Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Great Park indeed

On Sunday, The Smith Family Players were feeling a bit restless.
We have been cooped up in the house and sick for too long.

So off to The Great Park we went.
If you live in the area and you haven't been, you really should check it out.

They have the tethered helium balloon that takes you up so that you can see, well, the freeway, but it is still kind of cool. Ok, it is much more fun if you don't have labrynthitis and a fear of heights.

They have the balloon all duded up for Halloween, which the children LOVE!

Since we visited last time, they have added a merry-go-round.
Baby C was on board immediately. Grand Master H had reservations. He and I sat on a bench and watched Mr. Smith and Baby C act as canaries in the mine.

After his sister and father had survived, he knew it was safe enough and agreed to ride it.
They must have taken about 6 turns since we were some of the only folks that decided to go on a pretty overcast day.

Famous Baby C decided to go dressed as and 80s aerobic instructor/Olivia Newton John circa 1980.

Mr. Smith described the park as an oasis.
That is the perfect description. It was formerly the El Toro Marine Base. There is a vast amount of land that allows them to have wide open spaces. There is always a nice breeze and it is amazingly tranquil.

Over the years there have been efforts (expensive and REALLY ugly) to turn the base back into an airport. Those efforts have failed over and over again.

Finally, the idea was floated to turn it into a park. I had my doubts. I did not see how the (extremely polluted) land could be converted for recreational use.

Turns out I was wrong. The people behind it have done an exemplary job of making it so lovely 
and so well though out. You can tell a great deal of care goes into what is there.

They have a wonderful playground for the children to climb on man-made rocks while 
you wait for your turn on the balloon. Of course, they love it.

H immediately made a friend and was off to the races.

I was concerned that Baby C would feel left out, but she was fine, playing on her own.

She actually got more irritated when they paid attention to her and interfered with her good time.

It takes a heck of an attitude to rock the 80s aerobic instructor look in this day and age!

After a while, we decided to bag the idea of the balloon ride (they weren't flying due to low visibility) and went to the Farmer's Market that they hold every Sunday on the grounds of the park.

We found wonderful pumpkins, gorgeous fruit and fresh vegetables.

It was so nice to be outside and feel the sun on my face. I got to watch Mr. Smith ride a merry-go-round with his daughter. I got to watch my son be a total gregarious social animal, unlike me, and 
it made me smile.

It was magical.