today (well, yesterday now) was a truly amazing day. i got to spend the day with anthony's family at balboa in newport beach :) and boy did we have a grand time!
the day started out a little rough, as we missed our departure time for our whale/dolphin watching boat trip at 3pm due to a severe lack of parking. we attempted to find parking on the pier side (not a good idea), which ended up costing us a very frustrating hour of our time.
we were about to give up and just go home, until anthony's mom, melissa, came up with the brilliant idea to find parking on the opposite side of the water. we got lucky and got a great parking spot there and then took the ferry across the water to the main area of balboa.
it seems that everything happens for a reason... missing our boat trip ended up making our balboa day even better! we rescheduled our whale/dolphin watching trip for 6pm in the evening and, instead, enjoyed the other attractions of balboa during the afternoon.
first, melissa treated us to some yummy desserts. anthony got a balboa bar and i got a chocolate covered banana :)
afterward, we spent some time playing ski ball in the arcade, which is always fun. i whooped anthony's butt, of course. (okay, by like 50 points).
then, we took a lovely ride on the ferris wheel :) no matter how old i get, i always seem to find ferris wheels so much fun!
after the joy ride, we looked in a couple of shops and munched on a hot dog, waiting for joel (anthony's stepdad) to arrive. once he joined us, we headed to the balboa pavillion, ready to get our whale/dolphin watching on!
as expected, we didn't see any whales, but we saw more than our fair share of dolphins. it was so amazing! it was similar to what anthony and i got to see last summer in hawaii. they were swimming right next to our boat alongside us as we moved. such an incredible sight!
we also saw sea lions, which i've never seen before. they were perched up on a buoy and they kept ringing the bell. so cute!
minus the slight sea sickness i got, it was a fantastic experience. i'm so glad we got the chance to go! beautiful sights like these remind me why living in this orange county bubble can be so wonderful.
it was getting late by the time we got off the boat, but we still had time for one last stop on our balboa adventure...
the shore house! we went there for dinner and it was scrumptious. it's making me hungry just thinking about it. and i've never seen such enormous portion sizes for their prices, either. a side of marinara pasta ($3) could seriously pass for an entire child's meal at some chain restaurants. it was insane! and i don't think i've ever seen a bigger fish taco in my life.
simply put, it was a perfect ending to a perfect day. it's days like these that i'm reminded why i'm so lucky to get to spend time with anthony and his family. they seriously do so much for me and are so welcoming. i can't thank them enough!