JACKIE: We want to Talk about what it’s like to devote a getaway with our dog. Let us introduce you to Casa Tropicana.
DAVID: The entire Lawrence family piled into my trusty Jaguar and drove south on the 5 directly to the charming village by the sea not much more than an hour from home. It was a day of wonder, President Obama’s Inauguration, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, and a first for our family dog Skye who had never been on such a long (well-loved) drive. Our destination was the fairy tale castle Casa Tropicana perched above the sea, and separated from the beach and the famed pier only by the Amtrak train tracks.
Marvelous manager Marjory Woodbridge led the family up the stairs to Casa Del Rey, the penthouse, our private eyrie and home for two wonderful days. The stairs were a first for Skye but in a few minutes he had it down pat. At the top we stepped onto the humongous private terrace complete with bubbling hot tub staring at the sea.
JACKIE: From dawn to dark, watching the surfers was mesmerizing. Being across from the wonderful pier made for great people watching. We made a little movie about our Casa that I wish we could show you, so close your eyes and picture this … a Spanish flavored outdoor area, furnished with tables and chairs, tropical plants, lounges draped with serapes and lovely pillows, a sauna and kitchen corner well supplied with treats. A microwave (with packets of popcorn), a sink, coffee maker (with tea, regular and decaf coffee), and a fridge filled with soft drinks, juices, and water, a basket full of cookies, fruit, candy bars. Beyond the food and hot tub, is the daunting four-poster in a sitting room/bedroom/TV room that is wall-to-wall carpeted and decorated with starfish and shells, a daybed, and a rocking chair. Then up a step, past the double glass fireplace that faces both rooms, is a bathtub the size of the Coliseum, with an arcing window that allows the bather to enjoy the view. The double sinks and the zillion drawers for storing our stuff is perfectly lit and too beautiful to just brush one’s teeth. The shower is a double, in case everyone wants to play in the shower (Skye declined). Our movie starts and ends with Skye rolling around on the comfy carpet in doggie delight.
DAVID: The hospitality could spoil us. All this and a choice breakfast delivered, along with the local paper. What a perfect apartment for a honeymoon or an anniversary or any romantic stay.
Casa Tropicana is pet friendly providing guests never leave their pets alone in the room. Fine with us, this was Skye’s time. We happily took Skye back down to the street level where we found several pet friendly restaurants right next door to Casa Tropicana!
JACKIE: San Clemente has a beautiful beach, and where the sand meets the sidewalk, is a destination beach walk. We were situated mid way of the 5 mile, well groomed walk. They even supplied doggie bags for keeping the walk tidy. We just crossed the tracks and joined the walkers, and bikes enjoying the sea front. Skye and I walked and walked and walked until he stopped and gave me a quizzical look that said, “Enough already?” The next morning we walked the other direction until I got that look….
DAVID: Our first night offered a sky filled with tiny stars and the surf pounding just beyond our relaxing hot tub.
Skye led me on his final evening walk and we settled in. The occasional horn of the Amtrak train blended with the sound of the waves and did nothing to disturb our dreams.
Next day we explored the long main street of San Clemente with its unique shops, wonderful library (where we bought an armful of books), and wide variety of cafes and restaurants (many that leave water and treats for dog window shoppers).
JACKIE: A new garden/antique store, next to the library, displayed an amusing piece of metal art (a little girl holding a stand for plants). Guess where it ended up? David insisted I go to Baskin Robbins. Always a dangerous move, I say no three times, but he is persistent … and I am insatiable. So, good but not so good.
DAVID: Our last evening and another time of hot tub, my nightly Absolut, and final walk. The stars twinkled; the tide swept in and out again, as we swept in and out of our truly lovely San Clemente adventure.