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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
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.
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!
We loved seeing the different architecture of the homes, which ranged from neo classical to Art Deco to modern.
I loved how each house was so unique and funky!
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.
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.
I loved the fireplace and the windows that fully retracted to show off the ocean view.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.