California Forever – Fall 2018
Fall in California this year…
Typically the kids + I spend Christmas + New Years in California. But for the first time this Christmas we will be in Ontario with Jeff’s family. So there you have it! November in California!
The first couple days of the trip we laid low with family, enjoying a Thanksgiving ham + relishing in the warm + lazy embrace of California. In fine print that translates as, “I finally was given a chance to CHILL + thus, almost went into a coma”.
After a few days of sloth, that’s when everything went into hyper speed. California Science Museum:Admission if FREE!!! Unless you want to see the rotating exhibits, then you have to shell out some clams.
There are kids’ discovery rooms on every floor + the nuggets went nuts for them!The museum is located near USC. There was a huge USC/Notre Dame game happening later that night. Football culture is something I completely don’t understand being the non sporty person that I am. But, have a look at these tailgater cuties all set up for the big game! I can get behind this crew.Alright, let’s speed it up a bit here or we’ll never make it to the end of this post! I grew up on Kanan Road in Agoura Hills. I took for granted that Kanan is a short drive west through the canyons to the beaches of Malibu. We drove towards the coast in silence, gaping at the vast amount of land had been burned down by the fires.It is truly unbelievable + shocking what the firefighters were up against. TRUE HEROES.
The dark, black charred hills were such a contrast to the sparkling sapphire blue of the Pacific Ocean.The next day we climbed majestic oak trees, which hold such a special place in my heart.And Clementine was in heaven doing her best Moana impressions while we cut down the banana trees in the front yard.
Santa Barbara Zoo is always a must on our visits. It’s small, the landscaping is gorgeous + quintessential California. And the train ride of course! Little Clementine was very nervous.We spent a lot of quality time with the gorillas.If you happen to notice, I didn’t showcase any pictures of Langdon at the zoo. That’s because someone was having big time feelings about lots of things that day. Translation = tantrums.
And then, there was meeting Santa! Just look at Clem’s little paw holding onto Santa!
Hamming it up with Nana at the Westlake Promenade!My sister was frothing at the mouth for Christmas since we will be away this year! And so – TREE FARM!!!I stuffed the kids in their “christmas outfits” thinking I could manage one photo for a christmas card. But that didn’t happen. It was hot out! Everyone was cranky! But, how cute is this???And later that day…Gingerbread houses!!!! SO MUCH CHRISTMAS! ALL THE CHRISTMAS!!!!!Alright, let’s keep moving. On to the Natural History Museum where dinosaur bones make you wanna shake a tail feather!Once again, not many pictures of Langdon from that day because….tantrums. We pack a lot into a short amount of time during our visits down south. Los Angeles is absolutely enormous. The population of Los Angeles is 4 million + the population of Vancouver is 610,000 as of 2018. Los Angeles is glamorous, bright, loud + busy. Langdon gets over stimulated + it all fries his wee brain in a skillet.
Thus, on the last day our unofficial tradition is to go back to the beach. Zuma Beach. There was an otherworldly feel post fires at Zuma. There were tractors, dump trucks, fire trucks etc., busy working on reconstruction. There was evidence of the presence of livestock that took shelter on the beaches during the evacuation of Malibu.
The iconic blue lifeguard towers. And a howling toddler.The joy of being buried in the sand.Harvesting kelp.And a last dip in the ocean. So much joy, so many dolphin sightings. The endless horizon. The sound of crashing waves. Ugh I miss California.But oh, dear readers. This is not where the story ends. The morning of our flight back to Vancouver I woke at 4:45am. We rolled out of the driveway towards the airport at 5:45am. But thank you L.A. traffic + toddler potty breaks because WE MISSED OUR FLIGHT!!! FIRST TIME EVER.That’s the kids flipping out as I was arranging plans for the next flight to Vancouver. I had to kill over THREE HOURS in the airport with these two. But do you know what saved my sanity + my life? The outdoor smoking/dog potty rest spot!To kill time, we wandered around + I happened to spot this tiny outdoor oasis! The general public smoke less these days, thus it seemed as if only the airport staff taking their lunch breaks knew about this Garden of Eden, because for over three hours the majority of the time, we were the only three there! Such a contrast to the terminal indoors – over crowded, announcements blaring every minute, tense travelers, sensory overload!No joke. We were in that teeny outdoor space for the entire duration. Hallelujah. Because it was all downhill after that.Clem was loopy. She has never napped well. Let’s say it was a very trying flight back home. And a very trying taxi ride home. Thank you Mr. Ipad. You give me much relief.
We walked into the door after our long long day at 4:30pm. Jeff was at work but left us a sweet welcome home.I’m going to be honest. Once again it has been a difficult transition for me to return to Vancouver. It’s an arduous existence to come from a place of light to a place of darkness. I won’t go into it further because that would call for ANOTHER blog post about the difference between Los Angeles + Vancouver. And I know y’all are sick of that subject! So I survive with an excessive amount of indoor lighting, going out in the rain + rocking out to music as much as possible to keep my mood up.
Thanks for reading, Christmas is right around the corner! Until next time – I’ll see you in Ontario!!!