Saturday morning in Santa Monica was sunny and warm, so we convened on the brightest patch of the grass in our house’s front yard to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. Jack picked up donuts from three neighborhood joints and we oohed and aahed over the crispy old fashioned from Don’s, the passion fruit/cayenne donut from Blue Star, the butter and salt cake from Sidecar. Aggggh, donuts. So bad. But so good.
Sugar rushed, we drove over to Griffith Park to meet up with La Verne’s sister and her family for a walk in the woods. The path was beautiful, shady and lushly planted. And we had all the time in the world to enjoy it, as it took us 30 minutes to walk a quarter-mile with three toddlers in tow!
We eventually landed at at a small playground and lounged in the sun while the kids played.
We spent the afternoon close to the house; the kids dozed while the grown-ups read or got out for a run. As soon as everyone was back up and at ’em, we squeezed into our rental car, picked up salads and meatballs from Lemonade, and set out for a picnic dinner on the beach.
It was a gorgeous night, but dang, so chilly! That ocean wind is something else. I don’t think N’s arms ever made it out of his towel blanket!
Jules couldn’t resist one quick lap down to the water’s edge and back.
Teeth chattering, we packed it up and called it a day just as the sun hit the horizon.
The kids took a bubble bath in the jacuzzi tub and were promptly sent to bed so that the rest of us could open a bottle of wine and end our day by the warmth of the living room fireplace. Perhaps I over-did it on the bubbles.
We got a slow start on Sunday – Jack headed back to Seattle that morning for a Monday work commitment and LaV read to the kids while I went out to grab coffee.
We eventually rallied, packing up our towels and plastic buckets for a day at the Santa Monica beach.
Apparently Juliette isn’t the only one in our family amused by the tide!
Our friend Emily was in California visiting family and met up with us for a couple of hours. Does this kid look like he’s bringing the party or what?!
I’m already itching to get back to the water with Juliette – her joyous spirit and love of adventure is so evident at the ocean.
Our hunger eventually got the best of us and we headed over to True Foods for lunch. The kale smoothie was a major hit.
We left the restaurant to find a hip hop flash dance happening in the plaza. Work it, Oli!
The kids bopped around for awhile and then it was time to head home for naps (aka, mama-Jules snuggle time!).
We met up with La Verne’s sister and her family one more time on Sunday evening, for dinner in Korea Town. Jules slurped down miso soup, Shane gnawed on his Kalbi short ribs, and I dug into my sashimi-topped salad. Best food court meal I’ve ever had.
Bedtime was often a bit of a bear at the house, as the kids weren’t entirely sure what to make of sleeping in a new place (together), but by night #4 they went down without much fuss. Success!
Monday was go-day, but we had an afternoon flight and a few hours to kill before heading to the airport. Get those wiggles out, kids!
After breakfast, we loaded up the car and drove over to Kenneth Hahn Park to hit the playground. (May I take your order?)
After 400 pushes on the swings, 12 rounds down the slide, and 45 laps around the lawn, it was time to hit the road. These two were such great little travel buddies throughout the weekend, entertaining each other as we sat in restaurants or waited in lines. They’d say the goofiest things, speaking a language we often couldn’t decipher (“Juliette! Where’s your goo-goo?!”), and then throw their heads back and hold their bellies as they laughed like crazy. There was also the occasional tear-filled battle over a particular toy or the whiny tattle over an accidental push, but that comes with the territory – love hurts sometimes! N frequently tells Juliette “You’re my best friend!”, to which she’d replies “Yeah! I’m your best friend!” I’m so glad they’re in each other’s lives.
The flight home was long, as we had to sit on the runway for over two hours before take-off due to an issue with the plane. Thank goodness for TV screens. And snacks. And that little bottle of gin Shane stowed in his carry on.
We made it home eventually, with a little sand in our suitcases and a little pink on our cheeks. Thanks for doing right by us once again, L.A.! We’ll see you next year.