Hi, I’m Laurie!
After quitting my Orange County newspaper job several years ago to spend more time with my kids, I launched into an endless stretch before me of languid summer days, summer breezes, juice boxes, and … well … more summer breezes and juice boxes. …
Suddenly, the empty days before me seemed to stretch longer and longer, and the upcoming summer took on the proportions of a large blue hole that I was supposed to fill. I faced the days with my three kids – then aged 7, 4 and 1 – with very little planned to do. Surely, there were other things to do in Orange County that didn’t cost anything. … Weren’t there?
I learned, with great joy, that there were. Not only were there things to do, there were TONS of things to do: things for parents on a budget, parents not on a budget, families who like to camp, families who liked to “play camp,” and an endless supply of blue sky, beautiful beaches, and great trails. I called upon my newspaper roots (and contacts!) and started writing again about all areas of Orange County — parks, playplaces, historical alcoves, and public art. I interviewed rangers, artists, event planners and PR people and learned the best times to go to places and the best spots to park. I learned secrets, and tips, and little fun facts — and I’m bringing them all to you on this blog.
You can search from the side menu by city; by category (for kids, for dates, etc.); or by price (free, under 20, etc.).
I also threw in a few day trips (“just on the outskirts” of Orange County) to try when you have a spare Saturday. But, if you’re like me, and traveling with a 2-year-old isn’t your idea of a “vacation,” I made sure to include destinations that would allow you to be back in your own cozy bed that night.
I’ve also thrown in several fun places to go on dates — whether you’re like my oldest son (now 16!) who wants to find an inexpensive place to take his girlfriend, or you’re an old married couple like me and my hubby who want to find a fun place to rekindle and reconnect. There’s something for everyone.
I hope you enjoy these Orange County activities as much as we have: OC is a beautiful place, rich with color, sunshine, history, shopping, open stretches, palm trees, and amazing wilderness parks.
And please let me know if you like them – I’d love to hear how your time went, if you found something new or had something to add. Please e-mail me at the contact page or put in your two cents in comments.
Until then — Happy Trails!
Laurie Sanchez is an Orange Countian at heart – she grew up in north county, and worked for 14 years at The Orange County Register, where assignments introduced her to many of the area’s interesting places and people. She wrote about the county’s personalities, its folklore (including some turn-of-the-century “haunted” homes), as well as hundreds of the county’s “hot spots,” which she covered for the paper’s On the Town dining recommendations and the Best of Orange County book for 14 of its 16 years. Laurie also wrote for the south county community newspapers, as well as McClain’s Orange County magazine and Preferred Destinations OC magazine. She has been published nationally in Pregnancy magazine and has written features for several Web sites. She currently writes and blogs for a women’s health and wellness Web site and keeps her own blog, Mizwrite.com.
Her biggest job, however, is wife and mom, and she spends as many weekends as possible taking her kids and husband to all of Orange County’s fun places. ….