I’m not ashamed to admit it: I love a good teen drama.
It all started back in the 90’s, with Beverly Hills, 90210. Yes, I’m talking about the original series – you know, the one with Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty – not the blasphemous facelift they aired from 2008-2013. The series where tween and teen girls everywhere wanted to be Brenda Walsh, not for her mousy brown hair or mom jeans, but for her uncanny ability to secure at least one lip-lock with Dylan per episode.
Until he, you know, got busy with her best friend while she was in Paris.
The particular drama spurred a worldwide interest in Californian teens and college kids, especially when it came to following their (often alcohol-infused) antics. Years later, when reality shows became all the rage, one particular MTV gem roped me in just as surely as the students of West Beverly High.
The show? Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.
The series, however – serving up just three seasons of guilty pleasure – was about more than just love triangles, bon fires on the beach and girl drama. (Although, they seemed to be the crux of the show.) To us older folks – you know, the 20-somethings who lounged in our condos, reveling in the throwback to our youth – it was a chance to live a different life; a life on the beach, in a gorgeous Californian town, surrounded by opulence and luxury. The kind of life that was far-removed from reality – served up on Tuesday nights.
And during those reality tv binges, I promised myself that one day, I’d visit Laguna Beach; walking in the same sand as Kristen, shopping along the same streets as Lauren.
OMG. Shopping along the same streets as Lauren!
This past summer, as part of our #DisneyVacayCA, my family was afforded to opportunity to spend a day touring the beaches of Orange County. Included in our agenda was a stop in Laguna Beach – and it’s like years of MTV fandom suddenly became a reality. Located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, this seven-mile stretch of sand and surf offers a year-round retreat for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and beachgoers. (And, anyone who ever spent an hour on Tuesday nights following its most famous inhabitants.)
Welcome to Laguna Beach. …