Surfing Soapbox: On the road with the folks, again

Here we go again, Laguna. The Surfing Soapbox is hitting the road, and this time the Pribram family is coming with me. It’s been a long time coming. I can’t remember the last time we all got together and went on a trip. Perhaps back in my diaper days?

So it should be interesting when we all pile into my car, my folks and my brother, and make the journey up to Morro Bay, where we will be staying for a couple of nights. (My sister won’t be coming, but not because she’s been a Briggs for the last 25 years.) Then we’re heading down to Santa Barbara to enjoy my dad’s favorite Sunday brunch, which he’s been waiting for the last couple of years.

In other Laguna news, if you haven’t already tried Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer, it might just be Laguna’s newest hot spot, with a great happy hour and menu to boot. I went last week and had a great time. Rating: two thumbs up.

Staying in the category of food, one of the locals’ best-kept secrets for a great special has to be the Mandarin King in north Laguna. My folks and I love going there. Rating: two thumbs up.


Switching gears and going from eating to getting in spring and/or summer shape, go check out the Well in Boat Canyon, which has a great staff to help you with your fitness needs. Rating: two thumbs up.

Last but not least, I got a nice note from an old classmate, informing me that her aunt’s hotel, the Tides Laguna, in North Laguna, is running a special spring promotion: in whichever year you were born that’s the nightly rate you pay. Now that’s a great deal and most certainly a “two thumbs up” special.

JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include and He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha