Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A day at the beach

We have some friends that live about a mile from Newport Beach. This past weekend we went and saw them and had a perfect beach day.

We started at their home in Costa Mesa (this area is also a place with free day parking) and got bags filled with:

Tennis rackets and Balls
Beach wear

Here is a map of the route. We hopped on our bikes and took Victoria to the bike trail through Talbert Park and the US Army watershed. While oil refineries line the northern trail, the south side trail has marshes filled with sea birds and fishermen (the water is reclaimed, so I wouldn’t eat those fish…). This trail is also used by serious bikers, but if you’re not the type for full body spandex just stay to the right. Take this all the way out to PCH and go south. Cross PCH at Orange and continue down Seashore until 57th. One side is dwarfed by million dollar beach homes and rentals, while the other is a nice grassy park with benches, picnic tables, tennis courts, racquetball courts, and other facilities.

After an hour of hitting the ball around, we girls walked to Big Belly Deli for some serious sandwiches. The place is always packed, so call ahead and order your sandwiches to go (phone: 949.645.2888 web menu: My favorite is the 6310- a big sandwich that feeds two people for $6.89 and has: turkey, bacon, avocado, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard, mayo on grilled foccacia bread. If you forget to order ahead, order a beer and watch the latest game at the bar.

Grabbing this and a drink and back to the courts we went. The boys staked out a picnic table for us in the shade and we devoured our lunches. After changing into our beach gear we went back up to Orange Street and headed west. There is a big lifeguard station at this part of the beach so it’s fairly family friendly.

The water is cold and the wind makes you chill, but afterwards laying on the warm sand is a hedonic experience.

Sandy and beachified we struggled back into biking clothes for the ride back. The last hill up Victoria is impossible in a beach cruiser, so just walk it. This trail makes for a great mid-day jaunt. Following this up with a poolside BBQ would be the perfect way to finish the day. Overall, it is a cheap activity ($8.00 for lunch for two), but having wonderful friends to share it with makes it priceless.

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