SoCal

Imagine having a holiday from your holiday! Two months at our home in Corona Del Mar became part of our Warm and Windy tour as we decided to await the ‘best time’ to safari in South Africa and sail in the Seychelles by spending the time revisiting what we most love about our California home.

And so in homage to this part of the world, I give you the Ten Best Things about Newport Beach.

Number 10: The Sunsets From Our Deck

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We weren’t disappointed by the beauty of the sunsets, even though ‘May grey’ and ‘June gloom’ gave us a few foggy evenings.

Number 9: The Flowers!

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We arrived in town the same time as Spring decided to be in full bloom. The air was thick with the scent of jasmine and everywhere you looked was a riot of color. Newport Beach floral displays are at their most glorious in May.

Number 8: Proximity to Wonderful Things

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Where will we go today? LA County Museum of Art? The Ritz at Dana Point? The new Pacific City in Huntington Beach? Check, check and check! There are so many places to visit within a short drive from Newport Beach!

Number 7: Visiting Favorite Haunts

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What is it about home that when you have been gone a long time you can’t wait to see your favorite places again? Luckily for us our favorite places are mostly within walking distance from home. From top to bottom, left to right… Newport Beach, The Fun Zone at Balboa Peninsula, Wooden Boat Show at Balboa Yacht Club, Little Corona Beach and two shots of The Galley Cafe just because it is awesome!

Number 6: The Boating Culture

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We love boats and that is a good thing because there are a lot of fun things going on in Newport Beach and surrounding areas that include boats. One of the more memorable events this time around was the Bloody Barge (top photo) – a delivery boat bringing Bloody Mary’s to your boat early morning at BYC Opening Weekend in White’s Cove, Catalina Island- more about that later!

Number 5: Catalina Island

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An old song goes, ‘Twenty-six miles across the sea, Catalina Island is waiting for me.’ And luckily for Marv and I, our friends DeeDee and Steve invited us along on their boat, Proud Bird, for Balboa Yacht Club’s Opening Day at White’s Cove. We are so lucky to have this beautiful, natural, mostly park land island on our doorstep. A hike to JC Peak, a sand dab fishing excursion, dinner in Avalon and entertainment and dinner at White’s rounded out the perfect weekend!

Number 4: Crystal Cove

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This wonderful beach is a State Park and an historical place where cottages from the 1920’s and 30’s are being restored. The Beachcomber Cafe is one of the few restaurants on the sand- all our guests will eventually find themselves at Crystal Cove!

Number 3: Great Hiking

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Living in this part of the country is good for your health! The weather is so amenable and there are so many beautiful places to walk. There simply are no excuses for being sedentary.

Number 2: Friends and Family Come to Visit

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It could be lonely missing your friends and family but lucky for us we are blessed with visitors. John celebrated his birthday with us and we had an early birthday celebration with Liz. We had an awesome few days with Chris and Jane- thanks for making the journey.

The Number 1 Best Thing…
Reconnecting With Our California Friends!

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There are many more than I had pictures but our California friends always make us feel welcome- we miss you all when we are away!

 

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One Night In Bangkok

If you remember the ’80s, you may recall an ABBA song ‘Chess-One Night in Bangkok’ which delineates many things that can happen in a short period of time in this spectacular city. I guess there has even been a recent re-statement of this theme via the movie “Hangover II”. It is all true and more making this city one of Kim & my favorites which we have visited many times over the years.

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In fact, our first vacation together was to Bangkok ‘way back’ in 2006. See if you can spot the difference in these 2 photos taken at the same spot !?!

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We literally had just one day in Bangkok on our way back to California from Myanmar so we wanted to relive some great memories and mix in some new things in a day. The city is called by some “The Venice of the East” which means a lot happens on the rivers and canals so we chose a hotel overlooking the Chao Phraya River which conveniently has an evening dinner cruise that we have always enjoyed…the magic of the lighted stupas, royal palaces, the bridges and even churches are augmented by fan tail boat taxis darting through the darkness of the river. The food is good too😀.IMG_2455.jpg

Shangri-La Hotel overlooking the Chao Phraya River

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King Rama V Bridge…turning point on the dinner cruise.

The next morning was a leisurely start but we did make our way back to the river before lunch time to hire a water taxi to take us on a canal tour. Here you really see the ‘Venice’ theme being picked up as the daily lives of people roll out before you on what is essentially a neighborhood tour with the good, the bad and the ugly. In the latter category, most striking were the 5 foot ( +/- ) lizards hanging out under peoples homes followed by a solid number two , floating trash. There were lots of Buddhas along the way to emphasize the good! IMG_2577.jpg

You may not want to know what is under there!

By the time we finished the canal tour, visited a street market or two and rested Kim’s weary injured ankle, it was time to have dinner and head off to the airport…but with a beautiful refresh of another “One Night in Bangkok”

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Waiting for the plane.