Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lazy Summer afternoon on Balboa Island

Today we headed up the 405 a bit to Balboa Island and Newport Beach via Lucille's BBQ in Lake Forest.

After a leisurely lunch at Lucille's, which has the tastiest BBQ, biscuits and banana pudding we ventured out to Balboa Island, a man-made island whose lots originally sold from $25 and are now worth millions.

We took the ferry over and I have to say I was shocked to learn that it cost $4 to get over there. I know I'm an old fogey by saying I remember when it was like .55 cents a person. How crazy is that. Now its a $2 for the car/driver and $1 per person.

Once landed we drove the six blocks to the beach to park. From there we walked around the shops and pier. We were going to rent a surrey bike for four but it cost $35/hour. The attendant generously threw in an extra hour for free and we just laughed. There is no way we were going to bike for two hours in this heat. So the extra hour did not make it more enticing.

Everyone else agreed. Normally the sidewalks are full of bikers, skaters, skateboarding and runners but today the Island was quiet. There were some people at the beach but it was not crowded at all. I'm sure you're there this weekend it will be another story.

We decided to beat the heat by taking a 90 minute bay cruise [$17] instead, to see how the other half live. So we boarded the Queen and cruised around the bay checking out the most expensive island home for $29 million and a home that was ordered from a Sears catalog for $1850. The land it sits on is worth $4 million.

We also learned that Nicholas Cage just bought a house there and so did the president of yahoo, whom we actually saw as we were cruising by. Other bay cruise vistas were sea lions, the site where they filmed the opening sequence to Gilligan's Island and the Newport Ghetto where the homes are only worth $3 million. It was a fantastic way to relax, stay cool and see the island.

No visit to Balboa is complete without stopping in the Fun Zone. While we didn't play in the arcade, take a ride on the ferris wheel or carrousel we did have a Balboa Bar in the fun zone. This is a must if you're ever near Balboa. It is ice cream hand dipped in chocolate rolled in your favorite topping. So good.

We ended our day with another trip to the beach where we watched the sunset over the water.
It was breathtaking.

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