Category Archives: Getaways

Summer Fun in the LA Area

Summer is flying by, the days are full and filled with lots of fun. If you have kids going back to school soon, there’s still time to enjoy. One of the best parts of city- living are the plethora of events the whole family can enjoy.  I’m sure as many of you will be taking some time off, your days will be jam packed with tons of BBQs, Pool Parties, Family Outings and Fiestas.  While it’s great to do what you know, my family loves to try new things.

In a city of endless options, that is always a possibility, no matter what your budget. Here’s a list of Free (or super cheap) family activities for the family:

1. Jazz nights at LACMA

Every Friday and Saturday Night, LACMA hosts a free jazz concert in the courtyard behind this famous lampposts.  Grab a blanket, some snacks, and don’t forget your kids’ scooter! While adults lounge on the grass catching up with friends, the kids roam wild and free. Thsi is actually a multi purpose trip- kids are distracted by other kids while parents can have the evening off listening to great music. The result: a child who comes home so exhausted, he barely twitches while transferring from car to bed.

2. Go To The Beach

When your from LA, you forget that You actually live in a paradise of sorts. Perfect weather (except for the Winter of 2016) and a city surrounded by amazing Beaches. While your average Angeleno escapes south of the border. the rest of the country (and world) enjoys their R&R here.

The beach may seem like a world away when you sit in an hour plus of traffic. The Spitsin fam packs in the car by 8am, stops for an almond cap en route and we are ready to enjoy a quite morning on the beach. It’s the best time because there’s almost no traffic both ways and it’s easy to find street parking.

PS, your kids can’t tell the difference between the Caribbean and Santa Monica.

3. Shakespeare in The Park

Its so important to expose your kids to some culture that is not behind a screen. It’s also great when you can do that in a forum where they feel comfortable. Shakespeare in the Park at Griffith Park is hosted by Independent Shakespeare Co (http://www.iscla.org/griffith-park-festival) . They put on a great show and our kids love it. Don’t worry if your tot can’t sit still, there are a lot of kids, so pick a spot in the back where you can have some extra room. Don’t forget a blanket and some snacks.

4. Make a Picnic

The variety of landscapes in Los Angeles blows my mind. The city is spread out, separated by mountains and valleys, while oceans and deserts surround it. How glorious! Why not go out and enjoy Gods wonderful creation? Grab a lunch, pack the kids (and husband), invite some friends and ride off into the sunset.  When there’s nothing to do, create your own possibilities.

We prefer going to parks that don’t have an existing play yard. Although they’re easy, your left chasing your kids around instead of engaging them. Play some kick ball, or  in an open field. Those are the kind of moments your kids will remember.

5. Twilight Concerts at Santa Monica Pier

Till Thursday August 17 2017

A concert on the beach, no need to say anymore. See the lineup here: http://santamonicapier.org/twilightconcerts/

6. Whole Foods Freebies:

Although this isn’t an event, as a mom, it feels like I’m at the supermarket every other day. We usually go to Whole Foods once a week to Buy our grass fed Meats and organic poultry.  With 2 kids, it’s just not the easiest task, but you can lighten up the event.

Every time you bring your kids with you to the store, stop at Customer Service and pickup a Kids’ Club Coupon good for a complimentary organic apple, 100% Organic fruit leather, or natural animal crackers.  Also, ask about what events they have going on specific to your location.

7. Kids Club at The Grove on Thursday’s  10a-12p

Every Thursday from 10am to Noon, the Grove hosts a free Kids Club where they have a variety of activities for the Kiddos, from Magicians, face painting, to Music, and Dancing…. FUN!  If you are feeling a bit anti social at home all day every day, get out there and mingle with some other moms (and Nannies). It’s great for kids to meet one another and (learn how to) play together, but Momma needs some stimulation.

Must Haves for Babymoon

There are many pregnant ladies out there, and I know this is when you start thinking about your last mini getaway or vacation before your huge bundle of joy arrives. Unfortunately, with the risk of Zika Virus in majority of the Carribean, South and Central America, and even some parts of the US, our options for our babymoon were limited. Even if the risk seemed to be so low, we weren’t willing to take any chances.  We decided on Palm Springs since its relatively close to home and we wanted to maximize our time together to reconnect as a couple while having fun with Jonah, who was lucky enough to join us for the trip.

Many people were really surprised to see us in the pool with a toddler and a pregnant belly, enjoying time together, while seemingly having very little stress. A few people mentioned that they really admired our efforts to still do the things we wanted to do regardless of the potential hurdles that children may bring.  There’s nothing more fulfilling then to watch your kids absorbing a world outside of their world, to see new places and people. 

After having Jonah, the spontaneity of our vacationing life has dwindled, but with good planning we have still been able to see a few cool places even with a baby in tow. If your a mama like me, you can pack everyone’s bags blindfolded and your hands tied behind your back. Unfortunately, This baby growing inside of my belly is making things increasingly more difficult. Here are a few essentials I think will be helpful for every mama to throw in her bag or prepare before taking off: 
1. The Panama hat is great for a mama on the go. If your taking a few days off, you don’t want to be stressing about doing hair and makeup. The wide brim gives great sun coverage and helps solidify a look without taking hours of getting ready.

2. Chances are, with all the blood, water and hormones flowing through your body, your Bikini tops will no longer fit you. Avoid the discomfort by heading to the store for something new. When pregnant, I stay away from anything Victoria Secret, which I feel doesn’t give me appropriate coverage with the excessive push-up in all their swim tops. I really liked anything that was triangle and had great support, like the Kupala top from Pantagonia.

3. If you are going to be in the sun for any amount of time Rosehip Oil is essential! Rosehip Oil helps to repair the skin cells that have been damaged by sun exposure. Also, it has naturally occurring Vitamin A! Trilogy has an amazing Rosehip Oil that is organic.

4. Get a fabulous Salon look while your on your getaway with The Luster Lock treatment from Joico. After a few days in chlorine and sun your hair may resemble a frizzy lioness. Tame the beast with this easy 5 minute treatment you can do anywhere you go.

5. The Travalo is one of those things you never knew your life was missing, but after discovering it’s the perfect use, you don’t only throw it in your travel bag but have one for every day use. I always forget to spritz a little scent on myself before running out of the house. I used to have a bottle of perfume in my car for this reason but felt like the constant LA heat was ruining my best scents. Travalo allows you to fill up your favorite scents in a fun handheld case that is TSA approved so you can also take it on the plane with you. Let’s get real here, we have enough things in our bag!

Intercontinental Presidente Cancun

While most people are done with their summer traveling, we thought it would be a perfect time to travel down south to the Caribbean.  The advantage of going to the Caribbean during the off season is just that.  There aren’t many people on the beaches and the top attractions. We hate crowds, so this was ideal time to travel. While we were there, we hotel hopped a few times and traveled up the coast from Riviera Maya to Cancun, stopping in Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Although I was not very excited to visit Cancun initially it ended up being our favorite part of the whole trip.  The whole point of this trip was to relax and just get away from the real world for a minute and thats what we got.  We stayed at the Intercontinental Presidente Cancun, located on a quite stretch of Cancun with the perfect beach.  The waters are calm, crystal clear, and the hotel is segregated from the infamous noise of Cancun. The hotel’s ambiance is chic, modern, and current.  The Intercontinental Presidente is for the sophisticated traveler that wants that quite oasis, so this is not your place if you are looking to party.

There is about 100 yards of beach offering dozens of those Straw Huts to use.  So theres no stress finding a place to lay out. After laying down the first time, I was shocked to find an outlet at the base of the hut, so that you can charge your phone while your relaxing.  The service at the beach, pools, and throughout the hotel is great. You don’t feel bothered by the staff, but you always know that theres someone there ready to serve you.

The biggest surprise about the hotel was the selection of food. Aside from being very well priced, everything we ordered was delicious!  I strongly suggest going to the The Beach Club which is their Mediteranean restaurant. My mouth still waters thinking about their Salmon and Risotto dish.

All in all the whole trip was perfect (Thanks Intercontinental Presidente Cancun!), but 10 days is just not enough! Until our next getaway!

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Need a Weekend Getaway.. How about San Diego?

When you live in Los Angeles, you are basically already in paradise. In case you need to get away from the traffic, the noise and general hustle of each day try driving a little further south. San Diego is the perfect getaway for the sophisticated Angeleno, whether your trekking solo or taking the whole fam.  The pace slows down even more, if that is possible, and you are overcome with a peace that disconnects you from the rest of the world.

Where to Stay:

Porto Vista Hotel- Street View

Porto Vista Hotel is a no frills destination if you need a place to rest your head. This is the perfect hotel, centrally located in Little Italy, and gives you the opportunity to go out and explore what the city has to offer instead of feeling stuck in some fake resort world.

The Valet is quick to get your car and help with bags, directions, and anything else you need coming in or going out. The Lobby is adorned with vintage teak furniture that all comes together nicely in a retro vibe.
The ultimate perk of the hotel are breath-taking views of the port and the bay of the Pacific Ocean. There is a roof top terrace where you can enjoy a quite night in the perfect Southern California weather.

Where to Eat:

The Glass Door San Diego
The Glass Door San Diego

The Glass Door is on the top floor of the Porto Vista Hotel and has hightop tables that are perfect for a quite (and romantic) dinner as you overlook the harbor. Upon walking into the restaurant, you feel as though you are being transported to another country. The Food seals the deal and really does take you to another place. The cuisine was inspired by the taste of Moroccan and Ethiopian countries and everything was made to perfection.  My personal favorites for the evening were the Moroccan Spiced Scallops and The Short Rib.

If your looking for some good food while you are checking out the Gaslamp District, Barley Mash is an absolute must. Chef Jose shared that he loves to bring things from around the world and add a San Diego twist to the items offered.  Everything we had was incredible, but you have to try the Fish and Chips, which we were told was one of the more popular items from the Supper Menu. The El Chignon Mac n’ Cheese, San Diego Iron Fries, Surf N’ Turf Burger, and Tuna Poke were made to perfection!

Things to do:

We are not the ones to go to the Zoo or Sea World, but there are plenty of options if you are looking for some R&R. Here are my top picks:

Relax on the beach- When is this ever a bad thing. When you need to disconnect and unwind the Sea is so healing in so many ways.

Caves of La Jolla

Go Kayaking in the La Jolla Sea Caves– For the more adventurous souls, this is just a sight to be seen.

The San Diego Harbor at Night

Strolling along the San Diego Harbor-  We love the San Diego Harbor is great because its like walking through the History Channel as your walking through the Embarcadero.  It was the base headquarters for the US Navy before it was moved to Pearl Harbor just before World War II.  Now it houses the USS Midway Museum, while the San Diego Harbor does house many assets for the US Navy.  Its just cool.

Amazing Water in Coronado Island

Visit Coronado Island– Its a slim little peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego. You can take a ferry there, or there are some tours that take you there. Its a cute little town filled with cute shops, great beach, gardens and other sites to see.  There are no cars there, since its just a few blocks wide, but you can easily walk or rent a bike.