arsenal4ever posted:

Weather along the coast at that time of year will be cold and possibly rainy. Water temp will be in the low 60s if that matters.

Ocean will be cold but impossible to predict weather. It could be cold and rainy or just as likely there could be Santa Ana winds and it could be in the 80's.

Not sure what your style is but for a family vacation your kids may like this

https://www.marriott.com/hotel...19-a255-54ba596febe2

I would actually recommend spending time in San Diego for your family. There is more to do here than Orange County except for Disneyland. If you need Disneyland tips for an overnight stay up there I can help.

Some SD things: USS Midway, Safari Park (over the zoo) Balboa Park and La Jolla including the Cove, Torrey Pines Gliderport, and the Children's Pool with lots of seals.

Thanks to all for the responses and great info. Really appreciate it. 

We did visit San Diego 4 or 5 years ago (great city!)  -- so we're trying LA + Palm Springs this year as we've never been there. 

I am aware that the weather in the OC in late December is not perfect, but we are okay with any place that is warmer than Ottawa. (I'm sure you all know... it'll be about -25 deg C here at that time of year.) 

Just an fyi. Not great wine in the desert but plenty of great shops in OC. You could place a nice order with Envoyer and pick it up when you arrive. that would work great. There are a few more shops I can recommend. Also be aware Palm Springs shuts down early. Plan on dinners at 7 or earlier. The place is pretty dark and shut down by 9

also if staying in PS proper and close to mountains it gets dark very early that time of year as sun sets further south. Think pitch black dark by 430

Oh no, not one of those "Hollywood" trips. Prepare for deep disappointment. Also I'm not sure what you're going to do in Laguna Beach for 3 to 4 days. As pointed out the odds are bad (though not 100% against) of it being beach weather. (Though of course the odds are it will be warmer than Ottawa.) No interest in Disneyland? The upside is you should be able to get great rates. Of course the opposite is true in Palm Springs.

Also as some of you know I'm into astronomy. The earliest is the sun sets in Palm Springs is 4:45pm. In the southern states "astronomical twilight", or what most people think of as night, occurs approximately 70 minutes later. In northern states it's closer to 100 minutes.

Sorry, I didn't really want to get into another pissing match with you, but these are the facts.

Again the earliest sunset in PS is around 4:45pm. Second, as I'd assume anyone knows who lives by the ocean, it is not "pitch dark" at sunset, but as I stated it takes at least an hour to get dark. It does not matter whether it is by a mountain or not, because it's the atmosphere that keeps things light after sunset. Only on the Moon does it instantly get dark at sunset due to lack of an atmosphere.

As for your cheap shot about Googling, I've been into astronomy for over 50 years. For the last 30 years I've been going to Anza Borrego desert park (about 100 miles straight south of Palm Springs) to use my telescope. I was just there for maybe the 50th time last week. It is surrounded by mountains, but as everyone out there knows; you can't really do anything much until about an hour after sunset when it actually gets "pitch dark."

"I stayed here and there was no more sun after about 3:30 over Xmas"

"No more sun" is quite different than, "Think pitch black dark by 430."

There is no place on the surface on the US, except for Alaska and forests and other places you can't see the sky, that is "pitch dark by 4:30." These are just the facts.

billhike posted:

The non-wine info contributor usually drives the testiness.

A wine info contributor wrote something which this "non-wine info contributor", who knows astronomy, knew couldn't be. I wrote a response in a non-testy, factual matter:

"Also as some of you know I'm into astronomy. The earliest is (sic) the sun sets in Palm Springs is 4:45pm. In the southern states "astronomical twilight", or what most people think of as night, occurs approximately 70 minutes later. In northern states it's closer to 100 minutes."

No attack,no testiness, just a statement of fact. The wine info contributor responded by changing what he had said from "Think pitch dark by 430" to "No more sun." I think even most wine info contributors can see that he's totally changed what he was saying. He also took a shot at this non-wine contributor by suggesting I was just Googling my information. Remember I go out to a desert regularly that is surrounded by mountains and is only a hundred miles south and in a almost direct line (longitude) from Palm Springs. Because of my interest in the night sky I pay attention to the sun's conditions year round. (And for what it worth isn't really that much different than in San Diego.)

So this astronomically knowledgeable person tried (again without any testiness) to correct a wine info contributor. I tried kid gloves because I know that the wine info contributor has some real animosity toward this non-wine info contributor. (As of course so do you.) I really tried not to be testy, but I'm sorry, I know when the sun sets in Palms Springs and and I know when it's night in Palm Springs and it has nothing to do with mountains.

So Bill there it is, I corrected something about astronomy which I indeed know more about than wine. I'm sorry that I so frequently upset you.

--A non-wine contributor.

billhike posted:

Now who’s upset? 

Actually, not this non-wine info contributor. I am serene in my knowledge. Actually while on the subject--There's been a lot of comments decrying the lack of wine-specific posts versus the increase in non-wine-specific posts. Looks like I'm in the vanguard.

Thanks once again for all the replies! 

I will certainly consider and look into Santa Monica. The exact itinerary here is quite flexible, and the only reason Laguna Beach was suggested is that a friend of my wife's from college lives there now ... so we would presumably hook up with  that lady for lunch or something. But, not exactly the end of the world if we don't see her. 

More than anything we are looking for a very outdoorsy type vacation -- ideal day for us would be to do an easy/moderate hike in the morning, eat lunch and poke around a few shops in a touristy area, and then kids spend a few hours in the water (ocean or pool) before dinner.  (Ocean water temperature not a big concern -- we often go to Tofino BC in the early summer and my kids will do 4 or 5 hours in 60 degree water there when they have wetsuits on.) 

Note that Hollywood is not high on my list of things to do, but my wife and daughter feel that if we're in LA we have to go there. Happy wife, happy life. 

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