Friday is the start of the pre-conference meetings for the Women in Travel summit and I booked two for myself one at 9:30, one at 3:30. The first is about how to monetize your blog, and the second is about round the world trip planning. I’ve never made money from this blog and I’m curious to see if it’s possible (and I’m not really sure I want to put ads up). I’m also in the early stages of planning my own round the world trip and am looking forward to hearing about other people’s experiences.

Since I have about 5 hours to kill between the two meetings, I decide to head over to Newport Beach for lunch and some site seeing and beach relaxing. It’s close to the Hotel Irvine, only about a 15 minute drive. My first stop is the Newport Beach pier on the Balboa Peninsula. I kind of wish I had a bicycle to ride along the boardwalk. I know you can rent them, but it would require more time than I currently have. I settle for a quick stroll down the boardwalk and onto the beach.







You can tell there are a lot of fish around here by all the pelicans and seagulls. They don’t seem particularly worried about people, their only concern is when they’ll get their next snack.






Ah, so that’s where the fish are coming from. The Dory Fishing Fleet is where local fisherman bring their catch to sell. The smell is strong and I decide to pass on going inside, but it looks like a neat place to get fresh fish.



Next I check out underneath the pier. It’s very photogenic, like so many pictures you see of the California beaches.



Finally, it’s time to walk out onto the pier. It seems like such a Californian thing to do (though probably it’s more tourists than Californians). Just make sure you don’t break any of the many rules.


The two pictures below remind me so much of exactly where I envisioned Malibu Barbie living when I was a kid (even though this isn’t Malibu).




There are several surfing lessons happening right now, and I kind of wish I could join them. It’s not super hot out, but for a northwest girl like me, anything over 70 is too hot, and the water looks cool and refreshing. In reality, it’s quite cold at this time of year, which is why you see everyone in wet suits.





My next stop is a little further down the peninsula to the Balboa Island Ferry. The area around the dock has a few rides for kids, shops and restaurants. I’m glad because I’m starting to get hungry for lunch!


You guys. It’s a shark bull ride. Why is this not a thing everywhere?





This dog gets so much attention for all the passerby’s and I can’t resist giving it a good pat, too. Such a rough life.


I don’t find any restaurants that strike my fancy so I make my way back towards the ferry dock to check out what’s available on Balboa Island. The ferry to the island holds 3 cars and several people and bikes. The cost for foot passengers is $1 and as small as that might sound, I actually left my wallet in the car and only have a credit card on me, which they don’t accept. They were kind enough to give me a ride over for free, but I manage to secure a dollar for the ride back.




Balboa Island is a quiet little neighborhood with lovely homes all well kept and maintained. I could imagine having a vacation or retirement home here, enjoying the tranquility. I’ll probably never be able to afford it.






The town is about a 15 minute walk from the ferry dock (turn right when you disembark and walk along the boardwalk until you get to Marine Ave. Turn left, walk another 5 minutes or so, and you’ll be there).


It’s a charming little town filled with tourist shops and upscale restaurants. Fortunately, I find an inexpensive little Mexican place and stop for a burrito. Then it’s time to head back to the ferry and car to make it to my second meeting.

That evening there’s a pre-conference dinner and I get to meet several other women in the travel blogging industry. It’s such a fun experience, getting to know these people, learning about their experiences and talking to them about their travels. Sometimes I feel like such an anomaly around a lot of my friends that don’t travel as much that it’s a cool to meet so many women like me. I can’t wait to learn more!

Beach Hopping In SoCal - Redondo and Hermosa
San Juan Capistrano