Saturday, August 14, 2010

Balboa Island

Each summer, my friends rent a beach house on Balboa Island for a week's vacation. Last week was it, and they invited a few of us down for a day. We didn't hobnob with the rich, but we hobnobbed on their territory.

First we spent a couple of hours just steps from the house on the beach. It was a mostly female group--talk, laugh, much more talk. Then, after a lovely dinner on the front porch (almost as much laughing as eating), we took a boat ride around the island. That was a blast. I posted several photos on Overdog.

From the looks of it the richest people in Orange County have thrown their money into Balboa Island and the shores that surround it. The water's edge is cheek by jowl with new-money mansions and ostentatious yachts.

Ah, but it's still a beach town. What you can't see in this photo is the sea lions that have climbed up onto the back of that boat, lolling and barking--hobnobbing on the territory of the rich, as it were.

24 comments:

Dina said...

Sea lions invaded the boat, really?!

Rob and Mandy said...

What a beautiful picture!

pasadenapio said...

A cousin of mine lived at Balboa for several years. I haven't been there in quite some time. How nice that you could visit with friends in such a charming place.

J+P said...

Aurk! Aurk! Snort …

Petrea said...

They were all over the boats, Dina. People had piled up chairs and things to keep them off, but it wasn't working.

Thanks, Rob and Mandy! Nice to see you here.

It may have been built up since you were there, Ann. I'm not sure. I'd been to Newport Beach before, but this was my first visit to the island.

Yes, J. Maybe I'll add a pic of the seals to Overdog.

altadenahiker said...

Ah, so pretty.

Margaret said...

Loverly sunset.

Katie said...

At least gorgeous sunsets like this are free for all to enjoy. Love the photo of the sea lions on the sailboat. They sure don't care if they trespass on a rich person's yacht!

Lucka said...

So romantic shot!

Terry said...

Beautiful! Brings back fond memories of summers in the '60s and '70s when my folks used to rent a house for a couple of weeks. (My profile photo – featuring the sand shark my grandpa helped me catch off one of the little piers – was taken there.)

The houses were cheek by jowel then, too, but more likely to be little cottages than grand mansions. No sea lions back then either. The lolling and barking was handled by all us sunbathers on the beach.

I hope you had a frozen banana, Petrea! De rigueur dining for the island. Back in the dark ages, anyway.

Petrea said...

It was loverly.

Terry, I don't think you'd recognize it. On our boat trip we saw only one house that seemed older than twenty years. It's all very new and shiny.

I didn't have a frozen banana. Have to go back.

Jean Spitzer said...

There are still some old patches around there, but you have to look really hard. (And possibly do a little trespassing.)

Susan A. Kitchens said...

Frozen bananas were invented at the ice cream shop on the main blvd on Balboa Island (near where the bridge connects to Bayside Drive).

A mainstay of beach childhood, those banana bars. Or if you prefer ice cream, balboa bars.

(Frozen bananas OR ice cream on sticks are dipped in chocolate and then nuts or sprinkles before they are handed to you to eat on a nice beach summer's day)

I didn't grow up on Balboa Island (costa mesa near the airport and then later in Npt Heights), but the facebook group -- I grew up in Newport Beach before it was The OC -- has had a TON of recollections from days of yore. And lotsa good pix, too. The group is public, so you can go see it.

Speedway said...

Oh, what a lovely picture -- the complements of the orange and blue, peace and quiet, lapping water and kind breeze -- the best kind of place to share with friends.
But, I have a question...

As someone who cannot haul her own heavy butt out of a pool, I want to know how the big ol' sea lion got himself onto the deck of the sailboat. Diving platforms on the sterns of boats I understand, but the sailboat deck is quite a bit higher. So ... do they take a running leap at it, so to speak, or get together with a couple buds, boost the first guy up, then hold flippers to pull the others onto the boat?

...Inquiring minds just want to know these things. :-)

Petrea said...

Jean, maybe the island is a place for a trespasser's picnic.

A picnic with frozen bananas. We drove right past that place, Susan. Twice!

Speedway, I have no idea how they got up there. We all pondered the question. Maybe someone offered them frozen bananas and they made the jump.

Speedway said...

A small remark on a website says that seals often "porpoise" while swimming, leaping surprisingly high out of the water, possibly to gain speed. Clever creatures that they are, they just may actually make a "flying leap" onto the boats, often damaging them with their weight. I checked YouTube, but could find no videos of seals purposely porpoising.

J+P said...

A sea lion is a powerful animal. In the water, they're expert killers of fish. On a boat, they mostly damage the seat cushions.

Steve Scauzillo said...

Susan is right on about those Balboa Bars and Frozen Bananas. For several years we would rent an apartment on 28th Street on the peninsula and enjoy beach life. We went back the year before last and had a blast. The two piers are great, too.

Petrea said...

Wow, Speedway, excellent research. If they damage the boats that explains why people had put up such barriers to them.

J, those big, stinky things looked like they could ruin a boat like a frat party could ruin a house.

Steve, we had so much fun. My host had to talk me into the boat ride because I get seasick, and I'm so glad I went. My only regret is the frozen banana I didn't have.

Ms M said...

gorgeous photo!

Amy said...

Those sea lions, thinking they're just welcome anywhere.

I've never heard of Balboa Island but thanks to your lovely photo, I need to look it up. :D

Petrea said...

Thank you, Ms. M.

I know, Amy. They're charming, if it's not your boat.

Greg Sweet said...

My dad lived for a while at the southwest corner of Opal & Park Avenues. It was a small house with a picket fence and a Dutch door. Google Maps reveals that it still has a Dutch door, but the fence and yard are different (here).

We used to walk down around the corner for breakfast at the greasy spoon near the ferry, and swim with the crabs in the estuary. I got my first moving violation on Balboa Island. I was only about ten years old, but a I rode my bike with a neighbor kid to look at John Wayne's house, and a Newport Beach cop gave each of us a ticket for riding our Schwinn Stingrays on the pedestrian path.

Petrea said...

I like what this post has brought--sweet memories.