First Trip to #Disneyland with #MagicKey, Day 2, Part 1

The beauty of the Magic Key is that we can go to the parks for just a few hours one night and then a couple more the next day and not feel like we need to go all commando to get our money’s worth. We knew, for example, that after travel day and last night at DCA, we’d want to sleep in and go to the beach this morning. So that’s exactly what we did.

We headed for Newport Beach, which was quiet on a week day, sat in our beach chairs for a couple of hours and then over to Mutt Lynch’s for lunch. It was an absolutely perfect day! Took me back to my childhood, at least the beach part – not Mutt’s – lol!

At Mutt’s I had a Margarita and Carne Asada tacos, Rich a Mai Tai and Carnitas Tacos.

Such a fun atmosphere, tasty food, yummy cocktails, music and freedom! Orange County does not require masks indoors for the vaccinnated the way Las Vegas does, which is quite a turnaround from last year when all of California was so shut down. Not a fan of wearing masks to stores and church.

Anyhoo… it was a wonderful way to spend the morning! Back to our hotel room for a rest… and ponder if/when/how we’d go to Disneyland park for the evening without parking in that parking garage and hoofing it 2 miles round trip.


Duke’s Huntington Beach Review

By Rich

It was wonderful to be back at Duke’s Huntington Beach. We’ve eaten here many times, but this was the first time we’d been here for dinner. And, therefore, the first time we’d heard live music there. At least, that we can remember.

We valeted the car and arrived on time for our 6:15 PM reservation. We were immediately seated at a table for two not far from the windows and the beautiful view of Huntington Beach.



Rich & Kathy:
signature cocktail made with aloha, fresh hawaiian juices with two types of rum


romaine, parmesan, lemon-anchovy dressing, garlic focaccia crumble

iceberg, blue cheese, balsamic tomatoes, duroc bacon, candied walnuts


lilikoi chili water, pickled cucumbers

parmesan & panko dusted, lemon caper butter, seasonal vegetables, herbed jasmine farro rice

Duke’s may be known for its wonderful location on Huntington Beach at the Pier, but the food is outstanding too — and the food this night was especially terrific.

Wedge salad is my favorite, and with the tomatoes, bacon, and walnuts, it was incredible. The flavors all worked together so marvelously. Kathy enjoyed one of her favorites, a Caesar, especially with the lemon-anchovy flavors to enhance it.

Now, about the halibut. Wow! I’ve never had a more delicious halibut dish, and very few better fish dishes anywhere. The cheese, panko, nut, and lemon flavors made for a luscious, heart-warming entree that made me savor every bite. It was so good, I had to choose against the incredible-sounding halibut dish the next night at Napa Rose.

Kathy’s coconut shrimp is always one of her favorites, and this did not disappoint — juicy, crispy shrimp! It was listed as an appetizer, but it served very well as an entree.

With no room for dessert, we left the restaurant completely satisfied and strolled the length of Huntington Beach Pier, stopping along the way in a shop to buy a rash guard for Kathy and a light, pullover sweatshirt for me. We needed them because it was a little windy and chilly on the Pier, but the walk was lovely at dusk with the waves crashing below us.

Another magnificent visit to Duke’s and Huntington Beach.

Previously… June SoCal Trip: Duke’s, Knott’s 100 Years, and Napa Rose

As soon as we heard Napa Rose had reopened in June, we scheduled a trip to SoCal. Duke’s in Huntington Beach was also open for indoor dining, so we made a reservation there, too. We also tried out a new (to us) hotel in Huntington Beach, enjoyed some time on the Huntington Beach Pier, and stopped in at the Knott’s Berry Farm Marketplace to pick up some 100 Year Celebration merch.

Rich will write up both dining reports, but I’ll share a few pics (starting with a selfie at the hotel – lol), and a video at the bottom. (Update: Duke’s Huntington Beach Review here.)

“Dear Kitten” and Other Laguna Beach Fun

I’m watching Adam the Woo’s video for today, one in a series of local SoCal food locations offering take-out, pick-up, drive-thru, etc. Lo and behold, he’s at the first Taco Bell in Orange County in Laguna Beach.

Well, once again, the Woo is taking me back to my childhood and teen years. I even based a short story on Laguna Beach in Dear Kitten. Laguna Beach will be one of my first destinations sometimes this summer, hopefully, for my birthday.

Dear Kitten…

Dear Kitten, My Favorite Pussycat,


Kitty Arness hasn’t been called “Kitten” since her college days. So when a chance encounter reunites her with an old love on Laguna Beach, she realizes she longs to be “Kitten” one more time.

Still hurting from the breakup all these years later, she must make a hard choice: to hold onto her pride or forgive and forget, especially when she reads the writing in the sand.

AVAILABLE NOW on as a standalone or part of an anthology for your Kindle.