Driving my first boat in Newport Harbor!

I made an impulse Groupon purchase at the end of last year. I don’t know what came over me but I bought an hour-long boat ride in Newport Harbor in Orange County. I completely forgot about the purchase until I got a reminder email saying it was going to expire. I made a few calls and one of my friends said she’d take the ride with me. We parked at the Balboa Fun Zone area and got to Marina Boat Rentals to get our boat tour. We found out that we got our own boat and were supposed to drive it ourselves in the harbor! We got into the boat and I immediately took a right and ended up getting caught in fishing lines. Oops!

After we got untangled, here’s the view we had of the harbor. And yes, that’s me driving the boat!

I have to admit that the coolest thing about being out in the water was the peace and quiet. We heard the faint sounds of the Fun Zone rides but as we got farther into the harbor, we just heard the humming of our boat motor and our squeals.

We tried to stay away from the big boats and tried to steer towards the center of the harbor (you’re not allowed to leave the harbor into the ocean).  But the most amazing sight we saw were the sea lions that were hanging out by the docks near the residential homes. On our way back to dock the boat, we even saw one of the sea lions swimming beside us.

After the ride, we saw someone eating a burrito (it smelled amazing!) and asked her where she got it. She told us to go across the street to Great Mex. The place is tiny – just a few tables and a place to order your food. I ordered the breakfast burrito with chorizo… take a look:

The burrito was the perfect size and had great flavor. The tortilla wasn’t soggy – I could tell it was lightly toasted on the grill. The chorizo had a nice crisp layer which I like and it was served with eggs and cheese – it was a no frills kind of burrito. I added a little bit of hot sauce for some extra kick. This meal was very filling and satisfying.

Afterwards, we had to get some Fun Zone sweet treats.

I saw a kid buy the snow cone and I was very tempted by all the colors and the refreshing look of the gigantic cone.

My friend and I decided to end the day with a traditional fair food… funnel cake! We found a bench near the ferris wheel and ate our funnel cake and looked out into the harbor. It was nice to blow off weekend errands and just have fun. I’m looking at these photos and thinking to myself that I need to do that more. Don’t you agree?

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