This post is sponsored by OC Bus

I’m great about using public transportation when I travel. I’m enthusiastic about to taking the subway when I visit New York. I’ve taken the tube in London and the metro in Paris, and when the kids and I visited Amsterdam last year, we rode the bus everywhere. And yet, in my own city, I must confess that I’ve never even taken the bus.

The other day, I found myself with 15 kids at my house. I usually have an extra kid or two at the house on any given day. We live in a family-oriented neighborhood with lots of incredible kids and I love having them over. But this day was definitely extreme.

I decided that this was the perfect time to give our city bus a whirl. The kids wanted to go get ice cream and I had too many people to fit in a car. So we rounded everyone up and walked to our nearest bus station, which only took about five minutes.

One nice bonus was discovering that the map app on my phone would give me perfect instructions for my route using public transportation. I popped in the ice cream shop we were headed for, and hit the little bus icon, and it provided me with walking instructions to the stop, the bus number I needed and where to get off, and then walking instructions to the ice cream shop. Also handy? OC Bus has mobile ordering, so we grabbed the tickets with our phone and then it was just a simple scan when we got on the bus.

The kids were so pumped. It was hilarious to see how excited they were for this little adventure. I swear, the bus was as exciting for them as any ride at Disney. They loved the anticipation of it all, sitting at the bus stop like big kids and waiting for it to come along. And of course, they headed straight to the back of the bus.

With that many kids, we sort of took over. They had a blast on the ride, and we got to the ice cream shop much quicker than I anticipated. It was fast and easy, and the bus was modern and clean.

All 18 of us (15 kids and three adults) filed into Afters for handmade ice cream. This was a local place I’ve been wanting to try but hadn’t found the time. They had all kinds of fun flavors like cookie monster and tiramisu, but the real gem on the menu is their milky bun, which is basically a doughnut sandwich with ice cream in the middle. My goodness, it was delicious.

After ice cream we moseyed around, exploring our city. We went into a skate shop so the boys could get some oil for their wheels. We stopped at a fountain and walked around a shopping plaza, letting the kids run into the stores they were interested in. Then, we walked over to Thunderking Coffee Bar, which our friend owns, and let the kids hang while the adults had a quick cocktail at SOCIAL next door. One more bonus of the bus: no designated driver needed.
It was a really fun day and the kids are already asking to do it again. I think the bus will be a regular option for outings in the future.
If you live in Orange County and want to try the bus, first-time riders can receive 2 free day passes at It’s a great option for family excursions, and also the perfect way to commute to work so that you can relax (or even work) on the way.