Thursday, June 2, 2016

Balboa Island & Newport Beach


Balboa Island Ferry DockThe weekend after our festive Mother's Day lunch, Martha and I took a ride up the coast. It was supposed to turn into a gorgeous day, so we headed for Balboa Island, choosing to pay for the ferry ride to go over, though we took the more mundane route back over the bridge.
Balboa Island Fruit StandWhile we waited for the ferry, we checked out the side street and saw a fruit stand. Of course, we were on the uber wealthy Southern California coast, so it wasn't just any little old fruit stand. No, this one had a separate stand offering strawberries dipped in Ghirardelli chocolate.

It was a pretty good indication of what was to come.



Balboa Island skylineWe were first on the ferry, so we had a great view for the crossing. It seems Balboa Island has jumped on the trend of offering permanent Ferris wheels, which adds a bit of interest to the skyline. 
We found a free parking spot on the street and made our way down the boardwalk next to a marina. The houses provided some interest. There was one owned by a sculptor who took the opportunity to showcase some work. A two-thirds statue of Ronald Reagan in mid-wave was a little creepy, but everything else about the home was fabulous. 

A bunch of orange crab type things had washed up on the shore, more than half already seemed to have died, and that seemed very sad. Though we've since found out the same thing is happening on other parts of the SoCal coast, it did add a touch of weirdness to the island.

My favorite surprise was stumbling across a little free library in front of one of the homes lining the boardwalk. That just wasn't the type of area I'd expect to find such a thing.
Newport BeachHeaded back to the mainland, we hit the pier on Newport Beach. Though the weather was sunny, it was only 68F, which I don't happen to consider swimming temperatures. But there were a surprising number of hardy souls in the water.

We walked along the pier and watched the sailboats for a while.
Newport Beach pierThere were people fishing off the pier while we were there. It didn't occur to me to read the signs, to see if there were any restrictions on that, because I don't foresee even a remote possibility of my needing that information.
But just beside the pier is a place selling fresh seafood, and I wonder now if they have some kind of exclusive access to fishing there in the mornings. It looked like a fairly large operation, so I would imagine they would need an awful lot of people fishing in order to have a decent inventory. 

Although they also offer seafood that isn't caught with fishing poles, as well. So maybe they just have people out on boats like most of these operations.

This whole area is really lovely. It's got a great beach, a nice pier and a lot of quaint architecture. The only thing lacking is restaurants with outdoor seating. What were they thinking?






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