....on the Electric Riverboat Angela Louise (Balboa Fun Zone).
Aboard Angela Louise, there is a very jovial vibe. Built in 1832, the so-called "Largest Battery Operated Classic Riverboat in the World", she has been host to can can girl entertainment shows fur and whiskey trading, early Victorian era weddings, and according to legend (though NOT officially recognized by notable historians, it was where Abe Lincoln decided to take a firm stance in favor of abolition after witness an incident involving a riverboat captain who refused to allow salves on board. Wow, let this story be verified!
The Angel Louise riverboat experience mainly offers traditional wedding ceremony. Happy couples are married or practice rehearsal weddings and wedding parties joined the lovebirds along the bay in the Balboa Fun Zone. A.L. also does other group party events, incl. corporate. On occasion, there is a "floating happy hour" which touts $4 beer, $2 tacos and priceless bay views and fun with laughs and dancing "Happy Girls" dressed as sailors ( single guys will surely get a "kick" out of them). Check website to see if there are any happy hour updates. When trying to catch the boat for flaoting happy hour, note that there is no admission price but guest MUST buy food and drink. In this case, this is not a traditional cruise with fare. There are other cruise adventures within Balboa from which to choose.
For those who desire to have Balboa nuptials, wedding specials cost between $3000-$5000- yes, a bargain in pricey Newport Beach. If you want to elope, A.L. accommodates short notice.
You'll scream for and love a Balboa Bar and Frozen Banana. When on Balboa Island, treat yourself to either the yummy chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream Balboa Bar or the Frozen Banana dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. Legends says that these two calorie filled desserts on a stick were invented on the island.
Head to Dad's Donuts or Sugar and Spice confection shops to complete this must-try Newport Beach delight.
Bristol Farms is an upscale California based market with gourmet culinary goodies and some of the freshest produce around. The Newport Beach location at the Corona del Mar shopping plaza (close to Fashion Island) is one of the premiere locations. New renovations have been made and will be fully realized by the fall of 2012.
Living up to its motto of being an "extraordinary store", BF combines as an exclusive grocery with full service cafe, deli, bakery, coffee shop (Peet's coffee and tea), winery and floral shop. Each section is quite impressive and in addition, a dedicated demo department lets the grazing public sample gourmet treats, often imported cheese and hors d'oeuvres. Have your choice of caviar here as well as very fine wine (some bottles are a few hundred dollars and more!), delights from fresh sushi bar and more basic offerings like peanut butter and jelly.
Locals especially flock in for the fancy, delectable cupcakes in the bakery. My favorite is the Strawberry Shortcake but anyone is just amazing. What's best is that the treats have been voted as the best in Orange county and cost less than the Sprinkle's varieties that are across the way in the plaza.
Though not as much of a celebrity draw as its West Hollywood sister store, there have been sightings of some famous names, especially in sports, including local Lindsay Davenport of tennis fame, Tony Gonzalez (NFL veteran) and several Angels baseball players. Other names that stop in for weekly groceries include Vanna White of Wheel of Fortune fame and Vanessa Bryant (Kobe's wife).
Consider BF a good place to pick up posh, fancy items for a picnic at the Corona del Mar beach.
Fondest memory: various food events/demo at the market. Get yummy free food samples and even wine tastings at some events. I attend an event in 2012, sampling the scrumptious cinammon french toast (pictured) and met locally famous chef, Jamie Gwen.
Talk of Politics!
In this city of the very "blue" (Democrat) state of California, one sees mostly "red" (Republican). NB/Corona del Mar residents are not reticent to lash against "hefty lefty-influence" in their town. But for those who are blue, don't fret, N.B. will welcome all, especially if you have the money to spend! Democrats are outnumbered here about 2 to 1. Lavish "red" political bashes here in swanky hotels and other spots especially when Election Days comes around. U.S. presidential candidate, Mitt Romney made a campaign stop at the Balboa Bay Club, off PCH in June '12.
Not a Favorite thing necessarily- just a thing...
Despite Newport Beach's population being spread out and in the tens of thousands (about 70,000+), N.B. has a village feel. The city is made of signifcant, individual parts that are quite walkable- there is Balboa Island, Newport Coast, Corona Del Mar (a big community almost stand by itself on the south end), Eastbluff, West Newport , the Lido, Mariner's Village. The subdivisions really go on and on if you consider the exclusive residential neighborhoods.
Particularly, Newport Coast is a community of exclusivity, mostly with multi-million dollar mansions (Kobe Bryant has 3-4 here alone), lush green acres and super maintained landscape. Luxury cars continuously rolling down the streets here. You can play the "Mercedes/BMW/Range Rover" car count game as I do. Count how many of each passes on Coast Highway (and after about 10-20 min, and you will have a good number of each) and see who comes out ahead! If you are not filthy rich (or at least a little rich), don't drive a fancy sportscar or SUV or can't afford to shop upscale, well, you would have a hard time to appreciate what this part has to offer.
Favorite thing: Weather: For all of those who enjoy mild sunny days, be sure to come here, as NB and CdM enjoy mild temperatures throughout the year. The average high temp in summer is a ....whomping... 75 degrees F (24 C)! There is almost always a great, chilly breeze at night, so yes, bring a jacket or coat with you. Even in summer, the sun tends to take time to come out here, often surfacing at his peak 2 PM in the afternoon (14:00).
Though the city of Newport Beach is rather prominent with its richness and numerous activities, the beach area is rather subdued. This is the contrast of another beach city of, notably, Santa Monica.
My sister said that renting a yacht was cheaper than what it would cost to have the reception at a regular hotel. The party was on a yacht and it sailed around the harbor for 4 hours. Most people thought it was cool.
The company renting out the yachts is called Adventures at Sea.
Goldenrod Bridge - 1928
Find this sweet little walkways as you make your way to or from the beach at Corona del Mar. Take Goldenrod Avenue from Coast Highway!
Favorite thing: I was living in North Promontory Points Apartments in Newport Beach. The view of my balcony was seeing on the picture I have published above.....