I wanted to post a trip report before real life begins . . .
This is our trip report for 2 adults and 3 kids (ages 12, 9, and 6)
3/22 -- We arrive around 11:30 a.m. It was pretty cool and windy. We decided to walk down the Balboa Pier and eat at Ruby's. My double rich chocolate shake was good. I don't eat red meat, so I ordered a veggie burger. Everyone else ordered burgers and fries. The people here were so nice and friendly. Fun to eat right on the pier. If I were to go again, we would probably just order the shakes since that was the best part.
We went and got checked in at the Casa De Balboa. This was a wonderful place. Decorated very nice and immaculately clean. Full kitchen, eating area, family room area, 2 bedrm/2 bath. Full size washer and dryer. We had a view of the harbour right outside of our window. Nice little bay area.
We walked to the Newport pier from our beach house. Saw lots of sea lions. We did some trinket shopping at the sourrounding shops.
Right outside of 21 Ocanfront we saw 4 or 5 Porches lined up in a row. This is not common where we live, and the girls thought it was pretty cool :)
We shopped at Pavillions market and ate dinner at the house.
Went to Huntington Pier in the A.M. It was very windy and cool in the morning. The kids loved watching the surfers and volleyball players. We walked around the shops across from the pier. I wanted to check out the Sugar Shack, but kids wanted pizza. We are at La Roccos pizza (thin crust). It was good, but definitely needed lots of napkins. About $18 for a large pizza and side order of garlic knots. Our girls are not big eaters, so this fed the entire family. Very reasonably priced.
We hung out at the beach for the afternoon. It warmed up as the sun came out, but was still breezy and cool. My girls loved this beach -- very cool vibe.
The girls wanted donuts for breakfast. I didn't know of any fabulous donut places (heard Mags was good, but didn't really look into this). My husband ran to Citi donuts since it was close.
We headed out to Corona del Mar. I cannot describe how gorgeous this place is. The town, the neighborhood with the "flower streets", the beach . . . .loved it all.
We went to Inspiration Point to get some gorgeous photos. We walked down the hill to the cove and it was just so beautiful. Loved the feel of the sand here. We strolled along the beach and then headed back up for lunch. We ate at the Panini Cafe and loved it. Service was fabulous. Everything we ordered was good. I ordered the half sandwich and salad and it was plenty. Generous portions. Reasonably priced. Would definitely go back.
3/25 Rained all day
We went to Crystal Cove. I didn't really know much about this place except for that it was a fun place to go. We ate at Beachcombers for breakfast. They were great and accommodated a very large family (we were traveling with 2 other families at this pint). We really liked it.
Headed right down to the beach. My husband described it as looking like a beach town/summer camp. It does have a "campy" feel to it. Very unique. I can tell you that it is meticulously maintained. We saw people cleaning the public restrooms, etc constantly. We all had a fun time here.
We set aside this day to go to Sea World. I must admit, I was not excited about giving up an entire beach day. But we knew our girls really wanted to go in. It was about $350 for our family to get in (not including parking). I still loved the Shamu show. I grew up in FL and went to Sea World and Disney World quite a bit, so it brought back some fun memories.
They have added quite a bit since I had last been. Kids had a great time and I'm glad we went. I don't think we will go back for a while, though.
We headed out to Fashion Island right at 10:00 a.m. We knew we wanted to go to Laguna beach, too, so our time was limited.
This is the most gorgeous mall I have ever been to. We were there for just 3 hours, but we could have easily spend an entire day there if time had permitted. The teens and tweens loved the 2 story Forever 21. Adults loved the high end department stores and boutique stores. We will leave more time to shop on our next visit.
We headed to Laguna beach next. It was extremely crowded and was tough to find parking. We ended up getting a pretty good spot. We ate at BJ's which was a mistake. I don't like eating at chains, especially on vacation. But kids were hungry and it was close.
It was a pretty beach and we had a nice time hanging out. Kids went boogie boarding even though the water was frigid. When the sun starting going down, it got really cool, so we decided to pack it up and get dinner.
We were all sporting swimsuits and cover ups and weren't dressed for dinner. Someone suggested La Sirena for guac/tacos. The people here were super friendly. Fresh ingredients and reasonably priced.
Headed out the next morning. We absolutely loved our stay and wished we had more time to explore and hang out at the beaches. Thanks to all for your help and suggestions iwth planning this trip!!