Sunshine days

We returned to Iowa this week from a wonderful family trip to Los Angeles to celebrate my cousin’s wedding and I’m now huddled under a quilt feeling like that sunshine was surely a dream. We didn’t see any evidence of the fires that had been ravaging the area, but I can much better understand how scary it would be to see flames in an area like that.

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One of the highlights of the trip was our airbnb, which we shared with my mom, aunt, brother and sister-in-law. It was a Pacific Palisades hobbit mansion, nestled in the hills.

img_8792The four quirky suites, kitchen and living space all had ocean views! (Maybe the one time I’ve been grateful for kids waking up before dawn.)

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We arrived on Thanksgiving in late afternoon and pulled together a quick feast, stocked the bar and had the perfect launching pad for daily trips to the beach.

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The kids were into the La Brea Tar Pits (if you’re on a budget, the museum is pretty small and so you can enjoy the grounds without a fee).

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They were also actually pretty good at The Getty Villa, which is an incredible antiquities museum designed as a near replica of the Villa dei Papiri, a Roman residence  that had been buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. (It’s free aside from a $15 parking fee, but you need to reserve tickets in advance.)

A bunch of the cousins met up to hike the Temescal Ridge Trail the morning of the wedding. The views were worth the trek. I am an adult person who still gets so nerdy excited about hanging out with her cousins.

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The wedding was in the stunning St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Santa Monica with a UCLA reception, where Eileen fell in love with the keyboard player in the Beach Boys cover band. It was pretty adorable. Rob and Amy were such great hosts – we had the best burritos at the welcome reception and then breakfast burritos at an oceanside park at the farewell. Bookending a wedding weekend with burritos is the way to go.

We thought about driving out to Disney as a surprise on our last full day, but decided to stick closer to home and got wristbands for unlimited rides at Pacific Park instead for a fraction of the price and no lines.

img_8815I wish we had arrived maybe 30 minutes earlier, because the little kid rides end at 5 p.m., but Emmett was super brave and rode his first roller coaster (first car!) and we walked right onto the Ferris wheel at sunset.

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I’m definitely going to treasure the memories of this trip for a long time!

Also, I was able to read the new Barbara Kingsolver book, Unsheltered, and recommend it.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Sunshine days

  1. Carol

    It was so great to see you and your beautiful little family! You packed a lot in! I loved our day at the beach and watching the next generation of little cousins happily play while the current generation of cousins visited…and the older generation watched in delight.

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