Newport Beach was one of the places in California I hadn't visited before...so I was super excited to get here! and of course because of my teen days loving the O.C! Sadly on the day we arrived my anti nausea pills had run out and I had extreme all day sickness which was rather embarassing because we had arranged to stay with my lovely cousin Stephaney and her family who I had never met before! and I'm not sure spending a whole two days in bed and being sick at someone's house creates the best first impression! but I was very glad at this point we weren't camping and Stephaney looked after me very well!
While I lay in my sick bed Stephaney's husband Asher and son Tamir took Byron over to Balboa Island on the ferry.
Look at that beautiful beach! Doesn't it look so calm and serene!
Actually it is known as 'The Wedge' and is a rather iconic surfing spot - sometimes producing waves of up to 30 feet high! and actually some of the waves can be so dangerous that people can quite often die here!! Pretty scary stuff!
Byron took a video of it to show me when he got home...
Afterwards, he got taken to an amazing Mexican place called Bear Flag Fish Co.
All the different varieties of fish were out in front of you and you picked which one to go into your taco or burrito...can you see how fresh and tasty that looks!
He also tried tuna ceviche which he said was incredible!
The next day, after finally heading to a doctor and getting some ridiculously overpriced anti nausea pills to last me til the the end of the trip, I was finally feeling more human! and so I was able to leave the house! By wanted to show me Balboa Island as he knew I'd like it!
I loved how all the cute little houses were so decorated! and they all had amazing outdoor furniture...I guess it really never rains there so they don't have to worry about it getting wet!
This cow was out in all it's patriotic glory!
We went to the Balboa Bar stand - Dad's Original, which is meant to be the best! and By opted for a frozen banana! I was still sadly not eating at this point! He had his dipped in chocolate and then oreo crumbs, and it looked amazing!
I loved all the cute little streets and old fashioned lights!
When I heard there was a Sprinkles in town, we had to check it out...
Especially when I heard it was the ice cream store! because that's a pretty recent addition!
The only problem is we were sooo spoilt for choice! did we have a cupshake - a cupcake mixed with a milkshake? or a cupcake cut in half with your choice of ice cream in the middle, or 2 homemade cookies made into an ice cream sandwich? The options were endless and all delicious sounding...
In the end, the ice cream sandwich won! We picked a milk chocolate and a double chocolate cookie and then sandwiched it with vanilla bean ice cream! This was seriously amazing and a good way to break my 2 days of not eating!! I only wish I'd been well enough to order my own...it seems criminal looking back now that I only managed a few bites!!
We also checked out this little place called Pirate's Cove - not quite as isolated and turquoise as Pirate's Cove in Turks and Caicos, but pretty cool all the same!
On our final night with the Avital's, we got taken to Ruby's Shake Shack which is somewhere I was very excited to go due to my love of all things milkshake!
Even though Stephaney and I live 5,000 miles apart and had never met until this trip...it must be in the Jones family blood to have a love of milkshakes!
Ruby's did certainly not disappoint! They were super thick, just the way I love them and I had mint oreo flavour - my fave!
Ella was pretty excited with her shaved ice! It's also a great view over the ocean as we sat slurping away.
We headed down to the beach for a closer look...
It was a beautifully calm evening...
Stephaney showed us this little beach cottage where the film Beaches was set. We were even able to peek through the windows and step back in time to how it looked!
We posed for a few family shots!
and managed to get one of the two of us for once - thanks Stephaney!
and one last group shot before we headed home and hit the road to our next stop!
It was great to catch up and meet some of our family on the other side of the world! and they were so hospitable and lovely towards us that by the time we left we felt like we'd always grown up knowing them! I guess that's what family is all about!