Sentimental Candy Shoppes

BalboaIsland1

I have a joke book job due tomorrow that I’m only two pages into (Yes, I’m in TROUBLE and praying for caffeinated miracles) and I have 32-plus gigs of photos to process from a wedding I shot yesterday (first ever real wedding job. Oh man! So hard!) so naturally, I feel like blogging would be a great way to deal with this feeling of overwhelming overwhelment.  Is there a word for that?  Brain stuck.

I just thought I’d pop in and share these photos. They came out really cute. My niece is in town. She’s sixteen and things have been a bit, turbulent. But amongst the ups and downs there have been little moments of happiness and love. On a whim, I took my big camera with us on a trip to the candy store on Balboa Island and I’m so glad I did. That place is so colorful. It somehow captures what happiness looks like, even though I don’t even like candy that much.

BalboaIsland2

Of course, the kids love candy. Even though these salt-water taffies are probably made in some factory in LA and have nothing to do with the local sea flavor, they somehow just taste better when they are purchased from a little store on an island surrounded by murky Pacific Ocean bay water. Maybe it’s the ocean air we breath while we walk around the island, eating them out of a bag and admiring all the little cottages. Memories are funny that way. We’ve done it hundreds of times and it’s sentimental.

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We love you, Rapunzel! With all of our flawed hearts.

 

Mud Park!

Adventure Playground!

We had a great big fat blastola of fun today at the Huntington Beach Adventure Park. Have you ever been? If you’re local you might have heard of it. It’s only open three months out of the year so it’s easy to miss. It’s also nestled back in the trees behind the Huntington Beach library. I’ve been to that library many times (which is excellent by the way) but I’d never heard of this mud park until Toby took Bug there a week ago for their weekly father-daughter bonding time.

Since the nieces were in town we thought this would be just the thing to complete their summer.

pick some shoes, any shoes

You have to wear closed-toe shoes but if you happen to forget yours you can borrow some. Sharing shoes is kinda gross but considering you’ll be sloshing around in mud anyway it’s not really an issue. You pretty much check your germ phobias at the gate.

spider bug serious tread

It’s not a huge park. It’s not like Disneyland where you need to schedule a whole day to conquer it but for three bucks it’s easily at least an hour’s worth of good old-fashioned Tom Sawyer and Huck Fin kind of fun.

brave

There’s a rope bridge to cross.

pretending it's a balance beam

The Littles

There is also a small pond to raft on. There are a lot of rules like no jumping off the raft and just sitting around in the mud and no throwing things but it’s amazing that this place is even open in this day and age.

cooperating

Technically it’s geared for kids aged 6-12 but Rapunzel managed to have plenty of fun, even if she and her friend did sink their raft more often than they floated it. It was a great exercise in cooperation.

The Littles

Bug and Superchick didn’t seem to have any trouble.

mudslide animated gif

The best part was the mudslide. There’s a big hill in the middle of the park with a plastic tarp running down one side. A girl stands at the top and sprinkles a hose overhead while kids slide down the tarp into a giant mud puddle. It’s your childhood dream come true. I think my brother and I even tried to make something like this in our backyard once but we just didn’t have the space to do it right. So if you ever dreamed of making a giant mudslide you might want to take a look at this place.

Of course I stayed at the bottom and took pictures and didn’t get wet at all but quite a few adults did take the plunge.

wet sneaks

Then the kids hosed off in a little outdoor shower, changed into dry clothes and we went home in time for lunch!