Beach Bits,  Buddies,  Bug

Playdate in Balboa

half foggy, half not

You can always tell when it’s heating up inland because it starts getting foggy at the beach. Of course we have fog for all kinds of reasons but we get it a lot more of it in the spring and summer. I don’t really mind the white fluffy stuff. It makes the ocean into a dreamland. I know I’ve written about this a lot but I always like to say that the fog makes the public beaches my beach again.

The beach near our house is ours all winter. We can walk and walk and walk without a care in the world but once the weather starts heating up, the streets start getting clogged with cars and the beaches start getting clogged with tourists. They tromple our beach blankets, they over-flow the trash receptacles, they spit out their gum on the hot pavement, they pitch their tents blocking our view, they blare their music… you get the picture. It’s not always pretty but it’s a small price to pay for living in such a beautiful place.

just another day in beachland

So when it’s foggy AND sunny at the same time it’s sort of like the best of both worlds.

jbomb at the top of the ferris wheel

Bug and I had a play date with my friend Jbomb (not her real name of course) and her little boy. We took them to Balboa Island and had a really fun time playing in the fog. The ferris wheel is a great way to take in a fog-shrouded view.


us on a ferris wheel

looking down

The kids loved the ferris wheel but Jbomb and I were so ready for it to end. It’s old and rickety and even though it’s probably only a couple stories high, it still gives me the heebie jeebies when I look down below. For some reason they really want to give you your money’s worth on this ride so it just kept going and going and going. Both Jbomb and I were a little green by the end of it.

max pushing his mom

(This photo cracks me up because Jbomb’s little boy is only three but he’s already half her size and very very strong. He’ll probably he’ll pass her up by the time he’s five.)


Max and Bug


After some lunch on the pier and a quick romp around the playground at the beach, we headed back home on the ferry. This is one of my favorite little trips around here. If you’re ever here visiting me, I’ll probably take you here.


  • Jinxy

    Looks like you guys had fun.
    I love roller coasters but hate ferris wheels. I think it has something to do with the speed. On a roller coaster you’re usually going to fast to think much about the ride.

  • Sara

    My husband and I strolled around Balboa Island in February — we loved looking at the homes and boats. We love it there!

  • Nikkapotamus

    Such fun! I live on a beach too, although, it’s a MUCH smaller beach (Lake Michigan) and I agree, I totally love the off-season. It looks like Bug had a good time with her Mommy!

  • Mallory Sinclair

    So funny you say that about visiting. I read your blog a lot, although rarely comment. But we were planning a trip to CA recently and I thought “I wonder if Brenda would meet me?!” But I doubted it and never asked. And then you go and mention entertaining visitors (although I think you probably mean visitors you already know).

  • The Chatty Housewife

    I love Balboa park… we didn’t get to CA this winter for the bible conference so I really missed out on my fill of warm weather and our usual trip to Balboa. We hope to go next year though. I loved the photo of people on the beach and in the water with all the fog rolling by. So cool!

  • Aunt Kathy

    Bug looks like she’s ready for a growth spurt…Her cheeks are fattening up! Your pics are surreal…and beautiful. Love the fog.

  • Clover

    TWO cute kids in this post! Looks like a fun day– and I like your shoes! What are they?

    SAJ says: Thank you! My shoes are Chinese Laundry. Cheapies I got at Ross. They are the most comfortable shoes EVER!

  • Uncle George

    Just wait until July and you won’t want to go near that place! It’s not call Zooport Beach for nothing. It used to be nice, it really sucks now.

    That said, SAJ is right, it is wonderful from Labor Day until Memorial Day. Many locals leave for the summer and rent out their homes and go somewhere sane. What used to be paradise is now graffiti ridden and diaper laced sand. Sad.

    If you do come, go to Balboa Island. SAJ was at the fun zone, and it sure can be for the little ones…The best and #1 feature is the Ferry. Don’t miss it. Ride it on foot, and/or in your car, it is an icon and has not changed in some 60 odd years.

  • SEC

    Oh, you’re making me homesick! I’m orignially from Tustin (though I haven’t lived there from 16 years), but am now living in the UK. Love Balboa Island and the Ferry. Took my son there on our last visit which was almost 2 years ago now, but can’t wait to go back.

  • lynne

    Wow looks like just a perfect day to me, sun, sea and the fair. Balboa island looks breathtaking! Reminds me a little of Coney Island and our own Brighton pier. As I’ve got older I seem to have lost my nerve for rides though… very odd.

  • lynne

    Mmm now I’m thinking of the fried shrimps they sell on the boardwalk at Coney Island. Tis a heck of along way to go for fried shrimp when you live in London, England.

  • kirwin

    It looks beautiful–totally worth putting up with the tourists for. (bad grammar, but you understand, right?)

    The 3-year olds look scrumptious. I love that age!

  • Jennifer

    Jeremy and I used to take trips to Balboa when we were dating. It’s a nice place to walk and gab :)

    Looks like you all had a great time. The pushing mommy in the swing picture was so funny and cute!