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Take a Romantic Break on the Water with Sunset Gondolas

We visited as a guest of Zerve
Sunset Gondolas

All of you out there with little kids – I mean tiny, little ones – I feel for you. I do. You are sleep deprived, stressed, and running in three different directions at all times. I was totally there. And now that my two girls are 11 (11 and three quarters, thankyouverymuch) and 14, you would think I have it made. All the free time in the world, with two middle schoolers. You’re jealous, I know. But yes, I’ve paid my dues. I do sleep through the night and don’t have to worry about chokeable items around the house, but I hate to break it to you – it just gets busier. Between six dance classes, confirmation, girl scouts, band and orchestra performances, homework like algebra that I don’t remember how to do, and that annual school play, sometimes it can seem like my hubby and I spend more time strategizing our incredibly full “calendar of kid” than making time for each other.


So it was with great excitement that we ventured out on a Monday night (the only night of the week without activities if I skip yoga class!) as a guest of Sunset Gondola for a romantic hour floating through Huntington Harbor. I picked up my hubby at his office and even in Monday night traffic, it was incredibly easy to get there thanks to its great location right off PCH where Huntington meets Sunset Beach. My only regret is not being able to go at sunset, but the gorgeous full moon that night almost made up for it.


What makes Sunset Gondola stand out against the other options like duffy boats and the like is their authenticity. Our gondolier Bepi shared with us that all the boats in his fleet are authentic gondolas imported directly from Venice. Our boat, the Nelly, featured exquisitely carved and painted detailing, charming lanterns, and comfy seats.

The “canals” of Huntington and neighboring Sunset Beach are much quieter than Newport Beach. The homes seem sleepier, which made for an extremely peaceful cruise. Bepi offered to open and ice our wine and provide wine glasses should we need them, but I came fully prepared with a salami, bread, and cheese platter and some sparkling water with lemons in our classy plastic cups. We noshed as we chatted – with each other about each other. We talked about the beauty of the homes and the amazing full moon that night. You wouldn’t think that February would be a good time to float on the water, but perpetually cold me in a sweater was just fine thanks to Bepi’s thick furry blanket draped across our laps. In SoCal, any time of the year is the right time to visit the beach at night.


About half way through our journey, Bepi paused the boat under a bridge for just the right acoustics and sang us an authentic a capella Italian song. What a charming touch! We smiled and cuddled and promised each other we would try and get out together, alone, more often. Because any day can be Valentine’s Day with the right setting, and you can’t have a more perfect romantic setting than on a Sunset Gondolier cruise.

You can purchase this romantic experience online through – or better yet, send hubby the link and he can easily do it! For the Valentine’s Day Gondola Ride for two: $150 with photography available throughout cruises on Valentine’s weekend.


To make any other day romantic with a Sunset Gondola Ride for two, purchase tickets on
Sunset Gondola Company is located at 16370 Pacific Coast Highway Huntington Beach, CA 92649 in the Peter’s Landing Marina. Gondolas can take up to six people, but is best enjoyed with two!

The perfect way to break up dinner and movie monotony, helps couples in the O.C. think outside the candy box to find truly unique date ideas with nearly a thousand ways to enjoy leisure time from sailing and fishing trips to sightseeing tours, wine and food tastings, bike tours and much, much more. Simply visit, enter Orange County, Los Angeles or 30 other metros around the country, the date(s), and voila, thousands of choices pop up and can be booked within minutes. As USA Today describes it, Zerve is “your event planner for spur-of-the moment date nights,” helping couples not only search by date and time but also allowing them to drill down by interests like “food and wine,” cost, availability and more with honest reviews for its merchants – more than Google, Yelp & Trip Advisor combined. Best of all, you can book online, by mobile or by phone within minutes.

Karen Bremer is a North Orange County native. She’s a mom, freelance writer, and owner of Her company Bee Creative specializes in products for scrapbooking, card making, and paper crafting online and in person at consumer shows in major cities around the country. Married for 16 years with 13 and 11-year-old girls, her business provides the flexibility she needs to be a dance mom, room mom, and girl scout leader among other titles. Free time? She’s never seen it and wouldn’t change it for the world.
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