We found the best donut shop….Sidecar Donuts in Santa Monica. We all agreed these were the best donuts we have ever had and we highly recommend!

I love Santa Monica and this hotel!

There is a park with a great view of the Hollywood sign and a cute little playground for the kids! The boys didn’t want to leave . Honestly, I wish I could tell you where it is but we found it entirely by accident!
I think we would all agree that this was definitely not our favorite part of the trip but I’m glad we went to see it. And Quentin Tarantino is my fave so I’m glad I got to snap this pic!

I just can’t resist a gigantic lemon mural!
I had that wheezed song stuck in my head ALL day. But I love Weezer so that’s ok!
Venice Beach. We all loved the graffiti art and all of the murals. I’m obsessed with murals.

Santa Monica Pier
We don’t have swings on the beach in Florida (they wouldn’t last long with the hurricanes) so we thought this was just awesome!!
Riding the Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier. I’m terrified of heights and this was my first time ever on a Ferris Wheel! I’m trying to conquer my fear and do things with the kids that terrify me.


Taking pictures of the waves of course!

Gorgeous Santa Monica Sunset!

I can already tell this is going to be a long post with all of the ramblings going on in my head right now. These are just a few of the pics from our California trip. We spent most of our time in Santa Monica where we were staying at The Courtyard Marriott . We all LOVED this hotel especially the kids. The rooms were all so clean and modern and fun and very roomy which is a huge plus when you have kids. We had a nice balcony too where we sat outside and drank our coffee and ate breakfast in our pjs every morning. They have a Starbucks in the lobby which is the best thing ever when you are a coffee addict like me. The hotel is also within walking distance of the Pier, the Promenade, downtown Santa Monica, and we walked to Venice and Muscle Beach but it was quite a trek especially with the kids so I would recommend renting bikes or taking an Uber (we figured it out that we walked almost 10 miles that day!). Our trip was really short and last minute so we were totally winging it the entire time which is kind of a first for me. I usually like to plan plan plan so we can make sure we see and do everything. We booked our trip 24 hours before our plane departed and got there super late Thursday evening and stayed until Monday evening taking the red eye back so only 3 full days.

The first morning, Jonathan had to go look at a car which was our main reason for flying out there on such short notice. Long story short…. he ended up shipping a bright orange Lamborghini back to Florida and it’s now sitting in our garage. He loves exotic fast cars and it makes me so happy that he was able to basically get his dream car…..the boys love it too! You can follow him on Instagram to see pics @launchnukes

Anyway….back to California. In Santa Monica we went to the Pier and rode some rides (you have to at least ride the Ferris wheel and the Merry-Go-Round) then we got ice cream at Soda Jerks. There is also a park right next to the Pier with swings and a playground but I can’t remember the name. We spent a lot of time there and the boys loved it. We all thought the swings on the beach were the coolest thing ever and I would be there every single day if we had a park like that in Florida (hurricanes makes that not such a great idea here though 😔). Another one of our Santa Monica favorites was Sidecar Donuts. Their donuts were so good we had to go there again before we left for the airport. Best. Donuts. Ever. The boys were also completely obsessed with a candy store on 3rd St Promenade called It’s Sugar. I can’t even tell you how many times we were in that store but it was pretty awesome…..for the kids I mean. 😉

One morning we walked to Venice beach and Muscle beach and kind of played at all of the little parks on the beach along the way. The kids didn’t want to ride bikes so we decided to walk and it was a LONG walk…. like 5 miles one way so I wouldn’t recommend walking unless you really like to walk…A LOT. There are some really cool murals and graffiti art along the way too. When we got back we drove to Malibu and did some beach hopping and took in the gorgeous views along the PCH.

Once we finally ventured into LA we took the boys to the La Brea Tarpits. They are still talking about this place and ask me at least once a week when we are going to go back. If you have kids take them and if you don’t it’s still really awesome and you should go. We went to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive and walked around for a while oogling all of the nice cars. Hollywood wasn’t really our jam but we went, we saw, and we conquered a venti iced coffee and some Frappuccinos at the Starbucks there and took a few pics with our favorite stars (the ones on the sidewalk not the actual people which would’ve been way cooler). Our favorite part of Hollywood was accidentally finding a park with a playground for the kids and an awesome view of the Hollywood sign.

We really wanted to go to Griffith Park but ended up not having enough time. We will be back in LA next month and are also taking the kids to Disneyland and driving down the PCH to San Diego stopping in Laguna Beach on the way so if anyone has any recommendations for those spots please send them my way!!

I told you this was going to be a long one! I hope everyone is having a great week! I was going to write more ramblings about how I was really missing my boys today and how I just couldn’t wait to pick them up from school so I could give them big hugs (and of course they got in the car arguing but I was still glad see them) and how they have been doing the sweetest things lately (when they aren’t arguing) like making presents and being “Secret Santa’s. And I almost forgot to mention this but if you follow my insta stories you may have seen me post about how our hedgehog, Spike, just had 3 babies!! This was a pretty big surprise since we had no clue she was even pregnant! I went in to get her out of her cage so we could play with her and….. babies!! We can’t disturb her for a couple of weeks now because she has to stay in her nest and take care of her babies so I probably won’t have pictures of them for a while but they are the cutest little baby hedgies! We just got her about a month ago for Nic as an early Christmas present because he has been asking for one for months and knows just about everything about them from watching YouTube videos. I really just thought she was getting chunky from eating too much…she’s only 3 months old so we didn’t know they could have babies that young but obviously something happened at the pet store 😉 Anyway….that is our excitement at home right now. Is anyone else going to see the new Star Wars movie this weekend? I can’t wait! xo

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