Adjacent to Affluence

When you go to the beach with your kids, it is a “family trip.” When you go to the beach with your spouse, it is a “vacation.” A sweet, succulent and somewhat elusive event where you are able to actually relax and not have your head on a swivel to make sure kids don’t brain themselves.

I am happy to report that I was able to taste this exotic delicacy last week, in the form of a trip to Laguna Beach. It was just me and the Missus, and it was stupendous.

It was stupendous because our goal was to do nothing, have zero agenda, and never utter things like “we gotta be here by 4PM and there by 6PM.” Shockingly, I hadn’t felt that free since college, and before that, the womb.

I won’t bore you with the details, but thanks to a benefactor we were staying at a villa on the golf course of the St. Regis resort in Laguna Beach, by ourselves…for free. Add to that free use of their car, an entire Academy’s worth of sporting goods, and an edict to help ourselves to as much of their liquor as we wanted.

We are not poor, but we are not what you call “rich,” so this entire experience felt like we were living out pictorials from magazines like “The Good Life” or “The 1% Monthly.” But we were the people in the pictures instead of old white people.

fNear the end of our stay I proclaimed that our reality is that we haven’t officially “made it,” but we are now “adjacent to affluence.”

And that’s how it felt the entire time in Laguna. Like we were imposters who assumed the identities of actual blue bloods. With this in mind, I present observations from our Cali trip:

  • During the day the official Laguna dress code is “work out gear.” At night it is “casual safari.” But even their workout gear is “designer,” and able to absorb their Voss water-based sweat.
  • Everyone’s skin indicated that they have lived life in the sun, but people were so fit I couldn’t accurately gauge anyone’s age, especially the women. They were either an 80 year old in phenomenal shape or a 45 year old who’d never heard of SPF.
  • Hi Laguna, quick question – what do any of you people do? My guess is, “be rich” but I genuinely wanted to know. There are shops, restaurants and commerce in the city, but I’m talking about all the people who live in the +$5MM homes on the hills. My best guess was this is where lotto winners are assigned for relocation.
  • Chances of you getting run over by a car, because you don’t hear it, are extremely high. Laguna must have the largest per capita amount of electric/hybrid cars. Teslas were as plentiful as Honda Civics in your city.
  • Context is everything when it comes to real estate. If you offered me a 5 bedroom house in DFW for $500k, I would think “are you out of your mind, I can’t afford that.” Yet I see a flyer for a quaint 2 bedroom house in Laguna for $1.2MM and my reaction is, “hey, that’s a pretty good price.” Makes no sense.
  • The Pacific Ocean is a tease. The water looks beautiful, the beaches are well maintained, annnnd the water feels like you’re ice fishing.
  • Not Laguna specific, but NFL games starting at 10AM feels wrong.
  • Laguna food pricing is out of whack. Delicious steak at a nice restaurant = $28. Two marginal pizzas from a rinky dink place = $74. I ate the leftover pizza for breakfast on principle.

And that’s my time, stay classy Laguna!

Spread dumbShare on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Print this pageShare on Reddit0Email this to someone
  • reply Josh ,

    i think i can get behind the “casual safari” look.

    • reply Ben the Editor ,

      I’m with, Josh. Any excuse to wear a pith helmet and carry a rifle and I’m in.

      Leave a comment