Wednesday, May 20, 2015

STSS Spring Adventure 2015 // Day Three: Kayaking & Crystal Cove

Ruby's Shake Shack // Group Picture
^ Only group picture we got the entire road trip. We can do better than that, guys! ^
Lazy Day Sleepover // Makeshift Pillow Fort
^ Sleepeh Tommeh. ^ 
Steph & Her Chicken
^ Steph & one of her chickens. ^
Ruby's Shake Shack // Exterior
 ^ Ruby's Shake Shack. Apologies for the weird lighting; twas staring into the sun... O.o ^
Ruby's Shake Shack // Stairs to Crystal Cove
Crystal Cove in Newport Beach // At Golden Hour
Creamistry in Irvine // Behind the Counter

Sleeping in unfamiliar places always has me waking up super early, no matter how late I went to sleep the night before. For instance, I fell asleep at 3am at Steph's and woke up at 6am. Yayyy. O.o

Upside though, that meant I got to watch the rest of the household slowly come alive {no, not like I creepily stood over them until they opened their eyes. -___- Like, it went from being silent to people slowly stirring upstairs and then hearing chattery voices over running water. Morning noises}.

Stephen was the first of us four to decide that getting up was worth it {I'd already brushed my teeth and everything, but was sitting back under the covers because it was warmer there. And I really didn't have anywhere I needed to be, so. Why get up?}. Our morning consisted of bidding adieu to all members of Steph's family except Roxy, waffle and omelette making, exercising the backyard chickens, picking cherry tomatoes off the vine, and a whole lot of just goofing off in the family room. The kind of no schedule hanging out that hadn't happened since last August when we did this same roadtrip and that we missed being able to do since we graduated college.

Around one o'clockish, we realized that if Steph's mom came home and found us all still sitting around and talking in our pajamas, she'd think we were crazy. So we decided to get dressed, clean up the kitchen of breakfast dishes, put all the couch pillows back where they belonged, and figure out our plan for the day.

After a lot of "what do you wanna do?" "I dunno, what do youuu want to do?", kayaking got the majority vote. We piled into the car, greeting the neighbor's very excited English bulldog puppy on the way, and off we went.

The first place we tried told us that all their double kayaks had just left and wouldn't be back for another hour-and-a-half to two hours. They recommended we try their other location further down the street with potentially better luck there. And we did have better luck there because not only did they have two double kayaks for us, but they were willing to offer us the Groupon discount simply from us mentioning the Groupon discount. Like, okay, sure.

The employees there were really friendly {if maybe a tad too friendly at some point? Semi-hitting on a girl when her boyfriend is standing right there miiight not be the best idea, dude... O.o}. They also had stand-up paddleboards, single kayaks, and covered motor boats, in case kayaking with friends isn't your thing.

You WILL get wet while out on the water because, even if you and your partner are the smoothest paddlers of all time, there are these holes at the bottom of the boat that are there to let water out in case it gets in your kayak, but all they really do is let water in every time you hit the wake of a passing motorboat. ))): Boo. I've gone kayaking before and had NEVER gotten as soaked as we were when we stepped out onto the dock at the end. Basically, everything from the waist down was water-logged. ): Our recommendation is to wear shorts, leave your shoes/flip flops on the dock, and bring a change of clothes. Also, if you don't know how to kayak, go ahead and ask the dock attendant BEFORE you push off and attempt to learn on your own. It's so much easier.

Our two hours paddling around the bay were fun, if a little tiring. We opted for going the quieter route where there were less motor boats and the water was calmer. Stephen and Steph made friends with some very pretty swans while Tommy and I found Gru's (from Despicable Me) house {it had a mini Statue of Liberty in its backyard}. Since we left everything either in the car or at the boat rental place, we relied on Tommy's faux FitBit to let us know when it was time to turn back. It was a pretty good plan until we realized that we weren't actually sure how far back the place really was... O.o Did we pass it? Did we not go far enough? WHERE ARE WE, GUYS.

Turns out, we needed to paddle, like, fifty more feet and we were there. Heh.

Steph suggested dinner at Ruby's Shake Shack near Crystal Cove in Newport Beach and the drive there was really pretty. Lots of small shops lining the sidewalks, rolling hills to our left, the ocean to our right. *two thumbs up* We parked up the block at Crystal Heights {a shopping area with a very residential name, no?} since Ruby's parking lot is tiny and always full.

After a lovely stroll along the Pacific Coast Highway on the Crystal Cove Trail, we arrived at this cute, bright yellow, beachy building with a gorgeous wood patio to the side and a ridiculous view of the beach below. We ate our food facing the setting sun at their patio railing and although that basically meant we were squinting the entire time, I think we'd all choose to sit there again. (:

As soon as we finished eating, the unanimous decision was made to head down the long set of wooden stairs to Crystal Cove and hang for a while. I'm not normally a fan of beaches {too many unknown things in the sand, thank you very much}, but this one was clean and nothing was on the beach that wasn't supposed to be on a beach {in other words, no weird trash or sketchy mysterious objects or whathaveyou. Just seaweed and rocks and sand}. I took a lot of pictures while we were there, so I'm thinking I'll make that its own separate post...

Once the sun had set and darkness was falling, we trekked back up the stairs, along the highway, and back to the car, in search of one last thing to do before we went home. With a peek at our "Future Adventure" GoogleDoc {yes, we keep a running list}, we realized we weren't too far from a Creamistry, so off we drove.

The place was busy, though we got there just before a huge line of people formed. Watching them make the orders is a lot of fun, since large clouds of cool-to-the-touch white vapor poof out of the giant mixing bowls, spilling over the counter and slowly dissipating just in time for another cloud to appear from a different station. We tried the lemon meringue flavor and it was pretty good. Another thing crossed off our "Future Adventure" list!

When we got back to Steph's house, the guys left for San Diego and we simply got ready for bed since we'd have to be up early the next morning. There was some watching of Pitch Perfect and Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader in there {her siblings were watching and we were slowly calming down after a long day}, but otherwise, the rest of the night was uneventful and quiet.


Earlier parts of STSS Spring Adventure 2015: day onemorning of day two, and afternoon of day two.
Later parts of the trip: day four.


Newport Fun Tours
3101 West Coast Highway #160
Newport Beach, California 92663

Ruby's Shake Shack
7703 East Coast Highway
Newport Beach, California 92657

3972 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, California 92606

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