Nothing like a little la dolce vita to make an Italian lady feel at home.
While she's rubbed elbows with Princess Caroline of Monaco, posed for the cover of Italy's slickest boating magazine and cruised to Newport Beach aboard an Italian freighter, Mercedes is a nobody in Newport Beach. But not for long. Come Saturday at the Balboa Bay Club, the 83-foot motor yacht--owned by Jim Slemons of Jim Slemons Imports in Newport Beach--will have a coming out party, be christened by some of Orange County's smart set.
"I'm having a welcome party for her," says Slemons, who admits he's gaga over the $2.5 million yacht's three engines and burled-walnut space. "She's only been in town a week. About 80 friends will come aboard for appetizers, drinks, and some Italian flair--an Italian band."
Among those on the " ciao Mercedes" guest list: popular duo-about-town Len and Mary Ann Miller, Orange County Supervisors Thomas F. Riley and Harriett M. Wieder, singer Vicki Carr, developers Ben and Barbara Harris (who cruised the Mediterranean aboard Mercedes with the Slemonses last summer); Balboa Bay Club president Tom Deemer, Bay Club chairman of the board Bill Ray, radio station owner Pat Michaels and Charlene and Hans Prager, owners of the clubby Ritz restaurant in Newport Beach.