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!

Princess Mariposa and the Jungle


Her Majesty wanted to go to a jungle yesterday. I don’t try to make it a habit to fulfill her every wish—though it does seem like I do sometimes. But it was one of those days that I didn’t have anything else planned so I said, why not? That is the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom, after all. I might as well enjoy the perks.


So off to the zoo we went. It was the most jungle-like place I could think of outside of this giant nursery that sells plants to offices and the Rainforest Cafe. I thought about squeezing all three places into our day but the zoo ended up taking up all of our time. Which was great! I don’t really like Rainforest Cafe’s food anyway. Our packed lunch was a way better deal.

monkey see monkey do

We rode the train, we visited the monkeys…we tried to avoid the school field-trip crowds but that was tricky. It’s crazy how these hordes of school kids can swarm you and for about a minute you just have to stand still and let them flood by you. Then they’re gone and you have the zoo to yourself again.


I splurged and let Bug get her face painted. I have a soft spot for face-painting because I really want to be a face painter myself someday. I know I can do it. I just need to get the supplies and study up on the do’s and don’ts. One of these days I’m going to hire myself out for a birthday party or something. I really like how some of the artists incorporate the child’s whole face. This one artist I watched painted open dragon eyes on the child’s closed eyes. It was the coolest thing ever. I’ve been told that Johnny Depp has his eyes painted that way in one of the Pirates of the Carribbean movies but I haven’t seen it. Maybe I’ll have to make a point of renting that movie for research.


Bug seems to like face painting as much as I do. She’s such a bouncy wiggly kid but when it comes time to hold still to get her face painted, she’s as quiet and still as a statue. If only I could get her to hold that still when I’m doing her hair!

Princess Mariposa!

Bug chose a green butterfly (of course). The end result was fabulous! It really changed her whole face, almost in a tribal way. It was funny to watch younger kids look at her. They were scared of her but fascinated at the same time. One Hispanic mother and young daughter marveled at her for quite a while and as they left I overheard them talking about “mariposas.” I had forgotten that that was how you say “butterfly” in Spanish. So for the rest of the day she was Princess Mariposa to me.

hangin' with friends

We met up with Calee and her daughter Audrey. Audrey wasn’t scared of Bug’s funny green face at all. I have some photos of Calee but they turned out blurry so I’m not posting them. But one of these times I’m going to get a picture.

It’s funny how many great friends I’ve met through this blog. I get a lot of emails from people saying they’d love to meet up someday or send me something but they don’t want to seem like a stalker. I don’t even think about stalkers much anymore. Probably one day I’ll meet somebody creepy but I haven’t met anyone like that yet. So far every single person I’ve ever met through this blog has been fantastic. I guess blogging is a good friend filter.

A while back I was criticized for exposing so much of Bug’s life on the internet. While I agree that that is a valid concern, I’m almost thinking that blogging works in the reverse as well. I feel like I’ve made such an amazing network of friends here who really love and care about Bug. If, God forbid, something terrible did happen people would come out of the woodwork to help me. I know you guys would. I hate to even think these thoughts BUT I think we are at a much greater risk from the random strangers we meet in the grocery store than we are by the random pervert who bookmarks a page on this blog.

Just a thought I’ve been thinking about for a while…

the green princess and her sea horse

Of course I still worry and that’s probably why I’m such a paranoid freak about Bug keeping up with me when she wants to lag further and further behind. But overall I like to think of my blog as my extended protection unit. You know this silly green face. You’d recognize it anywhere. I know you guys have got my back.


So we will carry on, Princess Mariposa and me.