After several very hot days in the desert, we decided to head to the beach. We left early one morning, before the heat could set in, and headed towards San Clemente Beach. San Clemente is a small town with beautiful beaches located in Orange County, about half way between Los Angeles and San Diego. Once we arrived, we rented a motel with a small kitchenette.
After getting settled, it was off to the beach. Bob had brought an airplane inner tube for us to use as a floater. It was huge but worked great. We took turns with the inner tube and it made for great surfing. We would swim out with the inner tube and then my brother Lee and I would get inside of the ring of the inner tube and ride the waves back to shore. We were having a great time. When we didn't have the inner tube, we body surfed.
While we were in San Clemente, we went to the beach every day. We also spent one day at the Mission of San Juan Capistrano. The Mission of San Juan Capistrano is known as the Jewel of the California Missions. It was founded on November 1, 1776, by Father Junipero Serra and is one of twenty one California Missions and is most famous for the swallows that return each year on March 19th. But it was not swallows, but pigeons that greeted me when we were there. The birds were all over me, landing on my arms, shoulders, hands and head. I would have two or three birds on me at once.
The mission is beautiful, with gardens throughout the property, weathered arches and ancient fountains. The gardens were magnificent and I especially loved going through the rose gardens. There was also a bell wall, with the large bells hanging under magnificent arches. Vines covered the tops of the arches.
We spent several days in Orange County, enjoying the beach and the mission. Then it was time to move on.