We had such a fun family trip to the LA area! We have a few other trips coming up and we really wanted to ease ourselves into it with a short flight and a few days exploring SoCal. We almost cancelled the whole thing because we saw that it was going to be rainy and cold but
I’m really glad we didn’t! I just wanted to get out and make some memories with my family and figured the rain and cold would make it even more memorable- which it totally did! And I loved that we made it work!
Here’s a little recap of our trip. I know that it has WAY too much detail and that’s not for your sake, it’s for mine. I don’t journal and so my blog is where I document fun memories and all the details- big or small.
Thursday- Travel Day!
I’m the kind of person that just has to be at the airport at least 2 hours early. But the SLC airport is almost an hour away from us which means that we gotta leave 3 hours before our flight.
BUT we had to drive during rush hour so I automatically added 30 more minutes and then it started snowing. Before I knew it we were at the gate for our flight like 4 hours early haha! But everything went smoothly (besides having to get a full pat down in security).
Addy was great on the first flight and as soon as we got our bags there was this huge girl fight that broke out in passenger pick up. Ahhhh, welcome to LA!
We were rained in and stuck in the hotel until 12. That actually worked out fine because Matt needed to work anyways and Adelyn was able to get a good nap in. We found that a good morning nap was KEY to having a happy, traveling baby.
For lunch we ate at Chili’s at Long Beach and then walked over to the LA aquarium and atrium. It was still really rainy but that was the perfect indoor activity and the aquarium was really top notch.
After that, we decided to take a last second harbor cruise in the pouring rain which was fun but kind of a bust because we couldn’t even see the harbor in all the fog!
Another fun memory of that day was eating In n out in the car because Addy was asleep and it was still pouring rain. We just sat and watched psych and it was such a cozy, fun dinner.
Our hotel was just so dingy but luckily they had the perfect waffle breakfast with banana, Nutella, and whip cream.
After breakfast we drove to Santa Monica and had a super stressful time trying to park which resulted in us having to walk at least a mile to get to the pier. Nothing ruffles Matt’s feathers quite like parking. If you go to Santa Monica, I highly suggest renting a Bird electric scooter and riding around town. They are really cheap and a super fun way to explore the area.
After Santa Monica, we headed towards Malibu and stopped at the Ghetty Villa which really was just awesome- especially if you are into art. It’s free to the public but you just need to pay for parking and reserve a spot online prior to going. Definitely worth it!
Then we stopped at a random beach in Malibu for the sunset and we enjoyed the golden hour and peace and quiet of an empty beach. Unfortunately that peace and quiet didn’t last long because Addy was way past ready for bedtime and cried most of hour-long drive to our hotel. Once at our hotel, I put the screaming baby to bed while Matt grabbed El Pollo Loco and we ate in, in the dark, quietly, while Addy slept. Haha!
Drove to Balboa Island and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to park and find our way around. Probably one of the reasons we loved it so much!!
The first thing we HAD to do was try the famous frozen banana on a stick and walk around to see all of the charming houses.
Then we took the ferry to the other side of Balboa Island (super cheap and convenient) and we got pizza for lunch and decided to so a whale watching trip with Davey’s Locker. It was only $13 a person which is so cheap and while it wasn’t as great as other whale watching we have done, we did see one Gray Whale surface and spout quite a few times.
The highlight of the whole day may have been the amazing donuts we got at Dad’s Donut and Bakery on our way out of Balboa. Serious heaven and I would choose them over the frozen bananas on a stick any day!
After a fun-filled day we went back to the hotel so that Addy could play and stretch out and then we all went and grabbed crappy Mexican food near the hotel. I was so disappointed because I had been craving some authentic al pastor tacos all day. Sigh.
Monday- The Final Day
Drove to Laguna Beach and we were instantly blown away at how pretty it all was. We were perfectly content hanging out in the sunshine on the beach and walking the path. Everything was so perfectly landscaped and it kind of reminded me of Hawaii. The water was also so clear and calm- we just fell in love with the whole place!
Once it was time for lunch we stopped at the Crystal Cove Shake Shack which was amazing- especially the view! From there we headed back to Balboa because we loved it so much. We didn’t even think about most everything being closed down because it was a weekday and the town looked like a ghost town. I was shocked when I saw the ferris wheel was open because I had that on my LA bucket list but they wouldn’t let us go on even with Addy strapped to me in her carrier.
So instead we walked around until I found a magnet to add to our collection, pointed out all the crazy expensive cars and went back to same donut place on way out.
At this point it was time to get to the airport but our flight had been delayed by a few hours which made it a very very late night. Thankfully Addy slept the whole flight home which meant I was able to sleep too.
All in all, such a fun and memorable trip. Matt has been crazy busy with work this last year and trips have seemed to be few and far between so I’m glad I was able to convince him to pull away for a little bit and enjoy some family time. Hopefully the first trip of many more to come!