Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Misadventures in Los Angeles: Beach Day

Annenberg community beach house

As a transplant to Los Angeles, I have a real love/hate relationship with this city of concrete and broken dreams.  On the days when all the freeways are parking lots, the sun is frying every living thing in its reach, and the paparazzi are blocking the entrance to our neighborhood coffee shop in the hopes of a Kardashian sighting, I dream of escaping to the quieter, less celebrity-obsessed region of my youth.

I often lie awake at night asking myself the important questions about raising kids in LA:
  • What if the Little Lady asks for Botox for her thirteenth birthday?
  • Will the Muffin Man expect his first car to be a Tesla? 
  • When people ask my kids what they want to be when they grow up will they say "Agents"?1
These are all valid questions, and ones that make me think that perhaps I am irreparably damaging my children by raising them in Los Angeles.  But sometimes, once in a blue moon, there are days that make you realize just how amazing it can be to grow up here.

Last Friday was one of those days.

Santa Monica beach

This view, this beach, is just twelve miles from where we live.  Sure, we'll never be able to afford to buy a house in LA, and my kids are probably going to hate me because I'm not rich and famous, but at least they'll have some great photos of themselves at the beach.  And really, as long as there are good photos, who cares how much therapy you need?!

Santa Monica Beach
photo courtesy of Eric Ladin
We met up with some of our friends at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.  If you have kids and you want to go to the beach but you never actually go because you can't handle the hassle of parking and dragging your crap down to the sand, this is the place for you.  Parking is easy and relatively inexpensive ($12 for the day).  There are paved walkways so you can take your stroller onto the beach.  The bathrooms don't have puddles of suspicious-looking water on the floor or meth heads living in the stalls.  There's a shady playground and a splash pad for when junior tires of the ocean.  Basically, the Annenberg is Mommy outing gold.  If they also offered complimentary childcare I might never leave.

Annenberg community beach house Annenberg community beach house

We went relatively early in the morning, packed a picnic lunch, and headed home before Noah's nap time.  There is a restaurant and a snack bar on the premises, but honestly it's just so much easier to bring food from home that I know for sure Noah will eat.  Plus, ain't no way I was going to take a toddler to a restaurant without spousal backup.  I may be crazy, but even I know my limits.

Anenberg beach house
Is there anything cuter than little feet in the sand?
We ran through the waves and dug a hole in the sand and I think my feet may have gotten a teensy bit sunburned but it was the most fun I've had in a long time.  In fact, we had so much fun that the traffic on the 10 heading home didn't make me as rageful as usual.

Maybe LA isn't too horrible a place to grow up in after all...though I still pray neither of my offspring want to become agents.


  1. Thanks for posting about this resource! We go to Santa Monica all the time, but parking can sometimes be a pain in the ass and once we find parking, dragging the stroller through the sand is another obstacle. We'll have to check out the beach house sometime, sounds too good to be true!!

    1. It is THE BEST, whosjomama! Going to the beach before made me crazy, but this is definitely the easiest way to enjoy where we live without becoming homicidal.


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