Surf City Family is honored to welcome our Guest Editors for the first quarter of the year. Meet fellow Huntington Beach residents, Parker and Jennifer Jacobs! Get to know this beautiful and talented blended family of eight over the next few months as they help us create and curate content just for you!
How long have you lived in Huntington Beach?
Parker has lived here since 1997. He grew up in North Hollywood and Brea, but visited Huntington Beach frequently and came to love and appreciate it for its quintessential “California-ness”. When his older brother and friends settled down here to start their band (The Aquabats), Parker moved in with them and now can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Jennifer has lived here for just over two years, relocating from her lifelong home of Boise, Idaho when she and Parker married in 2012. She misses autumn but loves the beach.
What do you like best about living here?
We all love how down-to-earth Huntington Beach and its residents are. It’s the perfect mixture of economic statuses, artists, business owners, young and old. People look out for this city and find ways to get involved, especially in protecting its beaches and natural areas. Family is a focus and we feel safe bringing our children up here. We love the great outdoor options and that they can be utilized year round.
Name your favorite place to get breakfast?
We love splitting a stack of banana macadamia nut pancakes from the Park Bench Café in Central Park. It’s a bonus that we can walk there and bring our dog.
Best place for dining out on a special occasion?
As a family of eight, we don’t often get to dine out together, but we do love getting the most “bang for our buck” in quantity and quality from Mario’s Mexican Restaurant in the Five Points Center. The kids also consider grabbing a turkey burger at TK a “special occasion.”
Favorite park/beach and why?
We love Central Park, the Shipley Nature Center, and the hiking trails at the Urban Forest (behind the riding center). At the beach, we love hitting the river jetties that divide Huntington and Newport—it’s a fun walk or bike ride there and the surf and water depth is perfect for our beginning surfers.
Do you have a secret/tip to give anyone who wants to visit/live in Huntington Beach? What is it?
If you’re visiting, the obvious draw is the pier, but I say don’t be afraid to venture miles to either side of it. We think it’s amazing how different the beach looks and feels as you move along it. Rent a bike and go exploring!
If you want to live here, be ready to live in a small space. The shift away from single family homes towards apartments and other high density living situations offered by Huntington Beach can make it difficult for a larger family to find adequate living space without spending millions. But, we have found we can exist in much less square footage with the tradeoff of expanding our living space into the outdoors. Also, get a wet suit and a place to dry it!
More about Parker and Jennifer:
Parker Jacobs, super dad, freelance graphic designer, Art Director for Yo Gabba Gabba! and author/illustrator of The Goon Holler book series. “Welcome to Goon Holler” now available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or autographed at http://www.goonhollergeneralstore.com. Follow along with Parker’s art and other projects at ParkerJacobs.blogspot.com. You can also find Parker on Vine (username Goon Holler), and on Facebook under the Art of Parker Jacobs, Goon Holler, and his band GOGO13.
Jennifer Jacobs is a freelance writer and real estate marketing director at Patriot Home Mortgage, Huntington Beach. Her literary short fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and radio interviews from The Writers’ Block on Radio Boise can be found by searching Jennifer Sanders Peterson or JSP Jacobs. Adventures in parenting a family of eight can be found at her blog: theboysquad.blogspot.com