Owner Managed, Impeccably Maintained, Your Newport Beach Vacation Home Away From Home

Janice’s Blog

Check here often for the latest news about the “Sandcastle,” Newport Beach, & beyond!

Newport Beach Jazz Festival is coming May 31st-June 2nd

The annual Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Jazz Festival, May 31st thru June 2nd 

What better way to launch into summer than with three days of music, food, and friends? If this sounds like a slice of heaven to you, then you’ve got to check out the most scenic jazz party in Southern California, the Newport Beach Jazz Festival. Enjoy gorgeous weather, swinging music, and delicious drinks and food.

Line-up: George Benson, Morris Day and the Time, Jeffrey Osborne, Najee, Marc Antoine, Poncho Sanchez, Nick Colionne, and more…

Bring your beach chairs and plan to relax and ENJOY the music and good times!

Location: Hyatt Regency, Newport Beach, 1107 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Surf City Nights Street Fair and Farmers Market in Huntington Beach – EVERY TUESDAY NITE


Surf City Nights: Every Tuesday, 5-9 p.m. 

Location: Main Street between Orange & PCH
Events: Farmers Market, Food Vendors, Street Performers
Age: All ages, family-friendly! 

The warmer weather is here and it’s time to enjoy SURF CITY NIGHTS again in Huntington Beach! This weekly special event closes Main Street for a funky street fair with musical acts ranging from Spanish guitar to hip-hop dancers, tribute bands and other musical artists.

Take a stroll down Main Street from PCH for 4 or 5 blocks with locals and visiting families alike.  Cool breezes blow from the beach (which is just across the street), and enjoy a couple hours getting fresh air, listening and watching the entertainment, buying gifts, jewelry, art, clothing and food.
– HBDOWNTOWN.com is the official web site.
– Free admission, Free entertainment
– Fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, plants sold
– Street vendors sell everything from funnel cakes to kettle corn, roasted corn, tacos and hot dogs!
– Held every Tuesday evening from 5 to 9 p.m.

Bill’s Baby Back Ribs are the best!







What better food to have on Super Bowl Sunday – than Bill’s baby back ribs!  Cooked over a slow flame for 4+ hours, these ribs are delicious and fall off the bone. Of course Bill is a fantastic cook in general, but his ribs are really special!

The secret(s) to his success? I will share with you that it is the dry rub he puts on them overnight to marinate.  It’s actually Meathead’s Memphis Dust dry rub, a recipe that he found on the web.   He cooks them on the BBQ on a low heat and also keeps a glass container of water (or even better – apple juice) that steams and keeps them super moist.

Then he just bastes them during the last 1/2 hour or so with our favorite brand of BBQ sauce: Stubb’s. We especially like the “Spicy” version, nice and spicy and tangy – but they are all quite good.

Try your hand at ribs using Bill’s tried and true secrets…or better yet, just try to get an invitation to our house when he makes them next!  Janice


Happy New Year! Hoping 2019 will be a good one!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  There’s no place better to be on the morning of January 1st than the ROSE BOWL parade!  Off to a brisk start, it turned out to be another glorious and crystal clear New Year’s Day!






Santa…and the 110th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade – are coming to town!

Watch decorated boats and yachts + kayaks and canoes sail along Newport Harbor during the 110th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade for 5 nights in December.  The parade, which begins Wednesday, Dec. 19, brings out a million viewers.  And we were two of the million last year!

When: 6:30-9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19 to Sunday, Dec. 23.   ***Closing Night Fireworks: 9:05 pm Fireworks @ Balboa Pier (just after parade concludes)

Cost: Free

Where: The route starts and ends at Lido Isle. The parade can be viewed from multiple spots on the shore. Marina Park is a popular area to watch the parade.  Arrive early for the best viewing spot.

More Information on the route:   christmasboatparade.com.
Or get on a boat and see it from the water, up close and personal:   http://www.christmasparadeboats.com/reservetickets.html


Janice was hoping to (Let’s) Make a Deal!


Can you believe Wayne Brady didn’t pick either of us out the crowd to make a deal?!?! My BFF Daune and I gave it our best shot this week at the Let’s Make a Deal taping. We brought our best outgoing selves, great energy, lots of jumping and clapping and in general acting like nuts – to be picked. But alas, we were not. I guess I shouldn’t complain…It was about 30 years ago that I did actually win the big deal of the day on LMAD, so I guess I’m 1 for 2…I thought maybe lightning would strike twice!  Anyway, it was a fun day!

California Wine Festival is coming to Dana Point – April 20/21


Wine, food, music, sea and sun. These elements create the quintessential wine tasting experience at the California Wine Festival – Orange County in Dana Point. At this sunny seaside setting, California’s best wineries pour hundreds of vintage red and white wines, complemented by dozens of the region’s top chefs and specialty food purveyors serving gourmet appetizers along with live music and an ocean view. Experience one of the California’s most popular wine festivals.

Visit the californiawinefestival.com website


FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2018
Sunset Reserve & Rare Wine Tasting
Friday, April 20, 2018 6:30- 9pm
Laguna Cliffs Marriott,  Dana Point, CA
The “Sunset Rare & Reserve” Wine Tasting on April 20, 2018 will feature rare and reserve level bottles that winemakers will dust off and pour at this popular event. Top regional chefs will serve hot and cold appetizers while live bluesy jazz keeps things super cool. Ticket price includes all wine and food samples and an 18 oz keepsake wine glass.

Beachside Wine Festival – NEW TIME~
Saturday, April 21, 2018 – 12:30-3:30pm (VIPs 11:30am)
Lantern Bay Park, Dana Point, CA
Hit the grassy, palm-lined Lantern Bay Park to experience the quintessential California wine tasting event at our Orange County California Wine Festival grand finale. Ticket price includes all wine and food samples and an 18 oz keepsake wine glass.


“Don’t miss California Wine Festival, −one of the largest outdoor wine festivals in the state!”
Voted One of the Top Ten Best Wine Festivals in the USA by Americas Best & Top Ten

The California Wine Festival – Orange County will host the two-day celebration of wine and food in the quaint coastal town of Dana Point in Orange County April 20-21, 2018. An evening of rare wine tasting on Friday night, limited to 500 guests, kicks off the weekend.  Guests will sample rare and reserve super-premium wines selected especially for this popular sophisticated event.

The festivities culminate at Lantern Bay Park, when the Beachside Wine Festival takes over a peaceful palm-lined park and over 2,500 wine-loving guests sip and savor nearly 300 wines and dozens of gourmet food samplings. Craft brews will also be offered along with artisan cheeses, breads, fresh cut fruits, olive oils and much more.

The 2018 California Wine Festival – Orange County will benefit The Surfrider Foundation.

The infamous “Wedge” surf break in Newport Beach

The Wedge in Newport Beach is a hot spot for powerful and awesome surf. An area known for its shore-breaking waves, the Wedge is more a place to admire than to engage. Either way, this spot with the biggest swell in Southern California is a must see when you visit Newport Beach.

Because of the potential for 30-feet waves, you may find yourself seeing more bodyboarders or bodysurfers in action here than surfers. In fact, you may find some of the most skilled bodysurfers in all of Newport Beach at the Wedge. But you have more than the rolling sets to worry about if you get into the water. The backwash is often so strong that it creates new waves that can crash into oncoming boarders and bodysurfers.

Make sure you bring your camera to this hot spot to catch video of the impressive sets. If you want to see how the surf is before heading down to the end of the peninsula, check the Wedge cam to see if the big waves are rolling in. The best months to catch higher surf are during the summer and the fall seasons.

If you come between May 1 and October 31, you will notice that the raised black ball flag, outlawing the use of any type of board at the Wedge between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Body surfing only, no body boards, surfboards, or skimboards).

If the surf isn’t pumping when you’re there, you can always get an up close look at some of the beautiful oceanfront homes right on the sand, or you can sit at the jetty and watch the boats come in and out of the harbor.

The Wedge Newport Beach is also a hot spot for locals to catch the sunset and watch that beautiful orange orb melt into the Pacific Ocean.


1916: Army Corps of Engineers starts to build west jetty to protect Newport Harbor from storms and make the harbor entrance safer.
1936: West jetty extended from 1,000 feet to 1,900 feet after George Rogers lobbies for safer conditions. East jetty at Corona del Mar also extended.
1960s: Formally dubbed “the Hook” by body surfers in the ’30s, the spot is re-named “the Wedge” by local body surfers.
1963: San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Roger Gardner, an avid Wedge body surfer, argues against residents who want the spot closed. Danger signs posted.
1964: The Wedge is featured in the cult classic film “Endless Summer”.
1982: Fred Simpson creates the Viper fin to help body surfers catch bigger waves at the Wedge.
1993: Wedge Preservation Society persuades City Council to implement “Blackball” banning boards from 10am to 5pm May 1 – Oct. 31.

from the visitnewportbeach.com website

Get ready. Get set. Go out and EAT!

It’s coming… Newport Beach Restaurant Week: January 15-28, 2 whole weeks to try some of Newport’s finest restaurants.  I know I can’t wait!   https://www.dinenb.com/restaurant-week-2018

Balboa Island annual ART WALK was great!









Yesterday was a gorgeous day! Perfect to do the annual art walk stroll along Balboa Island’s South Bayfront.  Lots of vendors – and about six bands playing along the art walk. Couldn’t have asked for better weather…Summer is just about here!

And of course the day wouldn’t be complete without taking the car ferry across the bay from the Balboa Peninsula to Balboa Island.  And check out the sand sculpture commemorating the day – at least temporarily!

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