Day 132 – 1/9/21 Newport Beach and Laguna Beach

We had a nice day enjoying the area today here in Newport Beach and a bit of Laguna Beach.

What a beautiful morning outside, no fog, no clouds, just trees, palm trees and the Newport Beach skyline in the back.

I was up around 6:30, and got my coffee, turned the TV on with no sound just so I could see the news as I took quick breaks from writing and doing some work.  It was a nice quiet hour or so until others started waking up.  The view outside was also very nice.  I got done with what I wanted to do in the computer around 8:30.  It was warming up outside, and we wanted to go for a bike ride all together, so I decided I’d go on my own first as they all got ready, so I could scope out the paths and area and determine where we could go with the girls.  While I got ready to go, the girls were up and doing stuff on their phones, getting ready to eat.  Carol said she also wanted to do laundry right away since the laundry here is nice.

I checked out the maps and traced a path towards Balboa Peninsula, which didn’t look far and looked awesome, but I just could not tell how much street riding versus bike path riding there was, so I wanted to check that to determine if it was a path we could take with the girls.  I ended up leaving mid morning, with the heavy bike, no helmet, sunglasses and a mask.  The plan was to take my time and mainly see how easy it’d be with the girls.  There is a path right by our spot in the park, which is where the girls got stuck the other day, so I went there and turned right.  There were quite a few other bikers out, so as this path ended into a regular street and I could not tell where it would continue, I followed the others to find where the path went.  I rode about a block on a regular street, and was then on PCH1, with no separate bike path, but the bike lane in there.  I took that towards the street that’d lead to the peninsula.  It was easy to ride on the bike lane, no worries, cars were driving by often but it was slow.  The other bikes that were more serious about their workout zoomed by way faster than the cars. 

The weather was perfect and made the ride super enjoyable.  It is hard though to ride with a mask and sunglasses on, the glasses keep fogging up.  I would end up moving the glasses a bit lower-forward on my nose to make them not fog up so much.  On PCH1, in that area, you ride right in front of some expensive sports cars dealers, like Ferrari, Porshe and even Lamborghini.  When I got to the beach boulevard, which goes towards the Newport Beach pier, there was a bike path that was separate from the road to make the turn into the bridge, but then from there you were on the street with regular traffic for some time, until you hit the bike lanes again.  By that time, I was pretty close to the beach, so I just turned towards the beach and took the path that goes along almost the entire beach front to the end of the Balboa Peninsula.  That ride was super nice.  Easy and slow, amazing views of the beach front and lots of pretty cool houses.  I really enjoyed riding there, and it’s crazy to realize how much money is in that area with the super expensive houses and expensive cars, and boats. 

When I got to the end of the peninsula, I could see a lot of boats, big ones.  Wow.  The tip of the peninsula is very nice.  Very quiet and calm area, very pretty.  It took me almost an hour to get there, and even though I was not going fast, I’m not sure the girls will want to do that much biking.  I took some pictures at the park, at the very tip of the peninsula, then started heading back. 

I rode a bit on the streets, and then got back into the sidewalk by the beach.  By this time, there were quite a few more people out there, and I had to constantly pass people, stop, etc which was not making the ride as fun, even if you’re just relaxing. 

So, as I was close to the pier I hit the streets back and just rode back from there, same way as I came in.  It was a nice ride, and there were more people out, more cars, more bikers, etc.  I came back a little faster this time, and was back in about 45 minutes.  When I arrived, Carol had left with the girls, they went grocery shopping and would be back soon.

While I was out, Carol and the girls got ready, got the laundry ready (but didn’t start it), took all the bedding out of the beds, etc.  They were back about 30 minutes after I arrived, and I just sat outside in the sun, enjoying the weather.  After Carol came back, we put things away, got lunch ready and had lunch.  We discussed the plan, and felt it was better to just bike around here and not go to the beach as it’s far, and there’s too much street riding.  So, we got everyone’s helmets and got going. 

I went in front, then Bia, then Bella, then Carol.  I went towards the Marina right here by the campground, we rode around the marina and when we got to the other side, I went towards the path that leads to the beach by PCH1, but before hitting in, we turned into a parking lot and checked out the bridge from below.  There’s a Kayak rental business there, so we checked out the area for a few minutes, just enough for Bella to collect a few sea shells :). Then we rode back towards the campground, but this time I took the bike path that goes near our spot as we were near that entrance.  When we got close to our spot we could see the trailer, and I kept going.  The trail path ends by a street, so I made a call to go left on the street and follow the bike lane, and that was a good call.  We found the Back Bay Loop, which is a closed trail for bikes and pedestrians mainly, that goes around this Ecology Preserve, and has a lot of flat land area surrounded by cliffs. 

It was an awesome spot to bike around.  We biked into the trail for 1 mile, then biked back.  The girls really liked it.  I wish we had found it sooner so we could do the entire trail, which is 3 miles each way.  Really awesome views in that trail, and very easy riding, so definitely something to check out with the family.  From there, we biked back.  When we got close, Bia went in front and opened the gate for us.  I had memorized the number so I helped her remember, she liked being in charge of that part :).  We got back, put the bikes away and got ready to leave again.  This time, we were going to get Ice Cream in Laguna Beach.

We are very close to Laguna Beach, just about 9 miles on PCH1, so it was a quick drive.  Carol and I were hoping to find the little ice cream shop we went to when we were here like 15 years ago or so.  We remembered it was kind of in the lower part of downtown, across from the beach.  We found a spot to park the truck, about a block from the Main Street, then walked towards the Main Street.  As soon as we got there, there it was, the little ice cream shop is still there.  I took some pics and we went in, and I remembered another reason why I remember this place, it is the most expensive Ice Cream I ever had. hahahahaha… $9 for 2 scoops.  Ouch!  But, for Carol and I, this was about that memory, so we got cash at the ATM in the store because they only take cash, and paid $3 to the ATM.  Then we got each a 2 scooper for $36.  Dropped almost $40 to get 4 ice creams including the ATM fee.  Wow!  We got the ice cream and crossed the street and went to the beach, and found a spot where we didn’t have anyone around and could have the ice cream without worrying about anyone and masks.

The ice cream was very good.  We all enjoyed it a lot.  The girls wanted to play in the water, so we found a spot by the beach and sat down.  The beach has an angle down, so we had a nice spot right where it starts a downhill.  Carol and I sat there watching the girls play in the water.  They were really enjoying jumping waves.  So much, that each time they rolled their pants higher so they could go deeper, and eventually… they both were soaked.  Their pants were completely wet as they let the waves hit their legs and splash everywhere.  They were having a lot of fun and it was nice to just watch them, and the amazing sunset behind them. 

We stayed there a good hour, but had to leave as we had parking for just 90 minutes.  The girls really had fun there.  When we got to the truck, they both had to take their pants off because they were so wet.  I filled up the truck on the way back, so I don’t have to do it tomorrow, and we went back.

When we got back, we all got ready to go to the pool.  So, everyone changed, Carol got the laundry stuff ready to go, so it could run while we were in the pool, and we left again.  It all worked great.  Laundry was going, and the laundry room is right by the pool entrance, and we were enjoying some hot tub time and pool time.  The girls played in the pool and moved around more.  Carol and I stayed in the hot tub most of the time.  There was one gentleman in the area as well for a little bit, but he stayed on the opposite end of the pool, so not close at all.  We were allowed one hour of pool time, and we stayed every minute of it.  We enjoyed another relaxing hot tube time before heading back.  On our way back, Carol moved the laundry to dry.  I went to the shower and her and the girls made dinner. 

Bella wanted to make dinner, so Carol helped her make Ramen.  It was a fun ordeal.  We all ate, they then showered, and we cleaned up the trailer a bit before we watched some TV and called it a day.

We had a very fun day biking, enjoying the beach, then some pool and hot tub time.  This was our last full day here and we really enjoyed Newport Beach, definitely one of our favorite places.

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