Saturday, July 12, 2008

4th of July Weekend in Corona Del Mar and Balboa Island

After a full day in Hermosa Beach, CA we made our way south towards Newport Beach to visit Grandma and aunt Jan in Corona Del Mar for the holiday. Grandma greeted us at the door of the only home she knew since she met her sweetheart, got married in her 20's, and moved from England. Cleo was waiting inside while aunt Jan, who recently had foot surgery, hobbled from the garden to say hello.

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We packed up our bikes and rode along Bayside Drive towards Balboa Island. It was a beautiful and quiet day after the storm of the holiday. Cars cruised along, many heading our way. The bridge to Balboa Island was lined our country's flags. They reminded me of the flags on the London Bridge in Lake Havasu.

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A good ride later, we were at the auto ferry. Vehicles were loaded first and then passengers on their bikes. The ferry system was quite efficient to my surprise, loading a maximum of three vehicles and filling in with approximately 10-15 passengers carrying them between Balboa Island and the peninsula. The wait not long as there appeared to be three ferries going back and forth. My husband and I joked that the ferry must make a killing in fares and that the only thing missing during the short ride was a Bloody Mary.

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While we were waiting for the ferry, we spotted a Fountain Subaru dealership boat pass by. The owners were parked on their boat next to us when we were on Lake Mead one afternoon.

The Newport Landing Restaurant was in sight; where we would have lunch.

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I got my Bloody Mary and a cold seafood sampler for lunch; a huge plate full of Ahi tuna sashimi, shrimp, oysters and ceviche with avocado. I could have sat there and eat plates after plates all day!
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John stuck to a Mai Tai and a salad and tuna sandwich combo (of course I shared my lunch with him). We talked and watched the boats go by.

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After lunch we headed back to Balboa Island on the ferry for some dessert.

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Where should someone with a sweet tooth go to for dessert while on Balboa Island? The Original Frozen Banana of course! But it was the Balboa Bars that were our radar. A vanilla yogurt bar dipped in chocolate, with a choice from an array of toppings including pecans, oreos, almonds, and sprinkles to coat the treat.

I'm not normally a sweet tooth person but I went for the oreos and almond sprinkles. John, on the other hand picked the Balboa Bar with EVERYTHING...LOL!! They were nice and cool to eat on that warm day. The vanilla ice cream was not too sweet, a nice canvas for the sweet toppings.

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The Balboa Bars were the perfect fuel for the long bike ride back to Grandma's home; especially the steep hill that led the street where her home was. Time for a nap before dinner.

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When aunt Jan and Grandma returned from their day's errands, before-dinner cocktails were in order.

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The evening was perfect for dinner on the patio. On the menu, grilled pork ribs, cabbage slaw, sauteed mushrooms, and sweet corn on the cob. YUM!!

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We love our time with Grandma, aunt Jan and Cleo so it's always tough leaving. As much as we wanted to stay another day, we missed our girls at home. Since last Wednesday, we haven't slept in our own beds. From sleeping at the Mirage after the Malibu Strings party at the Beatles Revolution Lounge straight to a couple nights at the Days Inn in Hermosa Beach and then the comfiest bed at Grandma's in Corona Del Mar where we slept like rocks. We looked forward to going home and sleeping in our own beds.
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Photos from 4th of July in Corona Del Mar and Balboa Island album on Flickr.

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