Our fourth vacation day was another “down” day, no schedules to keep, no specific destination in mind. Well other than I wanted to visit the Chuck Jones Gallery in Laguna Beach. Have I ever mentioned the Chuck Jones Laguna Beach story before? No?
WELL! Back in 2001 Tom and I visited Laguna Beach for the day while we stayed in Dana Point for a weekend and I had found the Chuck Jones Gallery while we wandered around the town. In the gallery were plenty of prints and cells but there were also some hand drawn sketches, doodles or concept drawings that were on what you’d probably consider scraps of paper or pages from a sketch book. I was immediately drawn to this one page that was blank but for a sketch of Cindy-Lou Who in one corner and a couple of rough sketches of the Grinch in another. “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” is one of my faaaaavourite Christmas cartoons and I am a big Chuck Jones fan-girl so I really wanted to buy it. I can’t remember the exact price but it was around $200 at the time and Tom talked me out of it. Then Chuck Jones died. Prices? Oh yeah, they sky-rocketed.
For example: here is a similar sketch of the doggy know what it sells for? Why $1400 framed that’s what. Needless to say I like to bug Tom about this every time I either A.) see the Grinch or B.) Hear the words Laguna Beach.
Before we went there though we did have one other mission for the trip, try to find a collectible store for Chris to buy some military memorabilia. Turns out it was harder than we thought as I guess there isn’t a lot of demand for that sort of thing in Orange County. Using the Googles I managed to find an antique store in what basically an industrial looking strip-mall in Huntington Beach. It was a great store though, well laid out and full of very unique treasures, just no military stuff. It turns out the owner has a customer that has her phone every time she gets something like that in stock and he buys the bunch of it, bummer. What I did notice though was an autographed picture of one of Chris’ favourite actors, so I brought it to his attention.
It wasn’t from the Godfather or anything but it didn’t take much consideration before Chris decided to buy it. Turns out old Bobby had been sitting there for quite a while so Chris got it on sale for something around $50 I think and turns out there are people selling the same picture for over $300 on ebay and they look like a lot more recent autographs. Needless to say he won’t be selling it anyway and he’s pretty pleased about it.
While talking to the store owner she mentioned that there was one other collectible place in town she knew of that may have some things Chris might be interested it closer to the actual beachfront area of Huntington Beach. She gave Tom directions and we set off to find it. We managed to find meter parking in the general area and decided to hoof it to locate the actual store as some of the streets were blocked off for a street festival of some sort.
It didn’t take that long to find it and it was also a cool little store. Needless to say I poked around in there myself just IN CASE I found some turquoise glass that was small enough to fit into our suitcase to take home (no such luck!)
While Chris hummed and hawed over various items we noticed a cat wander into the store. Turns out it belongs to a lady across the street and the cat just made the rounds to the various merchants etc in the area. The shopkeeper was saying sometimes she carries it across the street to get it back home again. The street isn’t super busy but still busy enough that it is no place for a cat. This fellow took a liking to Tom but really had no use for me at all. Normally cats love me!
FINALLY Chris picked out what he wanted to buy and we walked back to the car with minutes to spare on the meter. We had parked on a side street across from oil wells. Tom was used to seeing them having lived down there for years but it weirded me out to see oil wells pumping away near the beach in town!
We headed down to Laguna and made a beeline for the Chuck Jones Gallery, or rather what USED TO BE the Chuck Jones Gallery.. *sadface* it was gone.
We walked over the beach and wandered around a bit, considered going somewhere there for dinner but nothing really inspired. I was kind of disappointed about the gallery being gone and I think I’ve been spoiled by the cute beach towns we’ve visited since the first time we were in Laguna so it didn’t have the same charm that I remembered.
Besides the weather wasn’t all that nice and as it was left up to me I nixed staying there and wandering around any more. I just wasn’t feeling it.
Of course I had to do my typical beach shot of me making a peace sign in the reflection of Tom’s glasses before we left.
For dinner we decided to cross another of the “you can’t find these restaurants in Canada” off our list and hit up the Panda Express in Laguna Niguel. It was a bitch to find cos Margaret our GPS kind of dumped us in the general area and the route we took didn’t make it extremely obvious. We drove around a mall parking lot and didn’t see it until we were leaving the lot. A little bit of circling round though and we were there. Yeah it is mall Chinese food blah blah whatever, we like it!