Christmas in California

4 January 2018

About a year and a half ago Marget and Seth moved to California, which was terrible in pretty much every way for us (because they are far away now!!), but seemingly a good choice for them :) The silver lining? This year, we got to spend Christmas in California! Here are a few photos and what we did, if you’d like to see…

John, June, and I flew out at 7am on Christmas morning. We were NOT about to spend $600+ dollars for a plane ticket for our not-yet-two-year-old, but were VERY thankful to score an empty seat in our row on not just one but both of our flights! Hallelujah and thank you, Delta!!! June decided she did NOT enjoy the cool headphones we’d gotten her in preparation, but was content to simply watch the TV screen on the seatback and push all the buttons repeatedly for the duration of our five-hour flight :)

Marget and Seth live in a beach town near LA, and the first afternoon, we walked to the beach at sunset! It was the perfect wide-open arena for J’s current favorite game, run and chase.

For Christmas dinner we had ragu and papparadelle, a newish Thomas family tradition! We opened gifts a little bit at a time over our entire visit. June doesn’t seem to have totally grasped presents – she was just kind of happy to be included :) This, however, was clearly her favorite toy she received!

The next day we went for a hike at Forrestal Preserve and had lunch at Malibu Eatery (yummy grilled chicken tacos!). I was so proud of our little hiker – she walked at least half of the steep uphill climb!

We also visited the tide pools across the street, beneath the Trump National Golf Course.

In the evening, we walked the canals of Venice to look at the Christmas lights (such a crazy place!!), then had a delicious dinner at Rose Cafe. On a return trip I would love to do some shopping on Abbot Kinney – so many cute shops!

The next morning we took the walking path that runs through Marget and Seth’s neighborhood to their favorite playground, where we ate a mixed-up breakfast of bagel sandwiches from Noah’s and acai bowls from Paradise Bowls. My first time eating the latter – SO good and so California :)

As you can see, Uncle Seth was the fan favorite all week :)

Pretty soon it was time to head to LA for an al fresco lunch at The Paley and a matinee performance of Hamilton!!! Yes!

Needless to say, it exceeded all expectations. And the theater was so beautiful! I feel so lucky that we got to see this spectacular show – what a treat.

On our last full day we had breakfast at Uncle Bill’s, a pancake hole-in-the-wall, then spent a few hours back at the beach. There was much digging, and Marget and I played Chicken Foot.

Our flight home was uneventful, and now as I sit here writing a few days later, it is SNOWING! So different from warm Cali, although to be fair, snow is rather unusual for North Carolina.

Hoping you all had wonderful holidays breaks, as well!!

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January 4, 2018 9:53 am

Okay, clearly we need to have a family hangout because it appears June has grown up into a little kid since I last saw her?! Let’s get something on the calendar :) It looks like y’all had a wonderful and sunny Christmas!

January 4, 2018 10:45 am

I had no idea you were in Cali for Christmas! So special and WARM looking too :)

January 4, 2018 8:08 pm

Wow, what a way to spend a holiday! Happy 2018 to you, Thomas fam!

January 5, 2018 7:26 am

What a FABULOUS way to spend your Christmas – and those gorgeous sunset skies.
The beach is always good for the soul x

January 5, 2018 11:13 am

“Run-and-chase” — like Maggie! June’s hair is getting so long! In some photos, Wes looks so much like Seth!

Jen K
January 6, 2018 1:47 pm

As a Michigander, I love, love, LOVE seeing June’s M22 shirt!! ????

January 8, 2018 10:58 am

How cool for the kids to grow up with Christmases on both coasts (and Minnesota!)- it isn’t just about snow and reindeer! And we LOVED having you!

Laura M.
January 9, 2018 10:51 pm

Hi Emily!
Happy New Year to your sweet family! Would you share (either here or in a future post) how you keep Miss June entertained on long trips now? We have a little guy almost the exact same age as June, and I was amazed to read about your road trips to Michigan and Maine. We take a lot of 3-4 hour trips (road trips and flights) but by the end of 4 hours we’re all toast! We are hoping to make the 15 hour road trip to see family this summer, and I’d love to hear how you make that work. Thank you!