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.
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.
The 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.)
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.
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).
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.
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.
I 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.
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.