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Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Last week I mentioned that we had just returned from our family road trip.  As I posted on Instagram, we were gone for 10 days, traveled 3200 miles, and stayed in 4 different hotels.  We're quickly running out of summers before our kids are gone from home, and have so many places that we'd like to travel to as a family. This trip knocked out several!  Although it was all a blast, by the time we arrived back in Oklahoma City, home never looked so good.  

I have several portions of our trip that I would like to share with you, beginning with a fun day half way through our trip that we spent at Newport Beach.  

We began our trip with a few days at Disneyland (tips coming soon), but other than making those arrangements before hand, we planned to totally wing the rest of our trip, finding hotels along the way as we went wherever we ended up.  That ended up working perfectly for us.  So, as you all made a few suggestions while we were gone, we were able to alter our schedule if we wanted to.  Upon seeing that we were heading south once leaving Anaheim, one sweet reader sent me a link to a Groupon for a whale watching tour out of Newport Beach, and we thought that sounded like a perfect activity for a day.

Newport Beach was a quick trip from Disneyland and we arrived mid-day.  After locating the shop where our tour would begin (Davey's Locker, they were great!), we had a few hours to kill and ventured over to the beach for a picnic lunch.  The pier is gorgeous, complete with a Ruby's diner for hungry guests (recommended by another reader). 

However, we brown bagged our lunch that day in order to save a few dollars (or a lot of dollars... 30 meals on the road adds up!).  Perched on an empty lifeguard platform with a priceless view, the finest of restaurants couldn't have been better.

This was the kids' first time to the Pacific, and although they dipped their toes in, I begged them not to get soaked before our whale tour.  That was next to impossible!

After checking in for our tour, we had a little more time to roam the boardwalk.  Newport Beach is a darling little town with fun shops and a small carnival-type atmosphere along the harbor.  

After boarding our boat, I couldn't resist photographing all of the gorgeous beach houses as we headed out to sea.  (I might have even enjoyed house-watching more than whale-watching-ha!)  

Some favored stately Southern or Mediterranean manors, 

(there's many more photos, please click through to finish the post)

others contemporary modern estates, 

and many appeared to be transported right out of the Hamptons.  

(how cute is that flower-lined dock?) 

The variety of all of the designs was certainly impressive.

For some reason, I immediately thought of Leave it to Beaver when I saw this one.  I love it!

Yes, please!  Can you imagine the fabulous parties that could be hosted here? The navy, white, and yellow along with the details like the trim on curtains made my heart go pitter pat!

One thing I noticed and absolutely loved, also, was that almost every dock was proudly flying the red, white, and blue.

The tour groups earlier in the day saw some amazing animals on their outing, but we missed out on the whales.  We did get to see Pacific White Sided Dolphins and Sea Lions, which was a treat for these Okies, along with the experience itself of being out on the open water.  

After the tour concluded, we returned to the beach to let the kids actually get in the water for a bit.  Although colder than the Gulf water we're more accustomed to, the water was absolutely gorgeous and they didn't seem to mind the temperature at all.

We ended the day by traveling south along the Pacific Coast Highway, one thing that I wanted to do on the trip for sure.  All of the little beach towns were so charming, and of course the views were stunning.  

We only scratched the surface of things to do in the area, but Newport Beach is definitely a fun, family friendly destination worth a visit if you're ever in the area!

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Julia @cuckoo4designJune 17, 2015 at 6:32 AM

    I always wanted to move to California. So beautiful and I have yet to take my kiddos there. Your photos are gorgeous!

  2. Oh my gosh, those houses!! This just got added to the list of places we need to visit!

  3. Beautiful photos, I lived there for a few years and yes, it is totally fabulous.

  4. Yes, for sure! It amazes me how unremarkable beach homes can be from the street, but from the water... stunning!

  5. Marty, I can't imagine living there! The beauty is overwhelming. I'd love to be able to go sit on the beach for a few hours whenever my little heart desires...

  6. Thanks Julia. It would be quite a trek for you, but definitely worth doing some day. There are lots of fun places you all could tag in one trip!

  7. It really is a magical place. I grew up in San Diego, then after marrying we lived in Newport for a while and that whole southern California coast is so amazingly beautiful and the beaches are fabulous. Really spoils you for anywhere else. Now I live in the desert, wow, what a difference. Marty

  8. So pretty! We'll be in CA in a few weeks (Santa Cruz mostly), and the older kids will be doing a whale watch with the grandparents (we opted not to take the 2 year old on a boat for 4 hours!). Can't wait to see/hear more about your trip :)

  9. Amazing! Beauty pictures...lucky U:-)

  10. Hi Jennifer, glad the Groupon worked out for you. I've done that same tour from Dana Point, it's hit or miss with the whales, however you had great weather! Next time you stay overnight, get out to Catalina. The boat ride out and back is a good chunk of time, but it's worth it, really fun place, without the expense of booking a cruise, too.
    That photo underneath the pier is TOTALLY frameable, by the way. Nice!

  11. Wow what a beautiful trip!

  12. So beautiful, I would love to go to the west coast one day! I think seeing those pretty houses would have been one of the highlights for me too! :)

  13. More than 60 years ago, my father and I used to go fishing at Newport. Back then it was as beautiful as today but in the style of the time. It was a very affluent area.and lots of kids were around. That was a time when they were safe, even when the parents were nowhere to be seen. They also were all polite and nice...

  14. Wendy Newell MartinezJune 18, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    Newport Beach is my go-to beach. It is my favorite place to be and I am so glad that you got to enjoy it!

  15. Nice! I want to head off there someday! Glad you all had fun, love your photos too!


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