A week in a damp anorak in a rented caravan on a bleak Atlantic outpost. This was a childhood vacation in Northern Ireland back in the 1960s and is a model I recommend to all parents today. Particularly those parents who have chosen to bring their children instead to the Montage Laguna Beach, Californ I.A.
P. Weil and I were trying to work off enough calories to justify the chocolate cake and champagne thoughtfully supplied by the hotel by swimming laps in the luxury pool. The pool is long and lean, just as we aspire to be, and our preference was to swim in straight lines. Unfortunately, we had to divert around outcrops causing heave and spray—small children splashing while their parents snoozed in the sun, mojitos in hand. Portrush it wasn’t.
Fear not readers who have sent congratulations on the Crone’s recent weight loss —and followed through with salad recipes, offers of companionable walks and tips for continued success—I am not backslid. The champagne remains unopened and P. Weil ate the cake, although I will say that portion control in California is as difficult as fiscal responsibility in Washington D.C.
While P. Weil celebrated his Jewish and Irish heritages with a meal combining both smoked salmon and mashed potato, to say nothing of two poached eggs and several pieces of toast, I opted for a white egg scramble with mushrooms and spinach and some fruit and practised my new-found skill of leaving half on the plate.
By lunchtime we had made it to the Montage, Laguna Beach where P. Weil had fruit and yogurt and I had hummus and crudites. People could have easily mistaken us for Becks and Posh.
By 8pm we impatient for dinner and used the hotel’s complimentary Mercedes and driver to repair to the Coyote Grill where I had grilled halibut and a salad with zucchini, apple and perhaps jicama with a zesty, fruity dressing.