Los Angeles was never really on my list for vacation – or on my list to visit at all to be honest. Not much into the celebrity thing, heard traffic is awful and without sitting in a car you won’t see anything out of the spread out city anyway. Avoid the amusement parks as they are far and crowded – so – if you are asking “why then?” – with 3 kids for the only vacation of the summer – you are onto something.
The primary reason was a reunion of sorts. Between 2 families that started together but are as far away now as it gets – geographically. Iva and Darren are our oldest friends by tenure (Iva and I sat at the same desk in high school for 3 years) and Darren worked with Brian in Prague – they reminded us how they bumped into us on our 2nd date by coincidence in a small underground bar Barracuda in Prague (2 blocks away from our apartments – yes, we also lived on the same tram stop!). And we lived 2 hours away from each other when we moved to the US – they in Richmond/Charlottesville, we in DC as the girls (yes, girls!) went to their grad schools. This closeness took a geographic hit when they moved to New Zealand which is where Darren is from – so – not easy to see them !
Reunion it was – we rented a great large house with a pool in West Hollywood and an elevator which was a hit for 7 children (did I forget to mention there are now 7 little people among us – 4 of theirs and 3 of ours!). Two 5 years old girls bonded over loud screams, mani/pedi, Doc McStuffin’ and kicking butt in the pool with 5 boys. The boys realized that America and New Zealand are not that different and they have iPads too – how progressive and bonding!
I will write about California itself in the next post but first I have to warn any parents from traveling in a car with 3+ kids for more than 2 hours and using the words vacation. My two favorite insanity moments were fighting over who is looking through whose window – “she is looking at my window, look at your own window, stop staring at my side” – and whose elbow and hair was touching whom – on purpose, of course. Stay sane parents!
Fighting, granted post 8 hour journey and getting up at 5 am:
Attempt to entertain themselves and a bit happier on Day 5… but definitely not quiet time for us (and if you are a follower, you will notice the resemblance from 3 years ago here – real progress, ah?)