Last Sunday, we headed out to Irvine Regional Park to spend some time outdoors and to check out a place we had not been to before. The park was quite big and had lots of activities to do including train rides, pony rides, biking, and a zoo.

First thing we did after we arrived was take a train ride. The train itself is similar to the mini-trains you see at parks and zoos across the country. This one goes around the middle of Irvine park. Nothing much to really see other than some park historic points and the small lake. Zarni enjoyed it, because he got to watch people and cars as we rode past. Afterwards, we headed out on foot to see the other things the park had to offer.

There is a small lake in the park along with a small waterfall and pond. We stopped there to relax, and Zarni resumed his rock throwing activities from a few weeks ago. Instead of rocks at White Point Beach, the objects here mostly consisted of leaves and twigs, but they were throwable, so that’s what he did. He really likes throwing stuff into the water. It took some effort to pull him away from that to move on to something else.

We figured rather than throw stuff into the water, let’s get on the water. So next we rented a paddle boat and roamed around the small lake. And by small, I mean small. It’s man-made, not very deep, and not very blue, but it served it’s purpose, have something for the ducks and paddle boats to float on. Zarni didn’t seemed bothered by being out on the water or by with the life jacket that he had to wear. He just wanted to steer the paddle boat. If you’ve ever been on a paddle boat, you know the steer is not very good, and Zarni never seemed to steer in a direction that wasn’t going to lead to a crash. We got tired of it after awhile and decided we had enough, since we wanted to go biking afterwards and needed to save our leg strength for that.

We rented a 2-person buggy bike which had 2 small seats in front for little kids. That’s where Zarni sat for the first part of the trip. Eventually he got tired of it, and we had to move him to the middle of the bench seat in the buggy. And then he wanted to steer, which was fine because one of the steering wheels is a dummy wheel that does nothing. But I think he got wise to that and wanted the other steering wheel, which is a problem because the steering on the bike is more responsive than the paddle boat’s, and there were a lot more obstacles on the trails than on the water. Thankfully, by the time Zarni had worked his way to the real steering wheel and we couldn’t distract him with anything else, Sandy and I were both tired out from peddling, so we headed back to the rental house. The gearing on those buggy bikes is terrible. Even on a gently uphill, you have to work really hard to get it going. On several of the steeper hills, I saw several people just give up and get out and push the buggy up to the top. Of course, I tired to gain as much speed as I could before the hills, which Sandy didn’t like. A buggy bike probably wasn’t designed for speed or handling.

We ended the day at the playground. We let Zarni run around and play while we just sat and relaxed for a bit in the shade of the trees around the playground. It was starting to get hot. I still can’t get over how mild the winter was. I know we live in a place where the weather is always perfect, but there were weekends were we could go to the beach in the winter, and it felt like summer. Anyway, after Zarni had his fill of the playground (read, we had to pull him away because it was time to go), we headed back home.


Enjoying the day at Irvine Park