Western Adventures 2008 travel blog

Ruby's Diner, Huntington Beach Pier

Balboa Decadence

Today we toured the California beaches. Our first stop was Huntington Beach and brunch at Ruby’s Diner way out at the end of the Huntington Beach Pier. On the way to Ruby’s at the end of the pier we passed several rows of beach volleyball setups. This is where the reigning Olympic beach volleyball women call home court. Lots of people were out there hitting the ball over the net. For those not into ball games the next stop on the pier was to watch the surfers. It seems these guys (and gals) spend their life waiting on their surf boards for the perfect wave. They must look like prunes under their wetsuits. The diner is styled like a 50’s café, red, white and chrome. The food was excessive, the view of the ocean overwhelming and the atmosphere charming. There were gold records on the walls from the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and others of the era (if you haven’t heard of these performers ask your parents for an explanation).

After eating we waddled back down the pier to stores along the ocean front. They seem to specialize in sidewalk shopping opportunities. We looked at tee shirts, shoes, sweaters and the like but found the 50% off tag price was way more than we would have paid at regular price for the same item. So, we looked but didn’t buy.

On out way down the beach we made a quick point and look visit at the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center. This is one Sue’s volunteer locations. They take care of birds and mammals that have been injured. Then we were off to another of California’s show of excess. We drove out on the Balboa peninsula and took a harbor cruise of the Balboa area. We were treated to miles of houses with zero lot lines all along the waterway. They were, or had been, owned by names like John Wayne (who used to sit on the seawall and wave to passing boats), Shirley Temple, June Allyson, Jimmy Cagney (who won his place in a poker game), the Wrigley family, and bunches of California billionaires. We were told that a two bedroom bungalow cost over 2.5 million and most of the mansions were 27 to 50 million, and there are summer homes! I’ll take those Texas prices any day. After the tour we headed back to the house and watched some of the Olympics and fell into bed. This sightseeing is strenuous work.

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