Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Los Angeles vacation: beachside.

Los Angeles is underrated in my opinion.  I don't think many people who live in San Diego consider taking a vacation to Los Angeles, but we actually love it there. Our goal for this vacation was to do what we already love to do in San Diego, but in a new place. We rented an AirBnB for seven nights in Venice, walking distance to the beach, Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and Santa Monica. We made a Los Angeles bucket list, and figured we would get to what we could and do the rest on another trip. 

Here's what was on our initial bucket list:
  • Trying new food
  • Exploring street art
  • Walking the Venice canals
  • Walking Abbot Kinney Boulevard
  • Playing at the beach
  • Riding bikes along the beach bike path 
  • Riding bikes to Santa Monica 
  • Going to the California Science Center to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor
  • Going to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
  • Going to the Griffith Park Observatory
  • Riding on the Griffith Park Train
  • Exploring Silverlake 
  • Visiting The Broad Museum 
  • Exploring the LACMA 
  • Going to the La Brea Tar Pits
  • Going to the Automotive Museum
  • Going to the Getty Villa

Traveling with our kids is always a challenge with new surroundings, schedules, and sleeping arrangements, but Los Angeles was kind of a perfect vacation for a family with young kids. 

We stayed beachside for four days, riding bikes to get around, and then ventured inland three days (which I'll share in another post). Los Angeles has a lot of character, and Venice Beach is quirky. Apparently, it was intended to be a mix between Venice, Italy, Egypt, and Coney Island. While I'm not sure where the Egypt part is, I think it achieves a mix between Venice, Italy and Coney Island (with a little too much Coney Island for my liking). 

Food we enjoyed: Dune (Mediterranean), Gjusta (delicious sandwiches and baked goods), Intelligentsia (coffee), The Rose (a nicer restaurant)

We also ate some food that we thought was a bit overrated (Eggslut, Blue Star Donuts, Komodo), which made us realize that we actually have a lot of really delicious food here in San Diego, so we are a bit spoiled. 

Walking around Venice:
Wandering around Abbot Kinney Boulevard:
Venice Beach:
Riding bikes to Santa Monica:
Cambria and I went on the Ferris Wheel together:
The kids enjoyed the Carousel on the Santa Monica Pier:
Fun biking and scooting along the beach boardwalk:
Everett's favorite piece of street art (since it was a larger version of him):
Riding bikes to Marina Del Rey to see this public art installation:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Our first camping trip with the four of us.

The good news is we all survived our first time camping with the four of us, and we even had a lot of fun. As an added bonus, there were wildflowers in our campsite.

My Christmas gift to Matt was a night at our favorite mountain campsite in San Diego and a tent (that he had to shop for and purchase himself). We did not rough it. We brought two queen air mattresses, and each slept with a kid on one.

The amount of time spent prepping for and cleaning up from the trip was almost equal to the number of hours we were actually camping. 

We were all dirty and sweaty and disgusting, but happy, nonetheless.