i heart oc

Welcome to I {heart} OC week… As you’ve probably already guessed, we {heart} OC in a big, pink, puffy heart kinda way. But we know we aren’t the only ones. So, we’ve dedicated an one ENTIRE week, & asked some of our readers to tell us (& you) whey they {heart} OC. Maybe it’s a specific attraction or restaurant. Perhaps is just the laid back way of life. Or, maybe it’s all about the Dole Whip on a hot, sunny day. Whatever it is, we want to know, & we figured we’d bring you along for the ride.

Meet Chelsea.  She’s a homegrown Orange County girl living in her hometown raising her three children (Talon, Evelyn and Trae) with her high school sweetheart Michael.  She enjoy’s life on memory lane as she recalls her wonderful childhood in the OC and claims life doesn’t get better than this.

I “HEART” the OC … I am a born & raised OC girl, married an OC boy and now have OC children! One of my favorite things to do is to share my favorite childhood places with my kids. I get an awesome satisfaction out of watching them enjoy life in the OC because I absolutely loved growing up here.

My parents would often take us six girls to Balboa Island. We would play on the carousel and Ferris wheel at the Balboa Fun Zone and then we would take my parent’s huge white suburban onto the Balboa Island Ferry.

{Picture of me and my younger sister Chandice riding the Balboa Island Ferry, circa 1989}

We loved to stroll along and explore the island. There are beautiful homes and great shops. My mother would usually give each of us a dollar or two to spend on the island and we often found ourselves browsing the shells in the shell store or indulging in a Balboa Bar ice cream or a frozen chocolate banana. We never missed a change to check out a super-fun toy store called “Our Gang’s General Store.”

{Picture of me and my younger sister Chandice riding the coin-operated horse ride out front of “Our Gang’s General Store,” circa 1988}

The tradition has carried on with my children.

{Picture of MY kids riding the coin-operated horse ride out front of the same store}

I also have many memories of family time at Irvine Regional Park. We loved to hike, bike, play and climb there as kids. Most of my favorite jungle gyms are now gone (probably since they weren’t very safe, but that’s why they were fun though, right?)

{Picture of me on top of one of the fun Irvine Park jungle gyms, circa 1989.}

Now I live super close to Irvine Park and we like to hike, bike, play and climb with OUR kids. Now it is MY child begging to go on the pony-rides I used to love so much. Probably our favorite attraction at Irvine Park is the Orange County Zoo. There are 2-for-1 coupons you can print off from their website for weekday admissions which makes it a great deal! My son Talon is obsessed with the animals and knows their names, which ones just had babies, and which ones are new thanks to a friendly zoo employee named Lauren. Between my mother and I taking my kids they probably hit up the zoo once a week!

We also enjoy having picnic lunches near the pond while feeding the ducks, and riding the ever-popular Irvine Park Railroad.

Of course, I wouldn’t be an OC girl without LOVING Disneyland. I still can feel my heart race and a smile always spreads across my face the instant I am on Main Street.

{Picture of me at Disneyland, circa 1986}

My favorite mornings are showing up to Disneyland bright and early with my kids, hitting up their favorite rides and being home in time for lunch and naps!

There are so many reasons to “heart” the OC and I’m looking forward to other guest posts and their take on what the OC has to offer!


Thanks Chelsea! I love that you’ve been able to share the things YOU loved as a kid, with your own children! So Fun. Read more about Chelsea HERE on her blog.

xoxo, K

p.s. interested in contributing & telling us why YOU {heart} OC? Just send us an email: justspotted@gmail.com