This tradition of seeing the Balboa Christmas Boat parade goes way back and this was the first time that Taryn and Tyson were able to experience it. The cute little houses along the board walk have the most elaborate holiday decorations. Looking at houses on your right and watching boats lit up with Christmas lights (totally decked out!) on your left as they putter past is so much fun! Taking the ferry over to Balboa island is part of the fun, hearing the captains from the ships yelling "Happy Holidays" over their radios and blasting Christmas music, and of course, eating at the Old Spaghetti Factory. We had the entire back half of the restaurant all to ourselves because we had so many people in our family..and it wasn't even half of the children (plus their spouses and their children!!) When ever I think back to this tradition I remember sipping hot chocolate while walking, loving the small houses and seeing how they decorated for the holidays, thousand island dressing on my salad and the great pasta dishes from the restaurant.