Monday, April 18, 2011

Orange County Great Park


Although I've seen the big orange balloon (in the background) while driving down the freeway I never knew what or where it was.

In our search for local farmer's markets we came across the OC Great Park, home of the big orange balloon among other things.


My parents came over, B & I packed up the Peanut and we all headed to Irvine where we met these lovely ladies and their tribe.

I used to work with these ladies, many years ago (with the exception of Catherine whose husband I worked with) when we were all much less... tied down and much more... wild ~ahem~.

This was the first time I had hung out with them AND all of their kids.  Every time I turned around I had to laugh.  The two in the middle are also pregnant and expecting this summer.  It's still shocking to realize where our lives have taken us.

Life comes at you fast.


As soon as we got there my family and I hit the food trucks.  I love food trucks.

You'll see more food truck posts coming soon.
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We had kalbi beef tacos, shrimp tacos from... oh no I don't remember!  I'll get back to you on that.

Manchego mac and cheese (left) and monte cristo (right) from Barcelona on the go.

Oh and a Baby Bleu crepe with chicken, spinach and bleu cheese from Crepes Bonaparte.

I also had an really yummy gyro that I ate before I photographed it.  All the food was awesome and affordable.

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After stuffing ourselves we headed over to the Farm & Food Lab.  Although it's currently only 2 acres they are planning on expanding to 100 acres of demonstration gardens, fields and a tree farm.  Plans are for produce grown to go to famer's markets and local food banks.

Here they have different gardens used as teaching aids.  The gardens are planted and maintained by local master gardeners.  Those gardeners can also be contacted and will offer free advice for your own gardens.


There is definitely some hands on fun in the area used to teach kids about composting.
This is Eve.  Eve likes worms.
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Eve likes to get her hands dirty and dig those worms out of the dirt.

Eve also carries a Hello Kitty purse and her own lip gloss which she reapplies throughout the day.
Don't you love Evie?
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There is lots of space for the kids to run around and play.


And for Peanut's and B's to do... whatever it is that Peanut's and B's do.

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Every Sunday there is a really fantastic farmer's market with everything from fresh produce to handmade items from soaps to artwork.
They even have an asian produce booth which is the first I've seen. 

We stocked up on lots of fresh foods for Peanut and tried a few things we've never tried before.
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Back towards the food trucks there were Polynesian dancers performing.

I took Hula and Tahitian dance classes for a while.  Holy moly, I used muscles I never knew I had.  I was not very good at the tahitian dancing.

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The kids parked it on the floor and had their lunches while some of us headed over to the carousel and balloon.

The carousel and the balloon rides are free but you need to get a ticket from inside the building to the left.  I've heard it gets busy so you might want to head over there when you come in. 

The Great Park Balloon goes up 400 feet in the air and let's you overlook the park.  If this is impressive now it will get more and more fantastic as they complete each phase of the park.


It was a gorgeous and very fun day out and we'll be doing it again!


  1. Love the Great Park!
    Just wait, Peanut will be running around with all those kids in NO time!

  2. Looks like fun!!!

  3. sorry we missed it! hopefully we can make it next time!!

  4. Cute Dawn! You always know how to capture moments!!

  5. What a great idea! I love the garden, 100 acres! What a great place for kids to learn where their food comes from.

    And as for the dancing, I hear you. I did belly dancing for a while. Yep. And it taught me that I was not put on this earth to dance. : )


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