Once upon a time, in a land called Costa Mesa, hippies roamed the land, filling the air with patchouli, marijuana, and pheromones. It was a magical time when peace, love, sunshine, and recreational drugs reigned supreme. Some of these hippies even managed to build a boating industry and a very special boat was built. Can you guess which boat I’m talking about?
If you guessed Small World, then get yourself a glass of wine. If you guessed something else, then maybe talk to your doctor about some memory issues you’re having. You should probably write this down on a post-it note so you don’t forget in the next 10 seconds though.
Okay, so this boat. It has a life for 40 years, blah blah blah. Boring. But THEN. It casts a spell on a young couple from Seattle. (I hope y’all aren’t getting super into this story because I’m not sure how long I can maintain it…) Can you guess who the couple is? If you guessed Craig and me, pour another glass. I mean, why not? If you didn’t guess correctly, well I’m honestly concerned about you.
Yeah, I’m definitely not going to keep the story going. The gist here is that we are now, after a day of sailing in shorts, in Newport Beach which is walking distance from where Small World was built and launched! If boats had emotions, I bet she’d feel nostalgic AF right now, amazed at how the place has changed, and certainly shocked at the gas prices.
The harbor here is amazingly protected and full of boats, but as I discovered while coming into port for the first time, no one here knows the rules of the road. Or they don’t care. Either way, it was incredibly stressful as a bunch of boats zipped around without a clear sense of direction. It could be that they’re new to the scene, or 5 years old, or drunk, or some combination. It felt like driving through a swarm of bees that were made of boats. It seems like they have a plan and are able to avoid you but you never know when that one is gonna go splat on the windshield. While Craig was trying to have me dodge around everyone, I was getting ready to literally yell at people who were trying to get run over. “Oy! Scram!” Sometimes it’s obvious which one of us is from Chicago.
After a stressful docking at the harbor master’s dock to check in, we settled in at our mooring ball. The dinghy went in the water and we had big ambitions of going ashore. But then we had HH and started discussing all the gorgeous homes around us, wondering why we hadn’t been invited to the party on a Saturday night. Eventually we started to feel lazy (and too scrubby to go ashore in a place that looked really nice) and decided to have dinner at home. Craig would have leftovers and I would make pasta noodles with zesty Italian dressing. The zesty is key though. I can’t emphasize that enough. Regular Italian dressing is a waste of time and calories.
Right before we went below, some guys show up on paddleboards. “So, did you all sail down from Seattle? Cool. Here’s a bottle of wine… do you want to come to dinner on shore? Those are my parents over there.” We look over and there is a group of people waving at us from the closest house to our mooring ball. “Yeah you should come over and watch some March Madness and have dinner with us. Join the party.”
Let me tell you, in case you couldn’t guess, that is an offer you don’t pass up, even if you just discussed that showers should probably happen before going back into public.
We told Monty and John Carlo we would be over in a bit. Then we gave ourselves cruiser showers (baby wipes and baby powder), put on clean clothes, and zipped over to their dock, wondering if it was the last time we would be seen alive or with two kidneys each. (You never know how people make their money.) Don’t think I was cavalier about it though. I made sure Ed drank some of the same wine so I knew he wasn’t drugging me. I learned at least that much in college.
The evening was sincerely delightful. We watched some basketball and Ashley killed it in her office bracket. (Ed definitely owes her some money. And now it’s documented on the internet.) Nicole kept us in stitches when she confessed how they were spying on us with binoculars and wondering what we would want most after getting into port. (For the record, wine and an invite to party is the new standard.) We ate some delicious ribs and asparagus and scalloped potatoes – all of which was significantly better than our original dinner plans. As the conversation flowed, it was revealed that Monty’s dinner invite was rogue and that they hadn’t planned on cooking at all until Monty got back to the house and announced that we would be there soon for dinner. He said, “Oh yeah. When you were waving at them you were agreeing to dinner.” Their youngest, Michael, was binge watching Narcos and (reasonably) uninterested in meeting strangers who have aged out of the cool adult range. (Full disclosure: we’ve met him since and I had an out of body experience where I became the old person giving a young person life advice that they were 100% going to ignore. I heard all the words coming out of my own mouth and thought, “He was right to avoid us that first night if this is how I talk to teenagers now.”) Listen. If this sounds like a super boring recap, it’s probably because you’re just jealous that you weren’t there.
What I’m trying to tell you is that I am super happy we changed our mooring ball selection at the last minute. And also that no one noticed that I had my shirt on inside-out the whole time because I was too excited about being invited to a party. (If you guys did notice, thanks for being chill about it and letting me slide on this one.)
Beer Bulletin with Captain Craig as translated by The Admiral
Brewery: Sierra Nevada
Brew: Estate Homegrown Wet Hop IPA, 6.7% ABV, 67 IBU
Summary: Let’s call it serendipity. For Christmas, K got a bunch of beer for me from the Sierra Nevada Taproom in Berkeley. I have been savoring them for the last few months and the last one left happened to be the appropriately named “Homegrown” to coincide with Small World’s return to her home waters in Newport. From that batch of Christmas beers, this one was the clear winner. I thought it would be the highlight of my day. But then Monty screwed all that up. Kids these days. I’ll be honest. I don’t really remember much about it because our new friends totally distracted me. What I do remember is that it tasted the way I always want an IPA to taste. And shockingly, that K liked it, too. The hop flavor was there, but that bitter grapefruit rind flavor was not there. Smooth and easy drinking for that sitting in the sun kind of an afternoon.
Bottom Line: D-licious. Will purchase again upon receipt of next paycheck.