THERE ISN'T A VACATIONER... in the world who, upon arriving at a beach-adjacent location, doesn't do the whole standing-on-the-sand thing while staring out into the ocean, contemplatively, with reverent eyes. But contemplate how many of those travelers actually wade into the waves, beyond a toe dip, and then ponder how many of those adventuresome types proceed to engage in a popular local pastime like surfing. The bar can seem a bit high for those staying for a couple of nights nearby, unless, of course, you book at Laguna Beach House, a sunshiny, retro-stylish hotel that is toootally about rush-free days, macking waves, and a certain no-worries-no-hurries ocean-easy aesthetic. So how does Laguna Beach House lower that bar between the guest wanting to go deeper into surf knowledge, and trying it out firsthand, and not knowing how to begin? By setting up an info-packed session with a master board builder in the area. Donald Brink is the artisan, and aspiring surfers -- even if you aspire to surf for an hour -- can book time with Mr. Brink via the Shape, Surf & Stay package.
SHAPE, SURF & STAY... tips its hand regarding what you'll be doing upon checking in for your two nights at the hotel. The "Shape" part of the name is very much about you learning, "one-on-one," to shape a board alongside Mr. Brinkman, at his local studio. Surfboard-making is, of course, an elegant art, one that involves aerodynamics and length and material and several other crucial considerations. After learning a whole bunch in this realm, you can head out to where foam meets earth and try your hand -- er, feet -- at hanging ten. It'll be a big day, and you might crave a bunch of zzz's at the end, which you'll get in your Coastal Level Room. A late check-out -- 1 o'clock in the afternoon -- is part of the dealie, in case you're still dreaming of fulfilling your dream to sample surfing, as is a twenty-dollar credit for your honor bar (for the tummy rumblings). Cost? It's a two-night thing, as mentioned, and it starts at $1,475. While there are a few no-go dates, this one's on for all of 2016, giving you a chance to fulfill a birthday wish, if your birthday is still in the last 5/6 of the year to come. And this is a wish, right? To not only get a rad surf lesson but to have worked on the board you're riding? We can't promise if your hair will immediately acquire that salty, sun-streaked look, or if you'll suddenly make the requisite "hang loose" hand symbols with aplomb, but it is a fine and funky place to make a gnarly first go of it.