After a fun-filled and busy day at Disney yesterday, I will admit that I was not all that excited about waking up and driving to Los Angeles today. I’m honestly not that fond of L.A. My mood about it was less than stellar.

Still, Michael had never been, so we planned to drive up from Anaheim and stay one night before heading back to San Diego. We took our time in the hotel room in the morning and left around 9:30-10. Nora was still psyched about her Minnie ears.

I think she thought we were going back to Disneyland today. I actually wish that we would have spent two days there instead of just one, even though it felt like we pretty much hit all of the highlights for her age group. But she was just SO.HAPPY. when we first got up and out, and then it was like, once she realized we weren’t going back to Disney, she was disappointed. She didn’t want to wear her ears anymore after that. Sorry, baby. :(

We got up to L.A. and checked into our hotel early again. We had won this hotel (Hotel Angeleno) on Priceline, and I knew it was close to the 405, but I didn’t realize it was like… ON the 405. The way it was positioned, we were within walking distance of nothing. I was not pleased, which just added to my really fun mood. *sigh*

That’s the view from our room. NOT awesome.

We got out of the room and decided to take a ride to Griffith Park Observatory to see the views of the city and the Hollywood sign. Upon arrival there, Nora started having an emotional breakdown (probably from a combination of no Disneyland + too much time in the car + not enough sleep and in need of a nap). She didn’t want to get out of the car and fighting with and/or disciplining her was beyond frustrating at that point. We eventually worked things out and she turned it around… mostly. You can imagine my mood by this point.

We didn’t spend too much time there, just took some photos and then packed back into the car and tried to figure out what the heck we were going to do next. I was ready to get the hell out of L.A. already, haha. But on our way back down from Griffith, Nora passed out in the car… and suddenly, my mood improved about the situation. It was a nice day, and we decided to just drive around.

We weren’t far from Hollywood Blvd. so we went there, and happened upon the Capitol Records building.

We drove up and down the Walk of Fame area of Hollywood Blvd. a few times, just to see some of the historic sites. All from the car, of course, as we had a sleeping toddler and YOU DON’T MESS WITH THAT.

Eventually we decided that it would be funny for Michael to get out of the car (I was driving) and walk a single block (at the most) to find the most famous person’s star he could.

That person turned out to be Carl Reiner. Not too bad.

From there, we decided to get ourselves to Santa Monica Pier. We took our time (thanks to L.A. traffic, HA!) and then drove around Santa Monica a little bit while Nora finished her nap. Once she woke, we parked at the pier and got out to walk for a bit.

After a walk down the pier and back, Nora was already back in a less-than-ideal form. OMG, the attitude. The disagreeable, stubborn, ridiculous attitude. I tell you what: 2-year-olds sure know how to ruin an afternoon of vacation if they want to. Holy hell.

We spent a good chunk of time trying to reason with, bargain with, discipline, offer choices to, ignore, and pacify Nora. It was impossible. She was having the tantrum of all tantrums… and then she wanted her blankie for comfort. Which we regretfully left back at the hotel. We were trying to get her to agree to chill the freak out and just come have dinner with us at a restaurant. But in her state, I didn’t think that was going to be possible.

Finally, I tried to see it from her point of view. What had we done for HER today? What did we do that was fun and/or stimulating for HER? And the answer was nothing. We had spent much of the day (so far) in the car. And the other half sightseeing in places that were not at all exciting to her. So, it clicked. We had to give her some HER time. I asked her if she wanted to come out and play in the sand with me. And sure enough, her tears dried up and we went and played in the sand.

After a half hour or so, she seemed done with it, so we told her we’d go back up and walk on the pier. Once up there, I gave her a “choice” between two restaurants—we didn’t care where we ate, we just wanted food—and Nora picked Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Haha! Michael and I actually ate at a Bubba Gump when we were on our honeymoon in Maui nearly FIVE years ago.

And guess what? Nora did fantastically. She was the most well-behaved AND ate the most she has eaten at a restaurant during this whole trip so far.

It probably helped that the kid’s meal included pizza AND french fries (dear lord, don’t get me started). WHATEVER, we are on vacation. But the restaurant was fun. It was NICE to be with Nora again, we ENJOYED each other. And that is all that counted.

While we were eating dinner, the sun set, so the sky was pretty cool. We went back down to the beach and Nora played in the sand some more while we took some photos.

On the way back to our hotel, we completed the trifecta of vacation junk food by stopping for ice cream at Sweet Rose Creamery. Nora asked for chocolate and sprinkles, and she LOVED it.

After some serious ups and downs, the day ended on a high note. I learned a lot about traveling with a toddler (and what makes them tick in general). It’s interesting, this parenting thing. You just never stop learning.

Tomorrow… we escape L.A.


2 Responses to A Day in L.A.

  1. Christy says:

    Those sunset pics are soooooooo amazing! I really admire you guys for tackling so much adventure with a 2 yr old!

  2. NOLAGirlie says:

    I must admit I am sitting here smiling with each post containing some mention of Nora, naps, and behavior. So nice to be able to totally relate! We ditched “travel” as we knew it prekids recently and succumbed to only trips to visit family or at least trips where you park yourself and the toddler on the beach all day with a juice box and a cocktail in Mama’s hand. I could never find the balance between maintaining the sleep schedule and sightseeing for many trips to be enjoyable for everyone. Figured our cash was better spend on *vacation* rather than travel. Although, leaving the house with a toddler (or two!) is never a vacation…we now call them “trips” rather than vacations.

    Nora looks so cute in her ears! I’ve been contemplating a trip to Disneyworld with my boys, bit not sure if I should wait until they are a bit older.

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