An Orange County Weekend: Day 2 in SoCal

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Trip Report Index:

An Orange County Weekend – Introduction
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, California – Our Room
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, California – Hotel Grounds and Spa
Day 1 in SoCal
Day 2 in SoCal
Back to Kansas

Day 2

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Day 2 in SoCal

Emily Jablon:  After strolling through the hotel, we went to rent bikes to ride along the beautiful Pacific coast.  We rented bikes through the hotel’s activity shop (Toes on the Nose and used the 2-for-1 special (which the hotel’s resort fee covers), so the two bikes only cost us $26 total for 4 hours.

Daraius:  The hotel has discounted 2-for-1 rental specials, which make it pretty cheap to rent bikes for half a day (4 hours).  But if we had returned the bikes after 4 hours we would be charged the full day rate which is ~$80 for two bikes – or three times the price of the 4 hour rental!

The hotel has a walkway over the Pacific Coast Highway which connects the hotel directly to the beach.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Bridge Connecting the Hotel to the Beach

Emily Jablon: We went cycling all the way north to Newport Beach, which is a really fun area lined with expensive homes which have lots of character.  We stopped on the beach to take in the California sun!

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Emily & Daraius by the Newport Beach Pier

We loved seeing the different architecture of the homes, which ranged from neo classical to Art Deco to modern.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Emily with her bike outside a Newport Beach home

I loved how each house was so unique and funky!

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Stained Glass Detail of a Newport Beach Home

The bike route was along the Pacific Ocean.  It was a wonderful ride. We passed families with their small dogs tucked into their front bike baskets, rollerbladers speeding by, and teenage skateboarders zoom past us.  This wonderful bike path goes all the way north, which made for a very picturesque ride on our bikes.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Daraius on the Path

We had fun guessing the home prices and comparing our guesses to the Zilliow i-Phone app estimate (the average was $4 million).  One house for sale had an open house, so we ventured in to see what a house on the ocean looks like.

It had 2 floors and both floors were fully furnished and had a full service kitchen, in unit laundry, and 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.  The top and bottom floors were nearly identical, and one floor (or both) can easily be rented as a vacation property.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

$4 Million Beach Front Home – Living Room

I loved the fireplace and the windows that  fully retracted to show off the ocean view.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

$4 Million Beach Front Home – Kitchen

Daraius:  I teased Emily that she’d have to work 80 years at her current salary to be able to buy the house!

Emily Jablon:  After seeing the house, we stopped for an ice cream bar by the beach, en route to TK’s Burgers for California’s famous hamburgers.  I ordered a cheeseburger and fries and Daraius had a ribeye burger.  We both shared a Shandy (1/2 Sprite and ½ beer), which was very refreshing.

You can also combine beer and lemonade, which are called clara in Spain.

Daraius:  Emily wanted to try out California burgers and pizz’s so we went to TK’s which was recommended on Chowhound.  TK’s is also close to the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

An All American Lunch – Burgers, Beer, & Fries!

We met a nice family from Orange County who were sitting next to us, and they eagerly asked us where we were from and gave us lots of advice on places to see and things to do during our short stay.  They also said that TK’s  was the best place in town for burgers.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Daraius & Emily at TK’s

After lunch, we went to the beach and then headed back for our massages at the hotel spa.

Daraius: I took a picture of Emily by the lifeguard station.  This reminded of Baywatch (except that Emily’s much cuter).

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

My Baywatch Babe!

On our way back to the hotel we passed by the iconic Huntington Beach pier, but didn’t have time to check it out, because we didn’t want to return our bikes late and get charged triple the rate!

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach Pier

After our massages, we got ready for dinner with a Million Mile Secrets reader whom we met in the lounge while having breakfast the previous day!  It was a bit strange being recognized many miles away from Kansas!

Daraius:  Emily wanted to have authentic California thin crust pizza, and folks on Chowhound recommended going to Pizzeria Mozza, which serves up original California pizza

The restaurant was very trendy and at first I had a sinking feeling that the food won’t be good.  As Tyler Cohen puts it in his 6 rules for dining out, beware of the beautiful, laughing women.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Emily at Pizzeria Mozza

But the food was delicious and we had lots of fun chatting about miles and points…though I suspect we may have bored Emily because by the end of the night, she was surfing the internet on her phone.

A lot of us struggle with ways to meet the minimum spend on credit cards, but this reader was able to meet the minimum spend on any card in just a few days because he had lots of reimbursable  business expenses!

We ordered Prosciutto di Parma & Pizza alla benno.  I was so hungry that I gobbled down my pizza before stopping to take a few pictures.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Oops, I Should Have Taken the Picture First!

Towards the end of dinner, the power went off in a neighborhood where the median house sells for over $1 million, so we had to finish our meal in candlelight.

After dinner, we went back to our room, had a dip in our room’s jacuuzi and went to bed.

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16 responses to “An Orange County Weekend: Day 2 in SoCal

  1. I hope you got a chance to go to In and Out for burger-best inexpensive burger! Next time you are in the OC, you must try Riders Cafe and Shwak Burger-both in south Orange County-best gourmet burgers around!

  2. That is so awesome! You were in my neighborhood. I live in Newport Beach by the pier. If I saw you taking pictures I would have definitely said “Hi!”, since I am familiar with your faces from all your posts. It looks like you got a good quick tour of OC. This week the weather has been perfect at the beach and that is why I love it here. Well I hope to see you soon again…in OC or traveling anywhere else with miles and points!

    • @Jana Miller – We’ve tried In and Out before, but not Riders Cafe and Shawk. We’ll keep them in mind for next time!

      @Joy – Newport Beach does seem like a very nice area to live in. Hopefully, we’ll bump into each other sometime.

    • @Ken – It really was delicious!

      @James – You’re right – we were biking towards the South!

      @karen cagle – Glad to hear that! A gamer is a person who uses a product excessively to get an unintended benefit and who attempts to scale that over multiple cards.

  3. That pizza looks AWESOME! Not thin crust either, just the way I like it.

  4. Nice post!

    FYI – Tip for Emily – when you’re on the Pacific Coast and you’re riding a bike with the ocean on your right, you are usually heading South or East.

  5. Still loving your blog! question re: your banking NYC post- What exactly IS a gamer?

  6. Nice report. Can I use my Sapphire points to buy the house? I don’t want to pay the annual renewal fee next month so I’ll have to do something with them soon.

  7. Also, that looks like actual Italian style pizza, not California pizza. But relax: I’ve lived in California most of my life and I assure you that you chose wisely. Pizza with barbecue sauce is terrible.

  8. You two are beyond adorable! I do wonder why you are not as big as houses considering how much you eat! I am envious!

    • @David – Thanks! I’ve fixed the link.

      @Bottom-Feeding the High Life (zzd) –Ooops! Don’t tell Emily I messed up (she wanted to try California pizza!) I’d wait until there’s a card which offers 2X for real estate and buy the house using that card. 🙂

      – I have been putting on a few pounds, so perhaps I’ll have to change my philosophy of “I’m on vacation so it doesn’t matter what I eat!”

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