Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Twice a year, once on Shannon’s birthday and once on our Anniversary, we try and escape sans kids. A few weeks ago, Shannon and I escaped for a few days while her mom watched the tribe.

The budget is tight, so we have to get creative, and the last two times I’ve scored nearly free beach pads via friends of friends. This time, we went to a BIG beach house (literally on the beach) in Capistrano Beach just south of Dana Point proper and where HWY 1 meets I-5 along the pacific coast. The gal who lives in the house is a grandma who travels now and again and when she does, she opens the house up to friends and family to stay for a small cleaning and housing fee. So we had like 3000 square feet all to ourselves.

It was beautiful and we were so thankful for the place to stay. This year, shannon and I decided to watch movies, eat, sleep, walk on the beach, and veg for 3 days, 2 nights. I ended up having to some homework catch up with Seminary, so while shannon slept and read, I crammed my brain with Greek words. But if you gotta study, this ain’t a bad place to do it.

We watched the sun set both nights.

We made a trip to the store to stock up with food and such so we didn’t have to leave much and could relax. I made fruit and toast for breakfast each morning and chicken quesadillas for our one lunch we had there. We ate out one night and found a place that was beautiful and out of our price range but by the grace of God, was 50% off food and beverages if you sat down at your table before 6pm. So we had arrived early and got super lucky! SCORE!

I enjoyed watching the birds do life on the coast, a seal or two, and even had a dolphin pod sighting off our deck 🙂

Finally one indicator that you are in a place you can’t afford to be in: the neighbors pay the gardener to rake the sand on their property between their house and the high tide mark. Yeah, American’s are stupid.


  1. Aloha Brian,
    Thanks for describing your special getaway. One correction would be to change the location from “San Juan Capistrano” to “Capistrano Beach of Dana Point.” When Dana Point was incorporated as a city in 1989, the communitities of Capistrano Beach and Monarch Beach (on each end of Dana Point) chose to become one city with Dana Point. Hope you get to return many more times!! Best Regards, Marlene B. of DP

  2. Ok… Bruce or Marlene… I fixed it 🙂

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