First Family Bike ride in Newport!

Gadgets. Maybe your family uses them; My family uses gadgets all the time, from cell phones to smart phones, laptops to tablets, and TVs to remote-controlled gizmos. I recently realized how much time we had been spending with our gadgets, and felt it was time we took a much-needed break from our screens and connect as a family. After all, we live in a state with some of the greatest weather and natural wonders in the world, and I wanted to show my family that there’s more to life than chatting, texting and youtube.

Besides, my wife and I realized that we had never taken our 3 year-old, Jack, to the beach. It seemed amazing, but I guess we had just taken SoCal’s beauty and majestic beaches for granted. Since my wife’s father was visiting from Palm Springs that week, we decided it was finally time.

After a little research on bike rentals and local beaches (I guess gadgets are good for some things), I packed up the hybrid and took my family down to Newport Cruisers in Newport Beach where we selected the perfect bikes for an afternoon beach cruise. The selection was amazing, and everyone got the kind of bike they wanted. My son even got to ride in a child seat upfront with me. I’ll admit I was a little jealous, since he didn’t have to do anything but enjoy the cool breeze and sunshine on his smiling face. He was also in charge of the camera, and got some amazing shots of the beach! Well, amazing for a 3 year-old. 

After taking in the sights and smells of the beach, we decided to head over to the Balboa Fun Zone, one of SoCal’s oldest and last great coastal amusement areas. My wife’s dad lived in Newport as a kid, and he showed us where he used to hang out with his friends, playing the arcade games and snacking on cotton candy and popcorn. My wife and son rode the old horse carousel, and he didn’t want to get off. It was his first time seeing a real carousel, and he even tried to feed the horses a piece of his apple.

After some snacks and a little sightseeing, we walked over to the Balboa Pavilion, which was built in 1905, and has been a very popular destination for millions of early Los Angelenos over the years. It’s amazing that this place has thrived for so long, and continues to provide fun and entertainment after so long. My father-in-law showed us where he proposed to his wife in 1962. My wife and I teared up when he told us about that perfect night, and it really made us all appreciate the Pavilion even more. My wife and I talked about how someday maybe our son will have his own adventures down here, and even meet the girl of his dreams and bring his own family to experience it like his grandpa did.

After a wonderful trip down memory lane, we all got back on our bikes and headed back up to get some amazing corn dogs at Jane’s Corndogs. I hadn’t had a corndog since I was a kid, but I think I ate more corndogs at Jane’s than I did in all my childhood. They were just that delicious. Their fresh home-made lemonade really hit the spot; not too sweet, not too tart. Perfect for a day in the SoCal sun.

We all then rode back down to Newport Cruisers and dropped our bikes off. Jack didn’t want to leave, but he fell asleep in the child seat as we were checking the bikes in. Poor little guy.

We’re all looking forward to our next adventure in Newport Beach. Even though there are hundreds of amazing beaches in SoCal, we all agreed that Newport has everything anyone could ever want, and with Newport Cruisers and their super-friendly staff and low rental prices, we’ll come back again and again.

And now, when we’re using our various gadgets, it’s usually to look at our photos of our first trip to the beach or to plan more Newport adventures. I also think my son is hinting that he wants a cruiser from Newport Cruisers. I think we can handle that.

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