I'm known as the event coordinator in my group of friends. I plan the whole day out like I'm a soccer mom on crack and, even though obstacles often arise, everything always seems to fall into place.
July 4 is a big day in Newport Beach with a ton of fun going on, so it was best to make a solid plan and stick to it. Up at the crack of dawn, well okay 7 a.m., my friends and I headed on down to the Balboa Peninsula to beat the traffic and closures.
(Click the photo on the right to see a slideshow of Tiffany's Fourth of July)
We thought we were so smart getting an early start, but there was still no parking. People had the same idea we had ... but the night before. We ended up illegally parking on the side of a tennis court. Our plan was to go to the American Legion Pancake breakfast, but after almost an hour of looking for parking we ended up all the way down by the —not walking distance to 15th street, especially in our designer sandals.
We were as hungry as rabid alley cats so we stopped at the closest eatery, the Shorehouse Cafe (boo hoo that it is closing soon). We shared ginormous pancakes and the Shorehouse signature omelette. Best not to eat too much before we bikini-it on the beach. We had to make it to Easy Ride Back Alley Bike Rentals by 9 a.m. opening because it was the only place in town that offered $10 rentals ALL DAY.
Even right at opening, they were nearly all rented out of their beachcruisers. I found one that I thought would work. Unfortunately, I hadn't ridden a bike since I was like eight years old and this bike looked nothing like my Huffy. It was going to be a challenge.
Sure enough, I couldn't even put my two feet on the peddles at the same time. It was impossible, but thank goodness it was only $10. We walked the bikes out to the alley so I could practice. Of course my two friends were pros. It was an embarrassing moment as I attempted to learn to ride again, but I'm sure this is how little Lance Armstrong started ... and look at him now. After almost fifteen minutes of trying, I finally got it. We rode up to the boardwalk, only crashing once along the way, and rode all the way to . On the way, there were these seven-year old boys who held up "10" signs as we passed. They told us we were the first 10's (hotties) of the day—of course they had a tip jar too. Smart boys ready for dating in the OC.
We locked up our bikes and found a good spot on the beach, although it was so crowded. A bottle of Skinnygirl Margarita (don't tell) and we were saying "Hallelujah Summer!" in no time. We took a ton of pics and talked about the usual: boys, booze and "when are we going to vegas?"
After our plastic cups were empty and we had turned a lovely shade of pink, we headed on down to about noon where it was nice and empty. I ordered three buckets which are drinks served in Malibu Rum mini sand pails. For $12 you get a delicious blend of rum and cherry coke and a take home pail to pick up dirty seashells later. The bartendress is a generous pourer ... rum, rum, rum with a splash of cherry coke. We filled up the jukebox with summer-fun songs like Bananarama's Cruel Summer and Billy Idol's Dancing with Myself. We met a couple of cute guys there, exchanged numbers. But we were soon distracted by the arrival of girls in cowboy hats and bikinis. Since when does Newport have Rodeos? Go back to the 909, girls.
My friends and I rode our bikes back down the boardwalk at around 2 p.m. It was so crowded at this time. People were overflowing off their patios, skateboarders, lovebirds walking hand-and-hand, and people trying to high-five you as you passed. Are you trying to kill me? You would have to rip my hands off these handlebars in order for me to high-five you.
I couldn't take the congestion. I ended up crashing into the back of three guys' muscular calves (this could be a new mating ritual for me) and riding off the sidewalk into a patch of grass; almost colliding into a group of girls who encouraged me not to give up, "keep on peddling!" they coached. It was the guys dressed up as Easter bunnies, throwing out packs of Skittles to everyone that ended my bike riding career. I nearly toppled over my front wheel as I tried to avoid the rainbow of flavor. I walked my bike the rest of the way back to the shop. I was done. My beautiful knees were worth more than the glory of cruising the boardwalk.
After we returned the bikes, we headed onto the Balboa Island Ferry. We walked through the island, across the bridge and headed on out to Jamboree. Next stop: the for fireworks.
Starving again we went to the tent they had set up. $10 for a hot dog was a little steep, but it was dog it or die. There was a main stage set up where a Heart cover band played. It was pretty harsh, like cats screaming. I was nervous about the Bon Jovi cover band to go on after. I am kind of a fan and have been to a few Bon Jovi concerts. Amazingly, this band, Wanted, was dead on. The lead singer sounded exactly like Jon Bon Jovi. My friends and I even did the embarrassing high fives when they started to play Livin' on a Prayer.
After the set we headed on over to the and had the luck of getting an outdoor table overlooking the dunes. A couple of margaritas sealed the deal and we were ready for fireworks. A perfect view, relaxing, and finally a cool down. Oh and the Bon Jovi cover band came and visited us at the table and we took pictures with them. Are we the new groupies? That's another article.
The fireworks at the Dunes were awesome, even had a happy face firework which I captured on my little digital camera. We walked back after to the car, ankle blisters growing larger by the minute and my new gold gladiator sandals falling apart at the soles. We prayed to the parking gods on the way to the car and it worked! No parking ticket. The peninsula was packed and took us over an hour to get off, but it wasn't anything a little Kanye West's Runaway and Adele's Rolling in the Deep couldn't improve. It was so crowded we were actually carrying on convos with people in the cars next to us.
The night ended without any DUI's or throwing up in a back alley, which is a good night in the O.C. (by the way, I am a local, born and raised and I like calling it the O.C. - just in case you're a hater).
My friends just texted me, "What's the plan for next weekend?" I'm already on it! Stay Tuned for more Summer Fun stories.