OC Night Market

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Payam and I hit up the OC Night Market last Friday. It only comes to town twice a year so I’m surprised I was actually on it this time. It was pretty fun. I wish we had brought the girls.

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I’m not a super foodie or anything (which is kind of what the Night Market is about) but I do love to do anything outside during Golden Hour. It’s just so pretty! I feel like I used to when I lived at the beach and people would stay in their houses and completely ignore the ocean being magnificent right outside their door. So I make up for all the people ignoring the beauty and find myself completely entertained by the clouds and the show they were putting on. It was especially pretty that night. My camera doesn’t really do them justice.

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The food was pretty photogenic too. I wanted to get boba in a lightbulb and a cotton candy burrito but I’m on this stupid health kick where I worry about getting enough fiber and I try not to over-do it on sugar. Being healthy can be so boring sometimes. I did break down for the photo’s sake and get a strawberry lemonade in a lightbulb. It was delicious of course. And pretty with the sky behind it.

Payam thinks I’m such a nut taking pictures of everything all the time.  I really was like this before social media existed. You remember, right? Remember when blogging was just writing and people like me annoyed everyone because we slowed up a page’s loading time by putting pictures on our websites. I’ve been annoying since the dinosaur days.

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So yeah! Crazy Night Market food! Ramen noodle hamburger buns? They have them! Cotton Candy burritos, boba in every color, rainbow grilled cheese..

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And Squid on a Stick! I was thoroughly grossed out but Payam said it was tasty! The gyoza I had was soggy and gross too. Probably because they were paying so much attention to the squids on a stick customers they neglected all the other boring items on their menu.  I think they saved time by pre-cooking the gyoza and just stashed it in the back for the odd random person who ordered something as boring as gyoza. Personally, I love gyoza so I was super disappointed. Guess I’ll stick to takeout from now on.

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We really missed the kids. The thing about 50/50 custody is that you have a week off to do fun couple things without kids (really great, right?) but invariably the fun things you do without kids you end up thinking would be way more fun with kids. Then the weeks you do have kids you are so busy doing parenting stuff you completely forget about all the fun things you wanted to do with them and go down in the books as boring.  You can’t win.

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I am really going to make an effort to remember the Night Market though because I know Bug and Joon would both really dig it. Not so much for the food but definitely for the glow-in-the-dark, light-up, blinky night-time fun.

Locals Rarely Get it Right

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Yesterday we packed a picnic dinner in a cooler and headed down to the beach to stake out a fire pit. Little did we know everyone was staking out a fire pit on a Monday night. Monday? Really? Here I thought I was being proactive and heading out at 5:30 when my ideal photo-taking time in my head was actually 7:15 (the magical glow light hour).

Sure enough, the beach was crowded and every single fire pit was taken. Everyone and their cousin was at the beach on a Monday night because it’s summer and everyone is on vacation!

Except me. I was going to the beach to take photos for a job.

So I did the next best thing: I went fire pit to fire pit asking everyone politely if we could just “borrow” their fire pit for half an hour. Amazingly the first fire pit I walked up to said yes! Payam got a fire going in minutes and I snapped away for my shoot. The girls posed. We ate hot dogs and marshmallows and then we hustled out of there.

Sadly, in my haste to not overstay our welcome at the borrowed fire pit, I kind of missed my ideal photo-taking light by an hour or two.

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It’s okay. I didn’t get the *magical shot* I had my heart set on but I got several “good enough” shots.  And as a bonus I got the whole family out of the house and outdoors to the beach for some good old-fashioned FREE entertainment.

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You’d think that since we only live 15 minutes from a beautiful beach we would be down here all the time. I hang my head in shame. We hardly go at all. Maybe once a month if we remember. I think because we live so close to it, we never think to “make a day of it,” We just go for a quick hour here or there, which isn’t really doing the beach right. To really enjoy it you do have to go early, camp out and stay long. I think as locals we kind of miss out on that and it’s a shame.

So yesterday, even though it was for a job, was a small stab at getting it right. We didn’t camp out and stay all day (which would have been a good idea for staking out a fire pit and getting my *magical shot*) but we did stay late. We sat on the sand and watched the sun set until it changed the whole sky into an ombre layered dessert of pastels. It was so beautiful and best of all it was FREE!

We looked around at all the visiting families laughing, snacking, swimming, playing tag football…and realized how incredibly smart they were. They got it right.

Now if I can just get off the couch more often and get it right too!