We just got back from our FIRST family vacation and now that baby is sleeping and laundry is washing, it’s picture post time! We spent our vacation in Los Angeles visiting Gracie’s uncles Dean and Chris. Our visit was 5 days and we did so much that it took nearly 200 pictures to capture it all (my name is Kristin and I’m a pic-oholic)… I would love to blog about everything we did but that would be one long post so I’ll highlight some of our favorites instead.
::Warning:: this is a very picture heavy post so grab a chair. ;)
We scheduled our flight for the evening because we knew that flying during baby girl’s bedtime would be much easier than flying when she was wide awake. We were both a little nervous, not really knowing how she would do but all-in-all she scored a solid 7.5 on our flight out, haha! Aside from some whimpering followed by one wide awake baby until the last 10 minutes of the flight – she did good. Checking Grace in and taking pictures of her with her first ever flight ticket was our favorite part!
G’s brother, Dean and his boyfriend, Chris picked us up from the airport and our evening was spent grabbing some groceries for the week, eating a quick dinner and getting settled in. For our first full day in LA we spent the afternoon shopping at The Grove, where I spent WAY too much money at Kids Pottery Barn (seriously, best store ever), followed by dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and an evening with the uncles. Gracie did great napping on the go and loved the lights and water fountain show at The Grove.
One of the main things on our LA to-do list was to visit the La Brea Tar Pits. In our research for family-friendly things to do in Los Angeles, visiting the Tar Pits was listed as a must see on nearly all of the websites we visited. It was also mentioned in a children’s book on LA that I ordered for Gracie before the trip! The La Brea Museum houses what they considered the “most important” Ice Age fossil collections. The museum also has an open paleontology lab and scenes depicting Southern California and North America thousands of years ago. We wore Grace in the museum so that she was eye-level with everything and she was so into it! We were basically “that family” in the museum with a baby squealing, laughing and clapping the entire time. She sure did make her presence known but it was absolutely adorable (and hilarious) to watch her as we made our way through the museum.
Following the museum we met up with uncle Dean as he got out of work. We all thought that our day would end with dinner but Dean and Chris had a surprise for us! They reminded us that it was Dia de Los Muertos and that they were taking us to the Hollywood Forever Dia de Los Muertos Festival in the historical Hollywood Forever Cemetery. You may have seen this cemetery in movies like “Wedding Planner” and “Valentine’s Day”. It’s the one where they show old movies and host festivals similar to the one we went to. We had no idea what an amazing experience Dean had in store for us. The festival was huge and full of so many people dressed up as their favorite Dia de Los Muertos characters. Dean was also dressed up and while his face may have looked scary to some, Gracie loved it! Anytime he would jump around and dance in front of her, she would crack up! There were art booths and food vendors for as far as the eye could see and the performances that were taking place throughout the cemetery were unbelievable! It was such a fun experience.
The next day was BEACH DAY, which was an afternoon we were very much looking forward to! The guys took us to a small beach they came across a few months ago in Malibu that allows dogs so we got to take their dog, Mini along. This was a huge bonus for Grace because she is obsessed with Mini! The beach was perfect – private, not busy at all, and absolutely beautiful. I’m a water sign so taking Gracie to meet the ocean is something I’ve been looking forward to since before she was born. G ordered Grace a baby wetsuit in case it was cold and it worked out perfect. We enjoyed a yummy picnic lunch, under a big umbrella, while listening to the waves. We also took a short walk with baby girl over to some large beach rocks where there were live starfish and sea anemones. They were so cool!! Gracie had so much fun and did awesome all day! She carefully examined the beach mud but didn’t try to eat it and loved splashing her feet in the water. I can’t wait until the day that we can take her back. :)
Our last afternoon was spent touring the Santa Monica Pier with Chris as Dean headed back to work. In the many, many times we’ve vacationed in LA over the years, I’ve never visited the pier so it was a pretty cool experience. We did a little shopping, ate some “fair food” and watched as the sun began to set before enjoying our last meal together in California.
The week went by so fast but was filled with wonderful memories that we will treasure forever. We owe a HUGE thank you to Dean and Chris for hosting our first family vacation and making it so special for us. Grace is blessed to have you both as her uncles. xo.