Mini Getaway / by Katie Brightbill

We went to the L.A. area last weekend and it was positively perfect. We were there to visit friends, and we DROVE for the the first time with two children. I was a little apprehensive about the potential meltdowns during the 6.5 hour drive, but my girls were total gems. It worked great to leave right at Maggie's first nap time at 9:30am. While we drove, we looked outside for "animals" for Sophie, chatted a bit about favorites, turned on The Lorax, then stopped for lunch about 45-minutes after Maggie woke. Already to the halfway point with no issues! After some quality playtime, both girls took afternoon naps then enjoyed their time in the backseat and reading books and eating snacks until we arrived!

The weather was ideal. Sometimes all you need is a little breather from the every day mundane to get the family fresh and invigorated. We spent Saturday on Redondo Beach which is a great spot for families because it's not insanely crowded like some of the other beaches around there. Totally recommend it. It was super hot that day, so we spend the evening grilling outside (my husband's favorite thing!) and watching the kids run around the backyard.

Sunday's big excursion was a little drive to Venice. Ahhh how I love Venice. Eclectic locals, gorgeous architecture, picturesque sunset, and strolls through the canals... yes. OH, and one of our favorite spots to eat: C&O's. It's a must-try. We sat in the courtyard surrounded by murals to look like Italy, and stuffed ourselves with their complimentary garlic rolls... amazing. The wait staff was very accommodating to little ones: cups with straws, great children's menu, and patience with pint-sized yellers (that would be my Maggie). Psss- quick tip if you're going: call and put your name in ahead!

Monday we took an 8-mile bike ride along the south bay coast. We could not have asked for a better end to our weekend. We borrowed bikes, but we definitely could have rented for very reasonable prices. It was a total highlight of the trip and one that I 100% recommend. SO worthwhile!!

'Til next time SoCal. :)