JACKIE: We want to talk about a miraculously peaceful escape from a hectic time full of Emmy events, unexpected household repairs, taxes (!), heat and just wall-to-wall tumult in general…but David was having a birthday and deserved to have four new women in his life!
DAVID: True, it was my birthday (September 12). And there truly are four sisters who made my and Jackie’s celebration one of our best. We drove down to Dana Point to spend the occasion at the Blue Lantern Inn, one of a charming group of small boutique bed and breakfasts called Four Sisters.
JACKIE: There are a lot of Lantern Streets in the Lantern district, very unique to Dana Point. Historically, the streetlights on each street were a specific color so there is a Gold Lantern Street, Green Lantern Street, etc.
Blue Lantern Street is the best as it ends in a cul-de-sac where our comfy, Cape Cod-style Inn sits, steps below Pacific Coast Highway midway between Laguna Beach and San Clemente, both favorite destinations. And the view is breathtaking, straight down the bluff to the Dana Point Yacht Harbor with dozens of sleek boats docked and more sailing spiffily around the bay. A perfect place to breathe.
DAVID: Inside, the 28-year old Blue Lantern Inn could not be more up to date, lovely, more welcoming. Casual elegance at its best with just 29 accommodations on two floors. Ours, 104, was just off the lobby, so spotless it seemed newly painted and carpeted, with a big bed, comfortable chairs, a desk with USB hub – Wi-Fi is free — lots of storage, flat screen TV with over 100 channels including HBO and Showtime. Even a small fridge, perfect for leftovers, with soft drinks and water. And a Keurig coffee maker with complimentary tea and coffee.
JACKIE: Comfort choices…air conditioning or a big corner fireplace with gas fire switch-controlled and realistic logs that add to the cozy, romantic atmosphere. And a shuttered door leads to our cliffside private patio and a very large community area all with a stunning view of the port and sea beyond. When it’s time to tidy there is a large bathroom with a separate toilet, walk-in shower for David and a Jacuzzi bathtub for me. Double sink for us with marble surround and toiletries by wonderful Gilchrist & Soames. In short, every and anything needed for luxurious living.
DAVID: Back in the lobby area there is a large fireplace and relaxed seating. And tucked inside and out, there is a café-like setting where a lavish breakfast is served daily and wine, cheese and snacks each afternoon. Also, fresh baked cookies daily. All included in the very reasonable price of the room. Just beyond the front desk (home of extremely pleasant and knowledgeable General Manager Lin McMahon — a 23-year veteran of the company — and her staff) you’ll find a huge room with a giant TV and shelves stocked with endless variety of books and games along with comfortable seating (also a fridge filled with soft drinks, water and ice—yours for the taking.)
JACKIE: All this along with friendly, well-satisfied guests. The setting was conducive to chatting and meeting new friends, one of my favorite opportunities of travel. In short drives, we visited our regular hangouts; the local libraries in these charming beach cities have great fundraising sales, with major bargains for the shoppers. And the most tempting antique spot full of stuff we have no room for. And yet…
DAVID: Our marvelous new discovery is one of 16 properties stretching from Hawaii to Mexico and including Carmel, Napa to Sonoma. Plus Santa Monica and other desirable destinations that make up the Four Sisters. The group was started by real teenagers; four sisters living in Monterey Bay who convinced their parents to let them rent out their own bedrooms as a B&B. The idea soared, allowing the girls to buy their very own inn that still exists and became the cornerstone of the delightful group of places that are now part of our own bucket list. Google the group and we are certain you’ll agree with our enthusiastic recommendation.
JACKIE: Meanwhile, a great big thank you to Sharon Rooney for making David’s birthday a Four Sisters special event.
And, we’ll travel… back again as soon as life allows.
Actress Jackie Joseph-Lawrence and her husband David Lawrence write regularly about travel for The Tolucan Times.