Thursday, November 13, 2014

Coffee Brewing in Seal Beach – Part I



Get Your Cup of Joe – to Stay or Go!


Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

When it comes to coffee culture, there’s always a Starbucks or McCafé nearby. But, if you’re looking for a change of pace and want to experience some coffee houses with a local taste, Old Town Seal Beach is the place.


On Main Street and Ocean Avenue, just steps from the Seal Beach Pier, you can sample what’s brewing at four different coffee houses, each with its own unique style – Bogart’s Coffee House, The Crema Café, Javatini’s and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

 

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel love all the different choices for coffee that Seal Beach has to offer…especially now that fall is here and there’s some nip in the air.


Depending on our mood and what we’re doing, we can always find a coffee house that’s just right.

Bogart’s Coffee House (905 Ocean Avenue) is directly across the street from the Seal Beach Pier. You couldn’t ask for a more inviting place to relax with friends or just sit and enjoy the ocean view through the large windows.


It has a retro vibe and casual ambience with café tables, a comfortable couch and leopard-print easy chairs to settle into.


A painting of silver screen legend Humphrey Bogart is on the wall and a life-size Bogart is there to greet you along with stacks of newspapers and books waiting to be read at your leisure. 

 

The closest coffee house to the beach, Bogart’s is the place to stop in the morning for a steaming hot cup of coffee or a chai latte to take with you for a walk down to the water’s edge to watch the surfers and seagulls skimming the waves.


Or drop in after a jog on Ocean Avenue and cool down with a smoothie. If you’re interested in a light breakfast or snack, there are pastries, crepes, and paninis to choose from.


When SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti are parked in the one-hour spaces on Ocean or coming back from the beach it’s nice to know that Bogart’s is right there. We can grab a quick cup of coffee on the run or stop and stay awhile.


The Crema Café (322 Main Street) offers everything you could want in a coffee house with its gourmet coffee, pastries, full-service breakfast and lunch menu, and charming garden setting.



It’s a place where you definitely want to linger, savoring a coffee refill and putting your other activities on hold. Whether you relax at a table inside or take time to slow down and enjoy the total Crema Café experience in the garden patio, you’ll start to feel a sense of well-being as soon as you enter the doorway.

 

The warm woods, plank tables and sunlit windows looking out on Main Street give the interior a cozy atmosphere that makes you want to sit down and catch up with a friend or stop to read the morning paper or a good book.


Whatever the weather may bring, the table umbrellas and sheltering trees stand ready to keep the elements at bay on the patio.

 
And, when the café is busy and it gets crowded outside – especially on sunny days and weekends when everyone wants to enjoy the garden – Crema Café offers free coffee while you wait for a table.

With a large selection of sandwiches, paninis, savory and sweet crepes, omelets, quiches and salads, the hardest part about eating at Crema Cafe is choosing what to order.
 

SurfWriter Girls observed that many people, like Kay Kwok and Cyndee Ewing, like to pick different things to try from the menu and then share, having more dishes to taste. The portions at Crema Café are large. So give yourself time to indulge.

 

The only ones in a hurry here are the waiters, quickly and courteously taking orders and ferrying plates back and forth from the patio to the kitchen. 

To be continued. Look for Part Two with the latest on Pumpkin Spice Lattes and other Thanksgiving treats.


Please post your comment below. Comments will appear the next day.



Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Paradise Found - Thailand



Sharin’ the Dream


A Surfrider Member Profile

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Photos by Don MacLean

Don MacLean, the Surfrider Foundation Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter’s former Hold On To Your Butt! Chairperson, is in Thailand now – Livin’ the Dream.


More than that, Don’s Sharin’ the Dream, helping to keep Thailand the tropical paradise he wants it to be.


Just as Don made it his goal to get cigarette butts off the beaches and streets in Orange County, he’s committed to getting trash off the beaches in Thailand and to continuing to carry out Surfrider's mission.






“This is a huge challenge,” says Don. “The people don’t realize the need to pick up the trash around them and there aren’t any trash cans on the beaches.” He has been working to raise money for trash cans and is busy organizing the locals to participate in beach cleanups at Phuket’s Surin Beach.


 
 

Together, they have removed cigarette butts, assorted trash, plastic bags, Styrofoam, fishing lines and nets from the beach. 


 

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are always excited to see the photos Don sends us from Thailand showing the beautiful beaches – and the trash that has been collected.


Don is also educating people about the need to protect the coastal environment and the things they can do to safeguard it for the next generation.


“It’s especially important to educate the kids,” Don told SurfWriter Girls.


Cigarette litter may seem like a minor problem to some, but not to Don. He points out that “cigarettes are the most littered item in the world.”  Several trillion butts are tossed worldwide. What’s more, the toxic residue in the cigarettes damages the environment, getting into eco-systems and water supplies…threatening the quality of our water and aquatic life.


This year Don staged the very first Phuket International Surfing Day celebration and beach cleanup. “The turnout was beyond our expectations,” he said, adding that he recruits everyone he can find, including people he sees on the beach.


Don has even spoken to the Governor of Phuket, who was eager to learn about the work Don is doing.


Along with educating kids about the environment, as an added incentive to get them to Respect the Beach, Don gives surfing lessons after the beach cleanups.

 

Then, at the end of the day, he goes home to his ocean-view house on the hill, on the edge of the lush, Thai jungle...



and enjoys the vibrant sunset on the horizon.


Overcoming language and cultural barriers isn’t easy, but Don MacLean is up to the task. With over 20 years experience conducting environmental compliance audits for the U.S. Army, Navy and Coast Guard, he is just the one to restore Thailand’s beaches, returning them to their natural beauty…

  
So everyone can be Livin’ the Dream.  



Please post your comment below. Comments will appear the next day.


Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Beware the Bag Monsters!



On Halloween it’s in the Bag!


Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

With the sounds of Halloween here and little ones eager to take their trick-or-treat bags door-to-door, SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are thinking how nice it would be to keep those bags out all year. 



Not just for Halloween candy, apples and treats, but for everyday items, dairy and meats.




When you bring your own reusable bag on shopping trips, instead of using plastic bags from the store, you can reduce the amount of plastic pollution in our environment.


Did you know that each reusable bag equals 400 single-use plastic bags?


Or that 600 plastic bags are thrown away every second in California?


Every year 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. Of those, 100 billion bags are used in the United States alone.

That’s a lot of plastic bags…most of which end up littering our streets and polluting our waterways and oceans,


endangering sea life – who get tangled in the bags or ingest them – and ultimately entering the food chain.

That’s even scarier than the ghosts and goblins roaming around on All Hallows Eve.


Fortunately California got an early treat this Halloween – the passage and signing of Senate Bill 270 – authorizing the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores.


The Surfrider Foundation Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter has long supported legislation to ban plastic bags. Its Rise Above Plastics Chairperson Jessica Bechtold explained to SurfWriter Girls that building awareness is the key – informing the public of the environmental problems caused by plastic bags and getting people out of the habit of using them.


The bill phases out plastic bags at grocery stores and supermarkets in the summer of 2015. Convenience stores and pharmacies will follow in 2016.

When the plastic bags disappear, so will Bag Monsters – ghostlike, spooky spirits made from discarded plastic bags.


For now, though, they’re still out there. So, heed this Halloween warning:

Beware the Bag Monsters…and Don’t Litter!  
.      
Stash Your Trash on Halloween

When you’re dancing around the fire
watch out for goblins, ghosts and gyres.


It’s nice to have a yummy treat…
Good and Plenty’s, Reese’s Cups, and candy corn to eat.


But, don’t toss your trash on the beach
when recycling cans are in reach.


Remember that Bag Monsters are always near.
You never know when they’ll appear.


With bulging eyes and shark-like teeth to chew,
If you litter, they’ll get you!

Happy Halloween!!!

 

SurfWriter Girls Patti and Sunny


Please post your comment below. Comments will appear the next day.


Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.