I never sleep well in a strange place the first night, add to that the lack of “white noise” we have from a fan back home I didn’t have the greatest first night sleep but I can’t blame the bed it was NICE. Tom can sleep anywhere, lucky guy.
The Marriott Newport Coast Villas came well stocked with dishes, glasses, cookware, all the appliances you will need including a washer/dryer to do your laundry but if you intend on doing more than one load of laundry or drinking more than one pot of coffee (what they give you to start you out) make sure you stop at a grocery, you’ll need to anyway unless you intend on eating all meals out they do have a marketplace that sells the single serving/load packs they give you for your first day (and I’ve seen in comments online are about them being as expensive as buying a regular size one) sure you may not need it all but I’m sure someone ends up taking them home plus you get to choose your own brands. There isn’t much in the way of food onsite but there are options nearby including the Zpizza I mentioned in the last post. We pretty much only did breakfasts (and the odd lunch with leftovers) and had our dinners out.
Our first full day at the resort we had decided would be divided between exploring the resort a bit including the nearby Crystal Cove State Park beach and doing some monkey feeding (aka shopping). I had purposely packed a pair of ratty running shoes that I fully intended on leaving behind because whenever I get near a beach my feet end up getting wet and I didn’t want to ruin my good pair of runners. Turns out it was a good idea.
The resort offers shuttles over to the park (or passes to park there) but we walked. I mean seriously it isn’t THAT far. You walk through some paths through the brush (which turns out have rattlesnakes in em! SRSLY! No Lie! See pic of a sign below from Tom)
Chris had his eyes open to see if he could find one to take a picture of, I was keeping my eyes on him so that he wouldn’t get to close if he DID see any. We were pretty sure you wouldn’t run across one unless you were stupid enough to walk IN the brush rather than along the paths, we figured they wanted to avoid us as much as we wanted to avoid them (other than Chris the weirdo.)
The walk down to the beach was a bit hairy as the path we chose was a very steep winding incline (turns out a bit further down were beach steps which we found to take us back up and would have been a LOT easier to navigate going down.) After doing the baby step shuffle down this scary steep path in my old and might I add treadless sneakers we found ourselves face to face with some pretty nice waves. The beach is narrow when the tide is up and in some sections to walk along it is quite rocky but it certainly was pretty and worth the venture.
We walked down the beach and I wobbled my way over rocks (Tom watching me as he knows how frickin CLUMSY I am) and got to an area where some pretty impressive waves were. They all stood on this flat outcropping of rocks. Me? I stood beside them creeping ever closer to to water.
Who was smarter? Oh them of course. At first the water was lapping around my ankles… not too bad and hey it was pretty warm. Then all of a sudden…
Yeah I had to make a run for it… the waves came in and BLAMO it was halfway up my calf and rising. I ran with the camera still on (heh) but the water had reached the top of the rock outcrop which easily would have been well over my hips and sucking back out. After that I stayed a weeee bit further away and higher up!
I did manage to catch a video of a surfer doing their thang which was pretty cool. Nothing I would ever want to try even if I wasn’t afraid of the water!
When we were done with the beach we found the aforementioned easier path UP and walked back to the resort to change my shoes before heading out to shop. We grabbed a few more pictures and vids from the cliffside
Shopping was a bit of a bust, though I did get a couple of things and we DID find a Cost Plus World Market which we LOVEEEE. There we picked up some British Candy (yay) and say hello to Hamish my new piggy bank. Yes I’m sure there are plenty of other places to buy a piggy bank but a piggy in the hand and all that. Plus how could I turn my back on this smile…?
We saw across from the stores was an Italian place called Maggiano’s Little Italy and pasta all of a sudden sounded like a GREAT idea.
We were seated right away and ordered our various dishes. Tom, Chris and I had pasta and Sean ordered Salmon. The salmon was a la carte so I suggested to Sean he order a side dish. MAN we had NO FREAKING IDEA that the food was going to be that HUGE. I am not shitting you, the full order of pasta is enough to feed a least two people. My lasagna I MAYBE ate a quarter of it. It was fricking mount Lasagna.
I don’t think that picture properly conveys its sheer size. It was plenty tasty but omg unless you plan on taking a lot home with you CHOOSE THE HALF ORDER!!!
Sean got I swear quarter of a salmon and a platter of garlic mashies.
Chris this casserole dish of pasta..
Tom who ordered spaghetti and meat balls, got TWO. GIANT. BALLS!
Here they are beside his head for scale! LMFAO!
We felt guilty when they looked at our meager dents into the food and didn’t want to take the leftovers with us (would totally spoil in the car before we got back to the resort). Good thing we had parked a distance away because we needed to walk off some of that!
We hit up the cash machine to give us some greenbacks (instead of just the plastic) we’d need for tolls etc and then headed back to the resort.
We spend the evening burping (TMI?) and then sipped some wine as the sun went down. Needed to rest up as the next day would be our first theme park. DISNEYLAND! YAY!