March 29 is the 41st anniversary of the release of the classic musical The Sound of Music. Surely one of my favorite films of all time, this musical spawned so many memorable songs, including "My Favorite Things." And although I love whiskers on kittens and brown paper packages tied up with string, some of my favorite things are right here in Corona del Mar.
Affordable gas at (not a misprint)—Of the three gas stations in Corona del Mar and the nearby ones in Newport Beach, this Chevron at 2546 E. Coast Hwy. off MacArthur is the least expensive. Is it worth making a U-turn for in the middle of the highway? Yes, indeed. This gas station normally runs 5 to 10 cents less than the neighborhood stations.
Flatbread Pizza at the —I'm not sure what drug the Crow Bar magicians put in this pizza, but it is addictive. The chorizo flatbread is my favorite, and I always always end up ordering more than one. When I come home at night, I am still thinking about how good it tasted. Next time, I'm taking home extras.
Mani/Pedis at —I've been having my digits painted here for many years now, and the ladies at Lovely Nails are lovely people who do fine work. It's $24, for both a manicure and pedicure. Lovely Nails is one of the few beauty bargains left in Orange County. It has other services, too, including waxing, facials and fills and a wall of nail color that would make the Pantone Wheel spin sideways. Added bonus: walk-ins are welcome. Who needs to remember another appointment anyway?
Driving thru my dry cleaning at —Not lazy, but if I can avoid getting out of my car and lugging my wardrobe to a counter, so be it. The staff at Mr. Best's comes to your car window, takes your dry cleaning, gives you a ticket and you are on your way. You want better service? How about they remember your name after just one visit. And push REPEAT, because they bring your clean clothes nicely hung and pressed out to your car and hang them up on your car hook for you when you pick them up.
Detoxing at Nektar Juice Bar after a shameful night—Whether I've been overloading on the carbs at Crow Bar or extending my own happy hour at Avila's, it's nice to know that Nektar is just around the corner like a fuzzy security blanket. It's where I go to repent for my food and beverage sins. (Should they just change the name to Nektar Juice Church?) In addition to the three-day Cleanse, Nektar has a ton of fresh juices and smoothies to get you moving on up instead of feeling all down. Refreshing, delicious and healthy. Winning combination!
Being a domestic goddess with Gardening Classes at —I don't have a green thumb at all, but I love the idea of gardening, waiting to see pretty things bloom. So when I feel like getting my Martha Stewart on, I head over to Roger's Gardens and attend one of its many gardening classes, lectures and workshops. In April, be sure to check out French Style Kitchen Gardens (April 9) and My Edible Garden (April 2).
The French Flight at Sidedoor—This has to be the greatest invention since the wheel, or for me, the straightening iron. I love going to Sidedoor, the fancy gastropub attached to the Five Crowns restaurant, and drinking the French Flight. It's a selection of three wines for only $12 (that's less than a movie ticket, and you know this flight will be better than Battle Los Angeles).