October 2011

On the Cover: O.C.'s Hottest Shops. We shopped the county north to south to find boutiques with the welcoming vibe, great inventory, creative merchandising, and helpful employees that set them apart from the rest. // A sneak peek at our definitive profile of Newport Beach submariner Chris Welsh, who in the coming months plans to make a history-making, 7-mile solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot on Earth. // Join our out-of-shape, ill-mannered, and un-self-actualized correspondent as he runs—OK, shambles—through O.C.’s hyperactive self-improvement gantlet. // Main Course: Chapter One: The Modern Local

September 2011

On the Cover: The Ultimate Food Lovers Guide. Don’t trek to L.A. for the choicest meats, produce, breads, and ethnic fare. // All Hail the Home Team: The Angels’ arrival was an opening salvo in Orange County’s declaration of independence from L.A. It’s time to salute the Halos. // The Trucks Stop Here.

August 2011

On the Cover: Secrets of O.C. For advice on all things O.C., we went to local experts and discovered some of the county’s most intriguing and useful secrets, including how to do the “stingray shuffle” to avoid a painful sting at Seal Beach. // Rebecca Black, Revolutionary // The Divas of Dessert.

July 2011

On the Cover: Best of 2011. Our list of 101 favorite things includes racy lingerie, decadent desserts, and killer margaritas. // Packable Desserts // My Orange County: After 20 years, she’s finally ready to embrace those snazzy new breasts.

June 2011

On the Cover: Dream Back Yard. Everything you need for entertaining, swimming, lounging, grilling, and more! // The Uncertain Life and Premature Death of Daniel Mendez // Some of Orange County’s most iconic products began as imperfect ideas. Here’s a look at a few baby pictures, if you will, of innovations--including Oakley sunglasses--that made us famous.

May 2011

On the Cover: Weekend Road Trips: From a California mountain resort to a wine lovers’ valley in Mexico, we found five terrific destinations and some offbeat adventures along the way. // In a world where caring service has become increasingly rare, Orange County’s most enduring career waiters have become a diner’s refuge and ritual. // My Orange County: An accidental mom and the county that helped her raise two boys.

April 2011

On the Cover: Best Restaurants: Local diners haven’t seen this many great new restaurants since the lusty ’90s, making now the perfect time to choose the top 10 from the past year’s bumper crop. // The Rememberers: UC Irvine researchers have found nine otherwise normal individuals who remember all the days of their lives. But how is that possible? // Late-Night Happy Hour Deals

March 2011

On the Cover: Hot Properties. Orange County’s real estate market is like no other in the country. And for those who own a home—or plan to buy one—that’s a good thing. // Many parents dream of sports stardom for their children. But for the mother of Rancho Santa Margarita and UCLA basketball standout James Keefe, it got more complicated when the dream came true. // The Man Guide.

February 2011

On the Cover: Our first-ever ranking of Orange County’s 20 best pies, from Neapolitan to New York-style, California to Chicago. // The Reel O.C.: Orange County has played many roles in the movies, but has rarely starred as itself. // Decades after he founded Social Distortion in a rundown Fullerton apartment, Mike Ness rocks on in an older and wiser key.

My Husband’s Heart Transplant

The phone rang earlier than we’d expected. Not earlier in the day—4 a.m. seems about right for a call such as this—but much sooner. We’d been told it could be months. It was a Wednesday in March 2008, and my husband had been on the national organ transplant list for only 10 days. According to cedars-sinai.edu, an average of 18 people on that waiting list die every day.