Beach Bits,  Family Matters,  Life Lessons,  Moody Blues

Balboa Island Cheer-Ups


This hardly ever happens but this last Saturday we had NOTHING planned. So we called a family meeting and hashed that out. Free time! Let’s use it!

The kids would have been perfectly content to sit in their rooms watching Youtube and Musically videos on their phones for hours on end but we knew we needed to get everyone together to do something a little more productive.

Me, being the super organized anal person that I am, grabbed a nearby white board and wrote down all the things we’d like to do.  I added things like “weed the atrium” and “paint the hallway.” They added things like “Soak City,” “Griffith Observatory,” “Ojai Lavendar Fields…”  This went on and on and in true bicker-sister fashion and nobody agreed on anything EXCEPT Balboa Island, probably because there was a candy store involved for the kids and a walk involved for me. (I’m the self-appointed resident health nut that annoys everyone.)


Balboa Island for breakfast! Who knew! We have a shortage of good breakfast places in our neighborhood and the ones that are good have long lines around the building on a weekend. We didn’t know we could take a quick hop and a jump over to Balboa Island and have GREAT Mexican food at a place called Wilma’s Patio for breakfast. Hot Diggety! Bug and I were so happy. We could have Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday and never complain. The Persians in the house, not so much. Thankfully, Wilma had had other options too.  Joon had strawberry waffles and Payam had some kind of spicy Italian scramble. Everybody was happy.


Then we did my favorite part: the walk around the island.


I love looking at all the miniature houses and admiring the gardens.


I didn’t mention this earlier but Joon has been navigating some difficult friendship alliances at school lately. It’s like being on a show of Survivor with people getting voted off the island sometimes.  This is totally normal for her age and Bug has had to deal with them too. But this particular friendship that’s been troubling Joon has really gotten her down.  It’s affected everything. Everyday she comes home saying she hates school and school hates her.  So even though she wanted to just sit in her room wearing her black sweatshirt with the hood pulled over her head and plugged into her headphones and ignoring everyone we really pushed her to get out and cheer up.

So when Payam suggested renting a Duffy boat and taking a little cruise around the harbor I knew it would be just the trick.


And it was! Bug and Joon loved it! They chatted and bantered away like only sisters can. The sunny day drenched us with brightness. It was really hard not to enjoy the warm weather (that’s actually finally trying to be nice for a change instead of being all sweaty-sweaty dog’s breath), the cool breeze, the pretty water and all the boats everywhere.


It did us all good. Joon is still struggling but we all felt connected. Sometimes I feel like she shuts us out and deals with it all in her head. She’s a tough cookie and it makes me sad that she internalizes her emotions. Growing up is so hard. I remember dealing with friendship break-ups myself and it was PAINFUL! Just because you are younger and bounce back quicker doesn’t mean it isn’t the same kind of pain we feel as adults. So we’re trying to be gentle with her.


I think she’ll be fine. She just needs time.


  • Tamara K Lang

    I love watching Bug and Joon’s relationship. I’m sure it’s not always pretty, but you can definitely tell they care about each other. :)

  • Carrie

    Oh boy. Friendship problems. I am so dreading middle school for my daughter. She feels things so deeply. I hope Joon is able to find a great new set of friends quickly. Are she and Bug at the same school?

  • Evilisa

    Balboa Island is one of my favorite places on this planet. Shame the last time I was there was mid 90’s. Lovely place.

    I feel terrible for Joon! It IS hard and no one can judge. Good for you; letting her work this out on her own. She’ll be stronger and better for it. We hate to see someone we love hurt and being helpless. Sisters make everything better.

    You all look great!

  • BeachMama

    I love when you share Balboa Island!! We enjoyed it so much when you took us and I took the kids there on our last visit! It is a special place for sure. And the boat ride! Must have been a treat, looks like the perfect day for it.

    Tell Joon to hang in there, this age is really hard. We are experiencing some of the same stuff, partly because we moved to a new school 3 years ago, once the new girl, always the new girl (apparently). And honestly this is the age where the “mean girl” syndrome comes out in some. Always take the higher road, sometimes it means hanging out alone, but in the end sometimes that is better. Give her some hugs from us!

  • Jen

    That’s a great location to help make the blues go away. I’m sorry that Joon is dealing with strife right now. I have an internalizer (as you know) and it is so hard to crack her code. I think it’s really special that you guys can lean on each other as a family. The girls remind me so much of my girls together.

  • Lynne

    Hi, I’m sorry to hear Joon is having friend issues, this sucks big time, at any age really. From a close friend moving away to the situation of a colleague giving you the cold shoulder you at work. I guess these are life lessons. Sometimes we grow out of friends or someone in your “friendship” group causes problems for you, usually out of jealously, if they admitted it deep down. I don’t know what Joon’s situation is, but I know from meeting her just for a few hours hes has a sparkling, warm personality which will draw people to her throughout her life . Big hearted people get hurt though. I’m one of them and so are you. xxx

    P.s. The thermometer dropped today, I’m wearing tights and have a hot water bottle clasped to my chest at the studio. Please send sunshine.

    p.p.s. I loved it when you took me to Balboa!

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