoga class on the sand, on a quiet little inlet just steps away from the waves. The darling yoga instructor even brought me these eggs from her very own chickens! The group then moved to the Beachcomber Cafe, located on the sand in what has to be among the very best real estate for a restaurant in Orange County.
The next part of the day was my absolute favorite, and the part I was most eager for the group to experience. To reserve one of the historic cottages at Crystal Cove, one has to be either incredibly quick on the draw - rentals open up on the first of every month at 8:00 AM for the sixth month in advance, and are almost entirely booked for that entire sixth month within seconds - or be in the right place at the right time to pick up a last-minute cancellation. Without the benefit of six months of lead time to plan this day, I monitored the booking site daily for three weeks before capturing an opening.
And not just any opening - it was for Cottage #33, The Romantic Retreat, the very site of so many meaningful Crystal Cove memories Johnny and I had made over the years. My coworkers headed up the path from the restaurant and entered the cottage, each one of them in awe of its uniqueness and charm.
Serenaded by Frank Sinatra tunes, the group soaked in the golden light of the setting sun, took photos of one another, and sat around and reminisced about our first memories of working with each other. As the day came to an end, one by one, they slowly pulled themselves away and headed back to the reality of the office. But I truly believe that they were all just as intoxicated with the spell of Crystal Cove as I have been in the five years since I discovered it. I am so grateful I had the chance to share it - it truly is so much more than just a collection of cottages on a beach. Crystal Cove represents another place and time, where the frantic pace of life is quieted by the crashing waves and a moment of reflection on the community of people that once called the Cove their home.