Saturday, September 12, 2015

2015 Summer fun part 2

After our Disneyland trip, we still had more fun-filled days planned for our staycation.

I planned two LA days. On the first day, we went to Skirball Center. If nothing else, it was good to get a picture of Everett scooping fake poop to match one we have of his brother doing the same.

Oh, and it happened to be free that day -- always good when you time a visit to a museum/event on a free day!

We didn't go through the rest of the center, nor did we see the exhibit about Bill Graham. We did spend some time in the retro 70s living room they had set up (music, clothes, games, decor) to accompany the exhibit, and visited the art studio where kids were invited to make an instrument.

I had more planned for the day, such as lunch at a revolving sushi restaurant and ice cream sandwiches at Diddy Riese, but we ran out of time and energy.

The 2nd LA day started with California Donuts. I am jealous when I go to cities where all the coolness is packed into one compact area. LA has everything you could want or need, but it is just spread all over the damn place, lol. Anyway -- this is one of those donut stores that places that puts the fun toppings on donuts, has characters (pandas, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and even does custom letter orders.

We took our donuts up to Griffith Observatory. I can't recall the last time we were here -- my mom thinks I took her and my dad there while I was at UCLA, so 1999? Yikes - time flies! Well -- it is and isn't the most kid friendly place. There are lots of buttons to push, so kids love that. But -- the exhibits are pretty wordy and, well, scientific, so it takes a savvy parent to break it down to something the kids can understand.

Two smart guys
Highlights included an 80s era simulator where you design a meteor (size, material, density) and hurtle it towards earth. Hank's goal -- total annihilation, which he managed to do. There were also scales showing what you would weigh on other planets. Kids have to be 5 and up to see most of the shows in the planetarium including the one about the universe, so we will for sure need to make a trip back.

Trying to get all of us with Hollywood Sign in background

Mama I want piture -- one like dis (holds arm out)

Oh -- you want a selfie!
Good views from up top.

After the observatory, we had lunch at Langer's -- one of those old pastrami serving deli LA icons. I don't think I had been to Langer's -- typically I took out-of-town friends to Canter's. Our real reason for visiting this part of town was to catch a glimpse of these large painted balls at MacArthur Park -- The Spheres -- as they are called. This is not the best of areas, so most folks just hopped out of their cars, snapped a pic, and drove off.

The next day was a relax day, with a trip out to Nana's to check on her kitties. Then, Sunday morning, we drove to the San Diego Zoo.

Koala face

They still have the mouse house!
This is another spot my mom and I hadn't been to for some time. It was great to see how the Zoo has grown and changed. One thing that hasn't changed -- all the hills! Definitely got my workout pushing the stroller up and down. Sunday night we stayed at our favorite San Diego hotel.

This hotel stay was a much better deal (compared to Disneyland). $99 got us a suite, $25 credit for food at the hotel plus other coupons, and a bottle champagne. We had fun swimming, and then that night we ate at our favorite San Diego restaurant right across the street from our favorite hotel.

Missed my big tiki guy for this trip
In the morning, the kids ate their breakfast on the patio waving to everybody walking by.

They also got to watch Navy boats leaving the harbor. I got lots more hugs, and was told I am the most awesome mom ever. If nothing else, I know Hank will always enjoy staying in hotels (with 2 TVs, mama!) and getting room service.

Memories of my mom getting the ring so we could get another free ride
The last day of our vacation was a very quick visit to Balboa Park. We were only there for about an hour, and saw the botanical garden and rode on the carousel and the train. We dropped Nana off, and then back home. The next day I went back to work, and BT spent the day before school started with the boys eating snacks, watching TV, and playing video games. They deserved a break after all the running around mama made them do!

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