Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies at
Balboa Village & Pier, Newport Beach, CA
September 29, 2022
orange county map map showing location of Newport Beach

The scenic 3-mile stretch known as “The Peninsula” features the harbor on one side and broad, sandy California beaches on the other. From dine-in to grab-and-go, there are restaurants to fulfill any kind of appetite and the variety of bars and live music makes the Peninsula a regional nightlife destination. Perfect for bike rides, laying out on the sand or cruising the harbor. It does cost to park.

welcome to Balboa Newport Beach sign Peninsula Park sign
Newport Bay map
Balboa beach and rental houses
Karen Duquette enjoying the beach

Below: Ruby’s Diner opened its doors December 7, 1982 on Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, California as a small shack sitting on the end of a pier surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. This small shack was converted to a diner reminiscent of times gone by. With a name as simple as its menu, Ruby’s Diner offered the highest quality burgers, shakes and fries. And, with a service motto of “Only the Best for Our Guest”, Ruby’s Diner quickly became the talk of the town. Now, Ruby's has locations throughout Southern California and cities across America.

Rubys Diner sign
Rubys Diner plaque

The Balboa Pier is one of two piers in the city of Newport Beach, Orange County, California. The other ocean pier on the Balboa Peninsula is the Newport Pier. The Balboa Pier was constructed in 1906 as a sister project of the Balboa Pavilion.

Rubys Diner directional sign

The Pier Plaza: The Balboa Pier was constructed in 1906 as a sister project of the Balboa Pavilion. The Newport Bay investment Company wanted to attract lot buyers to an undeveloped spit of sandy land now called the Balboa Peninsula. In order to do so, they built both the Balboa Pavilion and the Balboa Pier. These two structures were built to coincide with the opening of the southern terminus of the Pacific Electric Railway Red Car line from Long Beach to the Balboa Peninsula. The plan worked; multitudes of beach-goers flocked to Balboa, and many purchased lots.

The pier is a popular fishing spot. The fish caught from the pier consist mostly of mackerel and flounder. The pilings are home to a large population of starfish that feed on the large colonies of mussels growing there. Fishermen catching starfish by mistake are a relatively common sight. Notice Ruby's at the far end of the Balboa Pier.

welcome to Balboa pier sign

In the 1980s, the first of Orange County's Ruby's Diner restaurants opened on the pier. The 1940s nostalgia-themed restaurant has since become an Orange County landmark.

Ruby's Diner on Balbnoa Peir and Lee Duquette

USA flag

Lee Duquette and the Ruby Diner server

Karen Duquette

Below: Looking at the beach from the pier. Then Karen Duquette photographed a bird flying overhead. A passer-by on the pier told her to be careful or the bird would poop on her. Note: It did not do that, thank goodness.

Balboa Beach as seen from the pier bird flying overhead

The pier was heavily damaged in the severe El Niño storms of 1998, which also destroyed the famous diamond-shaped Aliso Pier in Laguna Beach. One of the pillars was damaged, causing a partial collapse of one corner. The wooden posts have since been reinforced with steel sheathing and braces to prevent further damage.

ocean wave divider bar

After having a nice lunch on the pier, the two RV Gypsies took a walk on the beach and Karen Duquette photographed the waves and they exploded upon the shoreline.

ocean waves by Balboa pier ocean waves by Balboa pier

The waves looked dark or icy before hitting the sand as shown ABOVE, then they looked brownish, as shown BELOW.

ocean waves by Balboa pier ocean waves by Balboa pier
ocean waves by Balboa pier

Below: Birds on the beach would be pecking in the sand, until the waves came ashore, they the birds would scoot quickly back away from the waves. It was fun to watch.

view of the beach from the pier Bird on the beach
Bird on the beach Bird on the beach

Below: This part of the sidewalk was actually a FLAT surface, although the paint job made it appear that it was raised in the center.

illusional sidewalk paint job ilusional sidewalk paint job
Balboa Village sign
Balboa Village mural

Below: Interesting things around the Balboa Village- starting with a great black and white collage above the closed movie theatre.

black and white collage above the closed movie theatre

Below: The next 3 photos are of a great collage in a parking lot (which is actually all one long collage)

Balboa Newport Beach mural
mural of Ruby's and the ocean

Below: A lighthouse that is part of a miniature golf course.

lighthouse that is part of a miniature golf play area lighthouse that is part of a miniature golf play area

Below: Karen Duquette just had to stop and have a margarita at the place shown below.

marjarita joint

Below: The Two RV Gypsies love the Bird-of-Paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae), also called crane flower. It is an ornamental plant of the family Strelitziaceae native to South Africa. The plant is grown outdoors in warm climates and as a houseplant for its attractive foliage and unusual flowers. It is named for its resemblance to the showy forest birds known as birds-of-paradise.

The bird-of-paradise flower grows from rhizomes (underground stems) to a height of about 3 to 5 feet. It has stiff, erect, leathery, concave, and oblong leaves borne on a long petiole (leafstalk). The leaves are bluish green in color and may have a red midrib. The orange and blue flower has two erect pointed petals and five stamens. One main flower bract, shaped like a boat, is green with red borders. The fruits are capsules with numerous seeds.

Bird-of-Paradise flower Bird-of-Paradise flower
Bird-of-Paradise flower Bird-of-Paradise flower
Bird-of-Paradise flower

Below: Another Bird-of-Paradise plant, this time it was seen in the window of a house.

Bird-of-Paradise flower Bird-of-Paradise flower

Below: Karen Duquette liked the shape of the tree shown below, that was in the yard next to the house shown above with the Bird-of-Paradise in its window.

Karen Duquette liked the shape of the tree airplane
look below

please continue on to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies Continue on to the nearby West Jetty View Park in Newport Beach, California