Southern California with Kids: Part 1


It’s the last week of summer here, and we just got home from our family trip to Southern California. Every summer we try to run away with the boys somewhere fun (last year was this trip to Watersound) and I’ll admit that I was a little bit reticent to go to LA with Archer being so young. We did similar trips with Jude at this age and I remember it being tricky with the time change (hello 6am wakeup calls). But LA is one of our favorites and we decided to also make it Archer’s inaugural Disneyland trip too.

The first half of the week, we had the most incredible Airbnb in Venice — it was the detached guest house behind a lovely modern home two blocks away from Abbott Kinney. We spent the mornings wandering down in hunt of donuts, swimming in the on-site hot tub, and popping in the cute little shops on Abbott Kinney.  And we were also keen to take advantage of the Bird scooters everywhere. Unfortunately Jude was too young to (legally) rent one although he has a motorized scooter at home that he uses in our neighborhood (we rented a bike for him instead). Those scooters are crazy fun and it was the perfect way to get around quickly.



One night Jude and I went out by ourselves; him on the bike and me on a Bird scooter. We roamed all over Venice and I watched him from behind, marveling at how grown up and cool he is. It was kinda nerve-racking at points to let him be riding his bike in traffic, but with stop signs every block, it was pretty much safe. Good practice for this mom in allowing some controlled independence.

We drove into LA only a couple of times. Poor Jude couldn’t catch a break — he really wanted to see the Supreme store, but it was closed for in-between seasonal restocking or whatever (and frankly I was a little relieved after reading about all the waiting in line just to get in the door, etc). But we also struck out a couple of times on some other shops he wanted to see, like Niketown. So when he said he really wanted to go to the official Lakers shop and see the Staples Center, we were dead set on making it happen.

We made sure that we’d get there before it closed; I drove us to downtown LA in our rental car, and when we pulled into the parking lot, Simon realized we didn’t have enough cash. The parking attendant was like “cool, just leave your car here in the lot and there’s an ATM right across the street.” I pulled into the spot and Simon is in the process of popping out of the car when I realized that the car was still moving even though I thought I’d put it in park. NOPE. Apparently that particular Audi has a “Park” button (WHAT? WHYYYY). And subsequently nearly run Simon over.



So he huffs and puffs across the street to get the money. And while the ATM did allow him to remove cash, apparently his card was about to expire, SO IT WENT AHEAD AND DISPOSED OF IT FOR HIM BY EATING HIS BANK CARD.

But wait! It gets better.

We walked the two blocks to the Staples Center to get there with plenty of time left before the stated closing time. BUT did you know? Anytime there’s an event at the Staples Center, THEY CLOSE THE SHOP TWO HOURS PRIOR TO THE EVENT. And OF COURSE there was a basketball game happening right as we get there.

So there we stood, forlornly. Watching all the happy people with tickets streaming into the store.  And bless Simon Shingleton’s heart, he could not take it. He bought two tickets right off a scalper at $10 apiece and he and Jude marched right in and bought a LeBron James jersey, turned around and marched right back out.

Folks. Parenting is never straightforward. Or easy.


We made a quick jaunt up to Malibu for dinner and beach time at Paradise Cove.  It was later in the evening by the time we got there and I’d made reservations on OpenTable so we were guaranteed a spot.  The Pacific is always chilly and tends to be a bit on the rougher side, but both boys were able to handle it pretty well.  After 45 minutes or so, they were done and our table was ready. Perfect timing!

Stay tuned for part 2!


with love,

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