Weekends at Lake Elsinore Marina

Camping, Boating, and Parties

As the weather gets warmer, Lake Elsinore Marina gets crowded on weekends.

Campers with tents and RVs set up on the 2 sandy peninsulas. Boom boxes beat, accordions accompany, guitars grunge, children collect, laughter looms, fires flame orange against the night sky and fan the fresh smells of good grilled food our way.

Boaters back-up their trailers to the launch before bouncing off on jet skis, power boats, and drag boats or sliding into the water in search of a perfect place to fish or set up a pair of water skis.

Trucks towing boats line up all day and the marina parking lot fills up quickly.

This is a popular place!

RV Clubs come and go. They gather in the pavilion area holding chapter meetings, playing games, and hosting breakfasts and potluck suppers.

But last weekend the pavilion was being transformed into what looked like a wedding reception.

It was a quinceanera, a celebration of a a girl’s 15th birthday as she transitions from childhood into adulthood.

According to en.m.wikipedia.org, this rite of passage ceremony goes back to the Aztec empire of 500 B.C. in Mesoamerica. Boys and girls took on adult roles in the community in preparation for becoming the fathers and mothers of future warriors. Today, the quinceanera remains as a Latino girl’s introduction to the community as a woman. Actually, it is more correct to refer to the celebration as a fiesta de quince and the 15-year-old girl as the quinceanera.

The quinceanera is accompanied by a court of 4 or more young women and men, referred to respectively as damas and chambelanes, and is escorted by a “man of honor”, the main chambelan. Sometimes the “court of honor” only consists of damas and 1 chambelan. Their duties include joining the quinceanera at church for the Quince Mass, participating in the Quinceanera Waltz, and performing in the baile sorpresa, a surprise dance choreographed around a special song. (quinceanera.com)

I took these pictures while the event planners were setting up for the event which was scheduled to begin at 4 in the afternoon.

Oh, how I wish I could have snuck in and taken pictures during the celebration!

I kept hanging around though waiting for Sam, the quinceanera, to arrive. And then, she did!

Her damas wore short white sparkly dresses with black gym shoes. The chambelanes donned black pants and lavender shirts matching Sam’s dress. I couldn’t see their shoes. But, as I stalked the perimeter of the event, I noticed that Sam was wearing white gym shoes as she sashayed her gown from side to side greeting her guests.

Jeff came looking for me. My neighbors jokingly told him that I was trying to get invited to the party as they watched me slithering around with my iPad. Finally, I admitted defeat, left the pavilion area, and returned to our RV across from the festivities.

For the next 5 hours I listened to Spanish music and speeches and laughter. I watched people come and go. And after the celebration ended, I watched from my bedroom window as the party folded up into clean-up mode.

I fell asleep to giggles and young voices chattering away… Sam and her friends still enjoying their carefree youth.

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