"...I decided to visit California for a year or two to see its wonderful flora and the famous Yosemite Valley. All the world was before me and every day was a holiday, so it did not seem important to which one of the world's wildernesses I first should wander."
--John Muir (1868)
We spent an afternoon bumming around Newport Beach and visited Balboa Island. This tiny speck of land lies within Newport Bay and is a mostly artificial island created in 1906 when the Red Line trolleys began running from downtown Los Angeles to Newport Beach. Subdivided into tiny lots which sold for $250 at the time, the island today is as densely populated as Manhattan--3,000 people live on 128 acres of land, 10,000 in the summer! You can take a short bridge to the island, but the cool way to get there is by the ferry that runs back and forth and can carry three cars and a bunch of people and bikes. Apparently, frozen bananas are the thing here (the banana stand on Arrested Development was located on Balboa). It is a great place to walk around and gawk at the cute homes and tropical landscaping. Tear-down lots of 25 X 60 here go for $2 million.