Irvine Blog - Posts from Local Experts
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Every time I go to the fair I have one or two vivid memories that stick with me forever. I remember that teenage kiss on the Farris Wheel at sunset. I remember flying though the air on a giant sling shot with my husband as my daughter watched from the ground, afraid her parents would surely die. I remember when my 5 year old son fell in love at first sight with an over sized stuffed animal and insisted on throwing darts at balloons to win the object of his affection. I reluctantly gave in, knowing I was throwing away hard earned money and my little son would dissolve into tears when he lost...then POP! POP! POP! He wins the dog and the crowd erupts in applause for the pint sized dart champion.
Orange County is my Home Sweet Home and the OC Fair always provides wonderful family memories. I asked my son his favorite memory of the fair and a big smile erupted, "All the baby animals! They're soooo cute!" Sweet memories, sweet food and laughter, sweet little baby animals.
We're taking our little animal lover to the fair this Sunday and we'd love to have you join in on the fun, so the OC Fair has given me a family 4 pack of tickets to give away! All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your favorite memory of the fair. A winner will be picked using random.org on the evening of Thursday, July 27th.
Here are a few pics of some of our favorite memories from last year's fair. Enjoy, then enter to win a day at the OC Fair!
OC's beautiful faces. She's ready for her close up.
What's a county fair without baby piggies? Sqweeeee!
The kids loved the petting zoo. The animals are friendly.
Deep fried, chocolate covered bacon. Boyfriend Bob says it's really good! He didn't share any and I didn't break up with him. It must be love.
After food fest it was off to the midway for rides and games. The boys were determined to win some stuffed Angry Birds (my son's latest obsession)
Alex shares his love of Angry Birds with the nicest fair worker I've ever met. I love the truly family friendly atmosphere.
To the victors go the spoils...and the smiles.
The kids' favorite: the Moscow Circus Fun House. It got their repeat business and a huge thumbs up for three stories of ultimate kid fun, ending in a twirling slide back down to reality.
Enter your comment now sharing your favorite memories of the fair!
This canine goofball has a big chunk of my heart. She is good-natured, loyal, snuggly, and consistently excited whenever I walk in the door. Raley is more than just a dog, she is a member of our family and whenever our travel plans allow, we like to bring her along for the journey. Traveling with pets isn't always easy. Few restaurants welcome dogs and many hotels turn their noses up at our four-legged friends. Luckily, those visiting Irvine have some pretty great Fido-friendly options.
My favorite spot to dine with my pup is the Lazy Dog Café in the Irvine Marketplace. This restaurant in decked out like a casual mountain lodge with playful nods to its doggy namesake. The eclectic menu features everything from wok-fired meals to burgers to fish. Kids love the bone-shaped pancakes and licorice dog collars. Raley loves the opportunity to hang out with us on the patio during dinner, giving dogs passing by a friendly sniff and a wag.
Raley hanging out under our table at the Lazy Dog Cafe
Several restaurants in the Irvine Spectrum offer dog-friendly dining. This mall lends itself up to pet-friendliness given its open air setting. Dogs and their owners love strolling past the shops, gazing in the windows and taking in the Spectrum's striking Spanish architecture Restaurants such as Ruby's Diner, the Veggie Grill, and Chipotle all offer casual and dog-friendly patio seating.
The baked goods case at Dogma!
If you love spoiling your pup as much as I do, you definitely need to stop in Dogma!. This specialty store focuses on offering the best for your pup and sells everything from sparkly dog collars and cushy puppy beds to all-natural allergen free pet food and treats. Their bakery case is filled with all sorts of goodies that I was ready to gobble up until I remembered that the cupcakes were probably hard as a rock and meat flavored. Not so great for humans but judging by the giant eyes and eager bite Raley greet her cupcake with, I am guessing she will be dreaming about that cupcake tonight.
After all those treats, we like to take our pup for a walk- you know, so she can keep her girlish figure. Quail Hill has a nice loop trail that is dog-friendly and filled with wildflowers during the spring. William R Mason Regional Park is a fine place to enjoy an early evening stroll with Rex. The large pond serves as a lovely backdrop, especially when hobbyists have their miniature sailboats are out on the water. If your dog is eager for some canine contact, be sure to stop by Irvine's Central Bark dog park. The park has 3 acres of fenced in land set aside for dogs to run around off leash to their hearts content. There is even a separate fenced in area for dogs that are small or frail.
Irvine has no shortage of dog friendly accommodations. Hilton Irvine has an airport convenient location and welcomes dogs under 75lbs to stay for a nonrefundable fee of $50. Residence Inn has two Irvine locations and allows dogs of all sizes for a nonrefundable $100 fee. La Quinta Inn & Suites, converted from a bean and grain warehouse into a three-story hotel listed in the National Registry of Historical Sites, is also pet friendly and does not charge a pet fee.
The ITRYathlon is a mere two weeks away. On July 28th, I'll be ready to rock.
Just about the same time that the Olympic Games get underway in London, I'll be facing my own personal olympic challenge here in Irvine.
If you've been following my training journey, you know that it hasn't all been easy. Life got in the way of training schedules, and nagging injuries knocked me off my feet just as I was making progress.
I admit, there were more than a few times when I wanted to quit.
Then one morning in late June, I found a bracelet that I had given to my mother the year before she passed away.
A simple silver bracelet with the inscription: Celebrate Small Victories.
At the time, I worried that it was an inappropriately optimistic sentiment for a woman fighting terminal illness, but she loved it and wore it every day.
Finding my mother's bracelet reminded me of her courage; not just at the end of her life, but fifteen years earlier when she started to run for the first time. She was 61 years old.
We all thought it was cute; my senior citizen mother in her pink running shorts and shoes, heading out to dutifully run a mile or so. She also took up swimming at about the same time, learning proper strokes and side breathing. She wasn't training for a race or trying to set any speed records.
She just wanted to do something new and positive for herself, refusing to let her age determine her capability.
So I took my mother's bracelet out of the drawer and started wearing it when I trained. It reminds me that even though this may be new territory, my mother has been here before me.
On July 4th, my daughter Katie and I tested our ITRYathlon training and entered the Woodbridge Village Association 5K Race. For Katie, it was nothing new. But I had never run for 3 miles without stopping and tendonitis in my ankle had kept me from running for a couple of weeks. I wasn't sure what I'd be able to do.
We headed out anyway; moving at a snail's pace, but moving nonetheless.
I ran down my now familiar training route, passing little landmarks that I had set as stopping points only a month before.
My breathing was even and, surprisingly, I ran with no pain. So I kept on going...
Celebrate Small Victories
Mom's bracelet was on my wrist as we neared the finish line.
"Hey Mom, when we get to the end, do you want to run?" Katie asked me, barely winded.
"I am running," I said.
It's not too late to join us on race day! Sign up at www.RenegadeRacing.com
ITRYathlon July 28th, 2012
Northwood High School- Irvine
Proceeds benefit Irvine Public School Foundation
Summer brings fun times like watermelon eating contests, days at the beach and backyard barbeques, but if you want to give your family a bit of culture, head over to the Irvine Museum to view the current exhibit of California Impressionist Artwork entitled Paradise Found: Summer in California.
The exhibit, on display through September 20, features a selection of paintings by California Impressionists that show various familiar views of California as they appeared nearly a century ago, before the great population growth of the late twentieth century.
I love Impressionism and can't wait to meander through the halls of the Irvine Museum to pause and ponder the beauty of my state, as captured by talented painters such as Louis Betts (1873-1961), Maurice Braun (1877-1941) Guy Rose (1867-1925)
The Irvine Museum
18881 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92612
Click here for direction
Tickets: $12/Adults and $8/Children & Seniors, under 2 years old FREE
Family Ticket- $40/2 Adults & Up to 4 Children(Advance Purchase)
Gates open at 3pm, and Parking is FREE
Irvine High School Stadium
4321 Walnut Avenue, Irvine CA 92604
1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach
Show Starts at 9pm
(enter at Lexington Drive, South of Katella Avenue)
Fullerton, CA, 92832
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807
Parking Fee: $7.00
Show Starts at 9pm
Laguna Niguel Regional Park
28241 La Paz Road
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, California 92629
25925 Camino Del Avion
San Juan Capistrano, CA
San Clemente, CA 92672