Bug,  travel

Balboa Island Adventure

For being such free spirits, Baby Bug and I have a surprisingly rigid schedule. But on somedays, we break out of our rigid schedule and have an adventure!

Adventure days are the greatest. On Valentine’s Day we had an adventure to Balboa Island. Balboa Island is fun (when you can find parking). There is a cute little main street to walk down and there’s a Starbucks, a prerequisite for most of my “adventures”. There are also a zillion little shops that sell little girl clothes. I had no money to spend when we were there and it was like Chinese water torture for me.

One shop we peeked into was pure heaven for little girls. Everything was pink and in the back they had a little room designated for tea parties. For about $400 you can host a tea party for about eight little girls. It seems expensive to me now but while we were there we observed a party mid-progress and the little girls were having SO MUCH FUN!

They had hats on with veils and there were little black and white tea cups and little cookies and there was lots of taffeta and pink tulle. If I get over my sick-of-pink stage by the time Baby Bug’s five, I might consider shelling out the dough for her to have a birthday party there. It was magical.

We also stopped into the Balboa Candy Shop and marveled at all the amazing varieties of taffy there are. Baby Bug was grunting and reaching like there’s no tomorrow and she’s never even tasted taffy. I wasn’t about to get her hooked now. It’s bad enough she knows what lemon loaf tastes like from Starbucks. Everytime we go into a Starbucks now, she lurches towards the pastry display and shouts, “Ummm Naaaas! Ummmm Naaaas!” which is her word for tasty food. I think she means, “Mmmmmm, Yummy” or something like that. She says it all the time. It’s amazing how much I am learning her language as opposed to her learning mine.

After a trip down main street, we walked around the island looking for ducks. Toby and I used to feed the ducks here years and years ago. Back in those olden days when we used to go out and do things together “just for fun.” But for some reason there are no ducks on Balboa Island any more. It’s very mysterious. I think the island residents got rid of them because they didn’t like all the guano on their private docks. I don’t know. I sure would like to show Baby Bug what a real “Quack Quack” looks like though. We might have to go to the zoo.

As the shadows get long, I look at my watch and sure enough it’s almost five o’clock. At five o’clock, Happy Princess Baby Bug turns into The Grumpy Hungry Ogre and that means I better hurry home and feed her some macaroni and cheese and broccoli (her favorite dinner) before I get my head chopped off. Off! Off with your head, Mommy!

And that’s our day!


  • Becky Z

    That’s good that she likes broccoli. Most kids can’t stand it. Sounds like an interesting combination with the mac and cheese. Yummy! ;)

  • OMSH

    Ah, so nice to read of an adventuresome outing. I’m tired and boring right now. You’re one of my first reads after returning home. It was nice, thank you. :)

    I love the shot of the ‘vegetation fountain’ in that little enclave (with the bike). Soothing.

  • Nicole

    Love the Balboa pics! I used to live in Newport, and miss it a lot.

    There used to be quite a few ducks at the park off of University near Culver Drive. I bet they’re still there!

  • margalit

    Thank you so much for the lovely walk down memory lane. I used to go to Balboa all the time as a kid. I remember it so fondly as a fun day trip when we would visit my cousins in Newport Beach and then go on to Balboa for the afternoon.

    Does Bug have a copy of Make Way For Ducklings yet? She’s the perfect age for this book, and if you read it to her, I promise to send photos of the real Mack, Lack, Quack, etc…. for they are bronzed in the Public Garden.

  • Sarah

    Yey – thanks for posting those photos! I wrote to you last month to tell you I was at Balboa Island at Christmas (and now I look out my window in Michigan and see snow!!), so it was nice to see the photos – I could feel the warmth (almost). I went to that Starbucks too! Sounds like you had a fun day out.

  • Gramma

    We used to have ducks in the pond at the golf course down the street. Last summer a “courting” pair moved their home to our condominium swimming pool. Some residents objected, but others put out tasty snacks under their bushes.

  • salliekat

    that’s an easy one…that’s “NICE” they way we southern chicas pronounce it.

  • Kedge

    I’m not suprised at the tea-room’s prices. I’m sure they get alot of business, it’s a fantasy come true. I still like to scout out places to have afternoon tea myself. (Rose Cottage in Pasadena is a good one) We have a lady here that brings the little girl’s tea party to you… all the dress-up clothes, food, tea sets, and atmosphere. You can buy anything, any theme, any idea these days. For a price, I’m sure.

  • Oopsy Daisy

    I’ve never heard of Balboa Island. We may have to check it out when we are in LA next week. Thanks for posting the links!

    And by the way, taffy is a universal yummy whether the child has tried it or not. Anything that looks so pretty in it’s colorful papers has GOT to be good.

  • BeachMama

    Now I can add one more place I would like to visit. It sounds like the perfect little getaway. And the salt water taffy is making my mouth water. Good for you for sneaking the broccoli into the mac and cheese, if only we could do that here.

  • Amy

    OH MY! You are close to me :-)

    How Funny!

    Have you taken her to the Aquarium? It so AWESOME for littles! drop me a line if you decide to go we have passes (thank you Grandma)

    Love and Laughter,