For the last two years I've gone to visit my cousin in Orange County in August for a weekend and I just got back last weekend from my third annual trip! Oh my gosh, we had so much fun! She is so similar to me in the way she PACKS her itinerary and goes and goes and goes until we fall asleep. And then we go some more. This year, as soon as I flew in, we hit up Wilma's Cafe for breakfast.
I took the chance to order Belgian Waffles with fresh strawberries and whip cream
while I could since I haven't found any good ones in Austin yet. She ordered french toastand hot chocolate with whip cream which sounded amazing so I ordered my coffee with whip cream : ) .
Immediately after breakfast we hit up Balboa Island for my favorite kind of shopping. The boutiques that have the cutest clothes at rock bottom prices. Everything is $10, everything is $15, everything is half off - you want it, California has it.
My all time favorite thing to do in the OC is rent beach cruisers. Although my cousin owns several, it's easier to just rent them at the beach and enjoy the coastal rideinstead of taking the extra five or ten minutes to ride down there from her house. We've taken different routes every time. This year we rented them from Newport Pier and biked to Huntington Pier. On the way we indulged our annual ritual of attending an open house. The homes are SO gorgeous there,
and have SO much character,and the views are breath-taking!!
I love pretending just for a moment that we could live there.We parked our cruisers with the hundreds of other bikes parked there (SO fun to live in such a biking town!), and walked Huntington Pier. Afterwards we grabbed Jamba Juice to cool off and headed back along the beach to Newport.
After our ride we had to do a little more shopping, then met up with my other cousins for dinner at the Rusty Pelican. Gorgeous views,and delicious food. My first time trying scallops!! I didn't eat seafood until I was 26 and decided I was old enough to like it. I save most of my first adventures for California because it's so fresh, but I always make sure others taste it first and tell me it's the best they've ever had if it indeed is so I can acquire a proper taste for it.
Another of our traditions (and because we have so many traditions we decided to break it up next year and do San Diego and Hollywood - whoo hoo!! SD and the city of Stars here we come, we will SO do it up right!), is watching a movie or two together with a box of red vines. Each. This time we watched The Ugly Truth (so cute! and wayyyyyy better than He's Just Not That Into You) and promised to think of each other when we watched Julie & Julia when it came out later this month.
So. That was Friday.
Saturday we woke up and hopped on her adorable leather seated Vespa, Ollie. The camera caught the laugh as a lady walked by when we were taking a self-timer picture and said, "I hope you're taking a picture, because otherwise you're just weird."We headed down to Balboa Island for only the BEST cinnamon rolls in the world at Cinnamon Roll Fair. We found a dock to sit on and swung our feet in the water
while we enjoyed our sticky, delicious, original with icing cinnamon rolls, coffee, and zen inspiring view.
We could've sat there all day. But, of course, we didn't.
We rode Ollie over to the kayaking rental place in Newport and rented a kayak to paddle around Lido Island. I don't have a waterproof camera yet, so my picture of Lido Island during takeoff will do.So much fun!! Once we got the hang of paddling down, we raced the little engine boats with canopies people like to rent around there and almost beat them! Loved watching the seals take over the boats (poor boat owners), the houses along the coastline, and the boats parked in the harbor. So relaxing and enjoyable, but boy were we tired.
But we didn't stop. Not even time for a nap this time around! That's usually one of our traditions, too. This time we hit up BJ's for lunch and did some more shopping in Newport. Then, we headed up to Pelican Point resort
and enjoyed their AHmazing gelatto, gigantic doors,and chilling by the pool with live music,
and the gorgeous ocean views.
On to Laguna for dinner at C'est La Vie on Laguna Beach,
and of course a picture at Laguna Beach. This one is just of it.Then, finally, back home to get ready and go out for salsa dancing at Tapas! Oh my gosh, that was so much fun! And, after going to the salsa dancing class last night here at Oasis, I realized how great the class was. Hopefully I will find a similar one here! The women and men stood apart from each other, then paired up and stood around the instructor in a circle. There were maybe 10 of us couples. The instructor taught us a step or a turn, then the male partners would rotate to the left. It was perfect, because not only did I learn from the instructor, I learned new hints and things to make it easier from each partner, new to the art or not. We stayed after the class and danced for hours. Then realized once we were leaving and the best dancer there made a point of saying hi to me next time we would ask the better dancers to dance because they were always too requested to ask anyone! We got home and stayed up til' 2am yakking away like the lost sisters we are.
Sunday we scootered down to Huntington Beach on her other adorable Vespa, the much lighter one they don't take on highways, The Fly,
for shrimp tacos and chicken quesadillas
at Savannahs taco baron the beach
while we enjoyed live music
at Huntington Pier. So relaxing. Another place I could stay forever.
We shopped at my favorite store there, Huntington Surf and Sport also known as HSS,then hit up a random street fair next to the entrance of the Pier. That was the first time I'd seen it there and they had the BEST handmade items. The boys got two handcarved turtles from Jarred. The shells come off the back to reveal a secret place to stash the shells I dove for later and picked up for them. I found handpainted t-shirts for Brando from a tattoo artist, whose sister is the number two surfer in the world. Wish I could remember the name of the artist!
I was dying to get in the warm 72 degree water of Southern California, so after food, music, and shopping, we hit the beach for an hour, and walked underneath the pierat Huntington Beach,
which provided the perfect shady walk to get to to our spot. Once we got situated waited I dove into the water and spent every
in the waterand LOVED it. The waves were washing shells up on to the beach and pulling them back out with the current, so I spent half my time diving into the tide like a little kidand coming up with handfuls of shells. My reward was getting home and having the boys have a blast splitting them up between them and hearing Shawners say, "Oooooh, this one's a beauty!"
We stopped by for strawberry milkshakes and fries at In N Out,then I hit the airport with my bathing suit still on and sand in between my toes. Fortunately my flight was delayed and I hit up the restroom to change before I boarded the plane and was completely satisfied that once again, I had an amazing weekend in the OC with my cousin.
If you need a weekend getaway, this is definitely the place to do it. I can let you know all the things we've done the previous weekends as well! Or you can just read about it here, and here. Apparently I thought Costa Mesa was in San Diego two years ago, and guess I was too exhausted from all the craziness in my life in 2008 to blog about my trip much because I just found a short blurb for that one about sand between my toes and the warm ocean water!! Just enjoyed it!!
On a bloggy note, I am SO happy to have my internet back(ish). Okay I'm borrowing it from the neighbors until ATFT gets their act together and gets ours set up. I have so many events to catch up on from this week! I've been having a blast and can't wait to share it all!