Bobbie Riddell (L) and Marion Sandell (R), lifelong friends. Bobbie Riddell (L) and Marion Sandell (R), lifelong friends.

Dynamic Duo - A Lifelong Friendship Continues at The Covington in Aliso Viejo

In the 1950s, Bobbie Riddell loved to play volleyball on Laguna Beach. Every chance she got, Bobbie was down by the water, sand in her toes, digging for balls and spiking winners. “It was a different time back then,” Bobbie says, “and so was the beach.”

Less crowded and not so developed, there was room to breathe and a sense of freedom for a generation only a decade removed from World War II. The Big Bopper was on the radio, Rebel Without a Cause was in movie halls and Elvis was everywhere, defining the decade’s youthful exuberance.

One beautiful, sun-kissed day in 1957, Bobbie and friends were playing volleyball when another young woman approached. Her name was Marion Sandell. Marion said she had not played much volleyball before and was not particularly good, but asked if she could join in. Bobbie being Bobbie, immediately said Yes. True to her word,

Marion was not particularly good, but she had a determination that Bobbie admired. Such are the moments that beget life-long friendships.

Bobbie and Marion quickly became a fearsome two-person volleyball team and played together for over a decade. As loyal teammates on the beach they had each other’s back, but off the sand, their friendship and commitment ran even deeper.

In 1963, when Bobbie was pregnant with her second child, Marion accompanied her to the hospital. “She was more nervous than I was,” Bobbie says. Together, they celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations while providing support during life’s challenging moments. “We were always there for each other,” Marion says.

After a dozen years as the volleyball queens of Laguna Beach, Marion and Bobbie started playing tennis. “We could get quite competitive sometimes,” Marion says. To this day the women still debate who had the better serve. “I did,” Bobbie laughs.

Eventually these natural athletes decided to take up biking. Both bought brand new bicycles and for the next 15 years did a twice weekly 20-mile ride. “Staying active kept us healthy, but it was also just plain fun,” Marion says.

Later in life, Marion’s first husband passed. A few years later Marion met new husband Bob and she settled into a new life. Then Bobbie lost her husband. Through it all, the women continued to remain close friends but for Bobbie, loneliness began to creep in, and she found her house too much for her.

There are so many activities to choose from and always something new to learn.

In 2019, Marion and husband Bob moved into The Covington. Then, in 2021, Bobbie decided it may be time for her to consider making a change too. “Within one month I sold my house and moved in,” says Bobbie. “I miss my house, but it was absolutely the right decision; one I probably should have made sooner.”

Now the women are together again, sharing their life-long friendship – and they are as busy as ever. The Covington’s approach to proactive health and wellness ensures the women have numerous ways to stay active. “I especially enjoy our exercise sessions with Neal, the trainer at our community,” Bobbie says.

Physical activity is just one aspect of living well and The Covington ensures residents have a variety of ways to stay sharp and be at their best. Since arriving, Marion has taken up ceramics and enjoys the many live-music concerts put on by the community. “Honestly, I do more here than I ever did at home,” she says.

The community spirit of The Covington is strong and both women have never shied away from trying something new. “We both play bridge but another resident, our friend Jade, invited us to try Mah Jong,” say Bobbie. “It’s my new thing, I love it.”

Bobbie and Marion say they enjoy the lush gardens and walking paths at The Covington every day.

At this stage of her journey, Marion says she is grateful for the wellness, well-being, and peace of mind The Covington provides her. “I never thought I would be this happy at this age.” Bobbie concurs and says that being able to spend time with her best friend is the icing on the cake. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

The Covington is a member of the ECS family of communities for active seniors. Founded on four commitments – choice, creativity, confidence, and connection, ECS has been at the forefront of nonprofit senior living in Southern California since 1923.

Choice

At The Covington, your journey can be as adventurous or easy-going as you want. A maintenance-free lifestyle means freedom to create your future, pursue your passions and enjoy active independence. Our residences, villas, and cottages offer floor plans for all needs, freeing you from the worry of having to move again. With services to ensure your comfort and mobility, and amenities to keep you active and inspire learning, here, life is what you make it.

COV Pool

Like most ECS campuses, The Covington is a Life Plan Community. Choosing a community like ours ensures a plan for your care needs — now and in the future – with a focus on proactive wellness and a continuum of care. Making your home here also provides peace of mind, knowing you do not have to move should your needs change.

Creativity

Our Creative Living philosophy drives life-long learning, growth, and social and cultural connections. Here, you will find the settings, services, and amenities that support fun, fresh opportunities for self-expression and discovery. Choose from fitness for all levels, theater and singing groups, and art and dance classes – all available on campus. If you need more inspiration, our communities are conveniently located near many of Southern California’s celebrated cultural destinations.

The culinary team at The Covington delivers inspired dining for the discerning palate.

Steak

Confidence

Confidence is everything. As a nonprofit organization, ECS is continually reinvesting to improve infrastructure, services, and programs. No matter which Life Plan community you choose, you will experience relaxed, maintenance-free, sophisticated retirement living. With one of the highest credit ratings in the industry, ECS offers the security, services, and peace-of-mind that allows you to enjoy all life has to offer.

Connection

The strength of a community is the strength of its people. Relax over morning coffee with friends, take a class, attend a lecture, and delight in live entertainment. Here, your social life is as vibrant as you are. Or contribute by serving on a resident club or leadership committee. Our “Resident Centered, Staff Supported” approach means you enjoy the full spectrum of quality-of-life benefits that comes from calling a Life Plan Community home. It is an environment that allows you to flourish and be your very best.

About Us

The Covington offers exceptional continuing care, retirement community living in a secure, gated neighborhood in Aliso Viejo, Southern California. Our relaxed, maintenance-free, resort-style accommodations, and active campus environment offer the perfect place to continue your journey, on your terms.


We would love to hear from you. Please visit thecovington.org or phone (949) 209-3829 to learn more.

Latest News

Orange Hill Restaurant. Prime Steaks, Primo Views and an Unparalleled Weekend Brunch

Dining Out Jody Robinson

Orange Hill Restaurant. Prime Steaks, Primo Views and an Unparalleled Weekend Brunch

The last time I visited Orange Hill Restaurant was pre-pandemic for a friend’s bon voyage party. Though I am ...

O SEA | seafood for thought

Dining Out Jody Robinson

O SEA | seafood for thought

With the change of seasons always comes an exciting time in food - especially at your favorite restaurants. My ...

Savor Handmade Moments at North Italia

Dining Out Jody Robinson

Savor Handmade Moments  at North Italia

Savory is one of those words that gets tossed around indiscriminately. I suppose the synonyms are a bit lacklus...

Destination Dining. Gema

Dining Out Sorbet Mag

Destination Dining. Gema

The tastes emerging from downtown San Clemente’s new contemporary Mexican restaurant Gema are influenced by i...

City of Hope Orange County Receives $25 Million Gift from Argyros Family

Finance Sorbet Mag

City of Hope Orange County Receives $25 Million Gift from Argyros Family

The transformational gift was announced at the 2022 Hope Gala featuring Nick Jonas Visionary philanthropist Ju...

Park Hyatt Aviara. An Unforgettable 5-Star Luxury Coastal Escape

Travel Jody Robinson

Park Hyatt Aviara. An Unforgettable 5-Star Luxury Coastal Escape

I’m not going to lie. I just tried mezcal for the first time this year. It reminded me of bonfires on camping...

55+ Residents Enjoy an Innovative Approach to Single-Level Living at Rancho Mission Viejo

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

55+ Residents Enjoy an Innovative Approach to Single-Level Living at Rancho Mission Viejo

From its scenic South Orange County hilltop location, Rancho Mission Viejo offers a wide variety of new homes, ...

City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center Is Now Open

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

City of Hope Orange County  Lennar Foundation Cancer Center  Is Now Open

The Irvine cancer center is home to a team of cancer-fighting physician-scientists assembled from across the co...

Casa Velas - Puerto Vallarta, Your Secret Adults Only Oasis

Travel Jody Robinson

Casa Velas - Puerto Vallarta, Your Secret Adults Only Oasis

I’ve always had a case of wanderlust and my husband, Tim, was a seasoned traveler long before I met him, so w...

Your Home Care. Because Home is Where the Heart is

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Your Home Care. Because Home is  Where the Heart is

For the majority of seniors living in California, quality of life equates to living at home. A recent AARP su...

Investing in Gold, Silver + Bullion with the

Finance Jody Robinson

Investing in Gold, Silver + Bullion with the

One of the perks of my job as a magazine editor is being able to interview entrepreneurs in a wide variety of i...

French Bee. A New Way of Flying Nonstop Los Angeles to Paris

Travel Jody Robinson

French Bee. A New Way of Flying Nonstop Los Angeles to Paris

After the past few years of waiting to again take to the skies, our family was thrilled to learn that France ha...

CFR Patio. Outdoor Furniture Restoration

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

CFR Patio. Outdoor Furniture Restoration

Highly Custom, Exceptional Quality In Southern California, our backyards and patio are often viewed as an exte...

Cefali & Cefali, APC. Trusted Accident Attorneys for the Most Serious Injuries

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Cefali & Cefali, APC. Trusted Accident Attorneys for the Most Serious Injuries

It’s a remarkable feeling when you can find someone to take your side. In relationships, sports: you name it...

First West Coast Park Based on the Iconic Sesame Street Show

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

First West Coast Park Based on the Iconic Sesame Street Show

This all-new park is sure to be the must-visit destination for any time of the year with a perfect mixture of w...

Make a Splash this Summer at the Bahia Resort and Catamaran Resort in San Diego's Mission Bay

Travel Sorbet Mag

Make a Splash this Summer  at the Bahia Resort and  Catamaran Resort in San Diego's Mission Bay

This summer, escape to the sparkling shores of Mission Bay, San Diego’s 4,600-acre aquatic playground, featur...

Elam’s Hallmark Christmas in July at Your Neighborhood Gift Store!

Entertainment Jody Robinson

Elam’s Hallmark Christmas in July at Your Neighborhood Gift Store!

I might be dating myself here, but I much prefer handwritten greetings to electronic missives. Whether it arriv...

New Orleans Family-Friendly Fun in the Big Easy

Travel Jody Robinson

New Orleans Family-Friendly Fun  in the Big Easy

When someone says “festival season” to me, the one of the first things that comes to mind is Coachella. But...

Finding Home Within and Without. The Lark Bozeman

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

Finding  Home Within and Without. The Lark Bozeman

There are many sayings about the alaudidae, or lark, as you are more likely to know it. To be specific, only th...

Is Your Home or Work Making You Sick?

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Is Your Home or Work Making You Sick?

Household cleaners, pesticides, pet dander, dust, pollen, tobacco smoke, mold, bacteria, pathogens and viruses ...