Eating Frozen Yogurt in An Old Town with Ocean Breeze
It is still far from the post-COVID period in the US, but people have been stayed inside the house for too long and are desirous to be outdoor. Escaping the quarantine life once in a while, though has to be managed cautiously, could light up our mood for a week. Here comes Thursday, a day we have no specific business to deal with, therefore, designated to be our happy weekend.
To reduce the risk, we left the house after a big lunch so that we can have a whole afternoon adventure without being craving in front of some fancy restaurants.
Our first stop was the Mission San Juan Capistrano, which was only about a one-hour drive. We picked a route that we have not traveled before. Along the road were the gorgeous Lake Elsinore and some lush national forests. The view was enthralling. We arrived in San Juan Capistrano at around 2 pm. Parked downtown, according to Google Maps, it was only one block away from the Mission.
By this time, our top priority was to find restrooms, and the library was right in front of us. As we stepped into the library, the librarian told us that it was only partially open due to the COVID situation. We found the opening part did not include restrooms, but still had a short tour of the library.
The city itself was so tranquil and historical, and we were excited to explore more of the downtown area before locating the Mission.
Following some maps, signs, and mostly, our eyes and guts, we passed a delicate chapel, some cafes and restaurants, and a train station. Eventually, after so many detours, we found restrooms in Los Rios Park, which was quite relieving.
Each restaurant had its novel and authentic decorations, and most of them were offering patio seating under nowaday circumstance. Nevertheless, many were very quiet with few or no customers. We could not help much but a sigh. Occasionally, we could see a line or a full patio of a crowd in one or two restaurants, which we thought was quite fascinating, and brought us a sense of normality. The aroma of coffee also brought the city another dimension of vitality with cafes sitting here and there.
We encountered a frozen yogurt place by a road packed with flowers. Why not have a try and savor another bite of the Mexican style city? We ordered two cake cones, one with coconut flavor, and another one had a combination of chocolate, almond, and cranberry. Both were so yummy.
After lingering on the streets, visiting some antique stores and souvenir stores, we finally reached the Mission by around 5 pm. However, it was closed. At first, we thought it just shut down during the current situation, but the staff from the gift shop told us that it just stopped taking new tourists after 5 pm, and we should have been there earlier. So we took a map from the gift shop, and it was a good signal for us to come back again.
The next thing in our itinerary is the sunset on Victory Beach, which is only 20 min away from downtown San Juan Capistrano. After several misleadings from Google Maps and some U-turns, we did not find good access to Victory Beach. Luckily, Treasure Island Beach is merely minutes away, and we are familiar with the parking place. Therefore, Treasure Island Beach it is.
When we got there, we saw people wearing swimsuits or bikini and carrying surfing boards crossing the street. The sky was azure-cyan blue and already had different layers of golden yellow, orange, carnation pink, and lavender colors on the west skirt. We also saw two people were paragliding against the sky and crossing those lovely islands, which grabbed our eyes intensively. Some palm trees were swaying in the ocean breeze. A restaurant was hosting a wedding reception, with music floating in the air and friends sending best wishes. And there were also people picnicking at the table by the sea with their picturesque table cloth setting, and their food looked even better than some three-star Michelin cuisine. A lady asked if we could take a picture of her with such stunning scenes, which sounded like last century as we were trying to avoid talking to people face-to-face since March except for some close friends.
As the sun soaking into the ocean, we could see more cobalt blue in the water, and the sky added a more golden and scarlet touch. Two love birds standing on the shore and holding this serene moment also became a view of other people. We loved the pinkish sparkles on the sand and played with the waves like little children. Until one roaring wave showered us all over, we knew we should call it a day. If there is anything that I would miss most about South California, it should be the sunset on the beach.