Soooooo we took a trip to LA … and it was hard to come back home! Our decision to go was super last minute, so we just went with whoever had the cheapest flights; we flew Spirit there and American coming home. We’ve flown Spirit quite a few times over the years and now, we have two qualifiers for flying Spirit: the flight has to be less than 2.5 hours and big comfy seats must be available. Kinda bougie but it makes up for them having tiny seats that don’t recline; especially with a busy lap child. American is American and we always enjoy flying with them; we’re AA Advantage members too. The kids love their in flight entertainment options and I always get to watch a movie I’ve been dying to see, uninterrupted.
So, here’s the tea on our trip:
We stayed that the Intercontinental Century City, which we dubbed hotel heaven because both the hotel and staff were amazing. James didn’t tell us where we were staying prior to arriving, I guess he wanted to surprise us with our awesome suite.
The weather was absolutely amazing. Cool in the morning, warm with a nice breeze in the afternoon then cool in the evening. I imagine that this is what heaven must feel like. It was a nothing like what we’re use to with our Texas summers, that’s for sure!
There is no shortage of fun things to do with your family in LA. To start we went for a nice swim at our hotel and enjoyed having the pool to ourselves for a few hours. But once we decided to venture off the hotel property there were tons of things for us to in the city:
Shopping: Westfield Century City is a beautiful outdoor mall and it’s very kid friendly. It had all of my favorite stores and a nice play area for the kids. Even Luke enjoyed the play area but he tried to break my “don’t die” rule. He shoved some grape berry looking thing in his mouth faster than I could blink. I mean they wouldn’t build an elaborate play area right under a tree that produces poisonous fruit, right? So I basically spent the rest of our first night praying that his throat didn’t close up. Happy to report that he’s still alive and terrorizing. LOL
Of course there is Rodeo drive too, but I didn’t go. I need a kid free day on Rodeo so really live out my rich house wife dreams, so I’ll save that for a solo drip. We did drive down Rodeo and the surrounding area just so I could get a fix and it’s just as beautiful as it appears on tv.
Sight-seeing in Hollywood: We started our day in Hollywood by looking for our favorite stars on the Walk of Fame.
Next we took a tour of the super fun Museum of Selfies and it was totally worth it. I think the kids had more fun than we did.
We finished by driving up to see the infamous Hollywood sign. It would’ve been nice to hike Runyon Canyon but with both Zoe and Luke in tow, that was a disaster waiting to happen. The drive was scenic and much easier to accomplish with all the kids in tow. If you planning a visit, using 3000 Canyon Lake Drive, in your gps will get you to the perfect photo spot. Just a warning to be a little patient with finding parking. Parallel parking on a steep hill is a beast. LOL
Sand and Sun. Our hotel was less than a mile from the Santa Monica Beach and Pier but it still took us 20 min to get there; that pretty much sums up driving in LA. Going anywhere takes forever. We spent the first half of our beach day at Santa Monica Beach and while everyone had fun, the water was freezing. I’m guessing we were the true outsiders here because no one else at the beach seemed to be phased by the chilly water. It was much like doing the ice bucket challenge, remember that? LOL. It was Lukey’s first time to the beach and I was a little sad that he didn’t get to enjoy the water, it was just too cold for me to let him play. I had to make Zoe and Little James take frequent breaks because they would start shivering. He was also seriously afraid of the sand so he just had to sit under the umbrella and eat but that’s the perfect beach day right.
After a good 4 hours in the sun the kids were wiped. So we went back to the hotel, let them take a quick nap, grab lunch and then we headed back out to Venice beach. We didn’t get back in the water over Venice, that trip was more for the experience. We watch skate boarders do their tricks, let Zoe pretend to be a gymnast over at muscle beach and watched a pick up game at the basket ball courts.
We kept it simple for the most part when it came to food and ate at the hotel because convenience is king. Its home to Mari Los Angelesand they have an amazing breakfast buffet. I’m typically not a buffet kinda girl but I ate here at least 3x during our stay. We did dine out a few times during our trip and here is the run down on those.
On Thursday, we did breakfast at Food LA. Food is a small but cute breakfast bar. Ideally tables are not fit for parties of more than 4 but we made it work. James being a vegetarian means we have to be flexible when there are restaurants that he’s excited about. He normally let’s us pick what we want and just orders a salad. Anyway, the food was soooo good.
That night we had dinner at an Italian restaurant, that we mistook for one of our favorite large family style chains. The disappointment was real even though they had the same name (blame James, he picked it). It was definitely not the most kid friendly place, the ambiance definitely gave adult evening vibes. To be honest, when we walked it the hostess looked at us as if we were lost. We asked for seating for 5 and she asked if we had a reservation; mind you, there was only one other party there. So did we actually need a reservation lady? Mmmmkay. We still sat and ate because we had already valet parked and loading the kids back into the car to drive elsewhere was going to be shit show. They were “starving” and it was way past their Texas bed times; I had no energy left for their water works.
I had what they consider the shrimp version of chicken parm and it was good. The kids loved their spaghetti too, but the vibes from the hostess really rubbed me the wrong way. So they’ll remain nameless. Thankfully, this was our only bump in the road on our trip. Well this and Lukey teething, his top teeth cut while we were in Cali and he had a few grumpy spells to boot. #MomLife
Friday morning we did breakfast at the hotel again but decided to venture out for lunch. We grabbed tacos from Trejos Cantina. We just so happen to get there during happy hour and I ordered a drink. It was my first drink post Luke and I took all of two sips. I’m so not about that life. My food was bomb tho, I tried their chicken empenadas, spicy shrimp taco and chicken taco. They had really good guac too, we are a family that loves guac, so we always order it no matter where we are. If you have a kid that only wants chicken nuggets and fries, hey Zoe girl, they have that on their kids menu. It was a win all around.
That evening we drove to a gas station to get some of the best cookies I’ve had in this life. Cookie from a gas station sounds weird right? Listen, Zooies is a full cookie bakery, that just happens to be inside a gas station. It was absolutely worth the drive. James saw them in a magazine at back at the hotel and we had to try them. They were absolutely worth the hype.
Of course, the list of things to do in LA is never ending. From Hollywood, to Universal Studios and Disneyland, to production studio tours and everything in between. While I would’ve loved to tour a studio they had age restrictions and Luke is too young. Theme parks are great too but they are exhausting. We wanted to have fun without running ourselves into the ground and that’s exactly what we did. The kids said it was their best vacation ever and that’s what matters most. To me, it was the perfect way to end our summer and now we are all systems go to getting ready for back to school.
The great thing about California is that the weather is great pretty much year round, so it doesn’t have to be limited to a summer vacation. If you haven’t had a chance to visit put it on your bucket list.
If you’re more of a visual person, stay tuned for the full trip vlog later this week. Whats your vacation style, go hard til you go home or chill but fun?