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Long live the epic walk!

beautiful Orange County

We set out on an epic walk today. I’m sorry for using that word, epic. I read somewhere that somebody hates it when people use that word to describe things other than something something something but I can’t remember what the something something was or who said it or what irritated them about that word being misused so I’m going to use it anyway because I’m ignorant and it has a nice ring to it.


Bug had a bee in her bonnet about taffy and I only know of one place where you can get taffy (besides the grocery store of course but that’s boring or Old Town in San Diego which is a bit out of our way). That place that I know is Balboa Island. There is a candy store there that has barrels of the stuff. So we decided to walk there.

I don’t want to completely give away where we live (though it’s not that hard to figure out thanks to google and some bad choices I made several years ago) so I won’t say how far we walked to get to Balboa Island. But it was far. Far enough that it took up most of our day but it was the best day walking adventure we have ever had. It wasn’t really that far where we would need to pack water and a lunch but we dilly-dallied. Something Bug does very well.

Terrace Park

We discovered a new park that has fantastic play equipment. While Bug sea-sawed and swung on the swings, I day dreamed about all the birthday parties I could host there if only Bug’s birthday wasn’t in January. I might just have to throw her a half birthday party some year because summer birthdays are so much more fun than winter birthdays.

bay comber

When we finally pried ourselves away from our new favorite park and ambled over the bridge to Balboa Island, we found that there was a sand castle contest going on. Who knew! Not us. I really need to stay more updated on these things. We LOVE sand castle contests.

Balboa Island Sand Castle Contest

Balboa Island’s sand castle contest was just our speed too because the beach there is so narrow that the castles were pretty small and un-impressive. We could have entered this contest and beat the pants off them. Next year I might just have to do that. Also, unlike our local sand castle contest, this event is on a Saturday which means I might be able to enlist my family who can never make it to anything other than meeting (church) on Sunday. Pass it on, Mom!

bay castles

We walked around a good chunk of the island. Bug chose the water route and ducked under all the docks that moor boats along the water’s edge. She got a kick out of waking up all the ducks that sleep there in the shade during the heat of the day.

Walking around the island is so pleasant. There is a big walk way along the water and butting right up against it are all the tiny little Mc-mansions. Everyone is always out enjoying the day and many of them strike up a conversation with you if you are walking slow enough, which we always are. Bug made many friends today.

kid in a candy shop

Of course we got some taffy and then it was lunch time so I ate three tacos while Bug ate three bites. As you may have gathered, I’m not so swift on uptake when it comes to the no-treats-before-lunch-rule so I paid dearly for that one. And then I spoiled her even more by letting her get a frozen banana that Balboa Island is so famous for.

frozen banana from Balboa!

I was thinking that she might eat the banana and get some nourishment from that but I am an idiot because she ate all the chocolate and sprinkles off the banana and then decided she wasn’t hungry anymore! I should have known better. I would have eaten the mushy frozen banana but my teeth are sensitive and I don’t really like cold things. Yes, it’s true. I drink my water at room temperature and I don’t like ice cream that much.


Then we ambled back home just in time for Bug to fall dead asleep in her bed an hour late for her nap. Which was fine. We’re living summer hours here at La Casa de Ponnay. Bedtime is often pushed back an hour or more. I don’t really don’t care that much. Sometimes she even sleeps in when I let her stay up and then I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, which is really really nice.

It was a great day. I’m tired out from walking. Bug is tired out from playing. I don’t feel guilty for keeping her inside all day watching tv or stuck in the car while I run errands. It was a great Bug and Mom day. Long live the epic walk!


  • bethany actually

    That sounds like it was super-duper FUN!!! I wanna go on an epic walk in your neighborhood sometime. It’s closer to the water and nicer than walking in mine…though my neighborhood is really great for walking. We should take advantage of that more when you guys are here!

  • Shanna

    What a great post! The walk looks like a lot of fun (beautiful pictures too)! I wish we lived closer to cool things that we could walk to (and not get ran over getting there).

  • Monica

    Sounds so great, I am inspired to find a destination for an Epic Walk myself. (Is it even more egregious if you capitalize it?) Hmmm…where shall I go? I like all of it, especially the really tired at the end of the day part.

  • Kate

    Oh what I would give to be able to walk to the beach. Seriously. Do you live in heaven or what?? :)

    Sounds like an awesome day!

  • Michele

    Hi Secret Agent Jo,

    I’ve been following you for a while and thought I’d go ahead and say, “Hello!” Sounds like you and Bug had a really fun day. Kudos to you for considering the idea of a half birthday for her. My birthday is also in January and every year I would ask my mother if we could bob for apples at my party to which she would reply, “No, it’s too cold out and everyone will get sick.” I never did get to bob for apples on my birthday… I’m over it now but wish my mom had considered a half birthday! :)


  • Clownfish

    Big barrels of color! Gotta love Taffy!

    We had friends of our family that used to live on the island. They were brothers. One lived inland on Balboa and one on the water. The one on the water had patented a collapsible baby stroller back in the 1950’s. Both great guys (as well as their spouses and families – and one is my Aunt). – I grew up in a high-chair, stroller and crib made by his company!

  • Sarah

    Such fun!!! We did that exact same trip when we visited there a couple of years ago. Taffy shop: check. Frozen banana: check. Walk along the water: check. It’s beautiful out there! Glad you guys had fun!

  • Tracy-bug

    (Tracy-bug…really, that’s what my dad still calls me tho i’m nearing 40. thought you’d get a kick out of that.)
    EPIC is how Bug will describe her memories of her childhood. it’s the little things that count.

  • nikkapotamus

    What a great day! I love the candy store. I totally want one here in my town! And that sounds like the perfect way to wear your kid out while giving her some super awesome memories of this summer.

    As to your comment on summer birthdays; I would just like to say after throwing one this weekend for my little bug-all the girls ended up inside anyway because it was so hot!! Even after I had decorated the backyard and everything!

  • Gabby

    You should get Bug one of those cameras from little tikes, so she can take pictures too.
    They work, but your constantly deleting pictures.

  • BeachMama

    Those are the best kinds of walks. We get taffy every year at my favourite beach and were surprised to find some in Old Town the last time we were there, it was just as tasty and now I wish I had some for a snack.