We got back a few weeks ago from our trip to Los Angeles to visit my little sister and I’m just now finally sifting through the virtual mountain of photos. Reliving so many wonderful memories but also realizing that I really need to stop being so shutter-happy. 4,194 photos (I counted) is just not a reasonable number for a three-week trip, especially when so many of those are near-identical versions of the exact same photo.
Travelling with littles. Always an experience! Actually, these two did amazingly well. Five hours is juuuuust short enough to not go completely stir crazy in such a small, confined space. The flight over was completely full so unfortunately we didn’t get an extra seat for Nicky, but the two still managed a short nap despite the three of us being pretty cramped. The rest of the time Isabelle watched cartoons or played on her iPod Touch (flying is one of the few times I consider her addiction a good thing) and Nicky played with every conceivable thing I could give him for about 30 seconds each. Which added up to maybe half an hour. Ha! The rest of the time he was either eating, flirted with the ladies sitting behind us, or I was throwing him up in the air above my seat because, well, how else was I going to keep this crazy kid entertained in the middle seat?
Very uncharacteristically for southern California, we had pretty much non-stop rain the first few days. Which we honestly didn’t mind coming from coooold Toronto. Plus Isabelle was in toddler heaven with all the puddles. That and it gave me a good excuse to head straight to Target (not having brought rain gear and all to the land that never rains).
The Santa Monica Pier, one of my favourite spots. Isabelle was absolutely fascinated by the rollercoaster. She would say “look! a train!” (no matter how many times I told her it wasn’t a train) followed by “where it go?!” every single time it went by. It was hilarious.
We went to the beach anyway! And it’s actually the best idea ever in the rain. Perfect castle building sand.
Isabelle still sent me down to the water to fill her tiny watering can about a million and one times though. #shestheboss
Nicky wasn’t too sure what to make of my sister’s two cats.
If there was an In-N-Out in downtown we totally would have gone everyday. Soooo good! Especially their protein-style burger for this paleo-about-twice-a-week mama. The only thing missing is a priority drive thru lane for parents with sleeping kiddos. Because those lines are ridiculous!
Isabelle found the skate park at Venice Beach absolutely fascinating! She’s been totally mesmerized by skateboards since she was a baby. And with the speed at which she’s mastering her little scooter, I’m sure she’ll be requesting her very own skateboard any day now.
Rose Cafe at Venice Beach. Such delicious salads and sweet treats!
Hiking in Griffith Park was definitely the highlight of our first week. Not only for the actual hiking (which was less hiking and more slow meandering thanks to a certain two year old who needs to pick up and throw every single rock she encounters) but also for the nap drive beforehand that I spent admiring the absolutely gorgeous houses in the Hollywood Hills.
This is as close as we got to the Hollywood sign. I swear it looked much closer in person.
My little farmer girl.
Let me be completely honest for a minute. The first few days in LA were not at all what I expected. We did lots of wonderful things (beaches! a beautiful hike!) and had lots of wonderful moments but, man, oh man, it was trying. Isabelle was missing home a lot, she was asking for Peppa about 200x per day and ergo had 199 temper tantrums when I said no, she was afraid of ladybugs at the beach and flies at the park (huh?!). And Nicolas spent half his day yammering or crying because I wasn’t holding him slash he was hungry slash he was bored slash I honestly don’t even know. Let’s just say, my nerves were so shot after only three days of a three week trip.
It was at this point that I had to take a step back and readjust my expectations. I’m a big proponent of not letting kids stop you from travelling and seeing the world if that’s something that makes you happy, but this trip really made me rethink my stance. I know the pace slows down significantly when travelling with littles but I honestly thought spending at most half a day out and about was more than reasonable. But I think the combination of a completely unfamiliar place coupled with pretty much exclusive car naps was just too much for these two. And so we spent the rest of our first week getting back into a routine. We didn’t go to the beach, in fact we never left a 1-mile radius of my sister’s loft. Instead we went to the playground, for scooter rides to Starbucks or the grocery store, we coloured at home, made pancakes and baked cookies, napped in an actual bed, and of course there was plenty of Peppa Pig.
Oh that Peppa stare. Pure concentration. Ha!
And Nicolas got to spend most of his day in his booster seat eating anything and everything. Aka his all-time favourite pastime.
Visiting her fashion blogging auntie has a few perks like trying on rows upon rows of shoes for this little heels-obsessed lady.
Oh life with a two-year-old, never a dull moment. Isabelle insisted that Nicolas wear a pair of her underpants whenever she did and that she take naps with her new “baby tittar” aka baby guitar aka banjo.
Next up, Palm Springs!