Some days, honestly, are just crappy. They’re hard, long, exhausting, and frustrating. Kids will do that to your life. But, man, some days are so, so good. They are peaceful, enjoyable, fun, and heart-warming. Kids will do that to your life, too. Last Saturday, we experienced one of those great days that we will fondly remember forever.
After Vivian’s gymnastics class, we drove up to Griffith Park in Los Angeles. There are a lot of fun things to do there, especially with kids (pony rides, train ride, carousal, zoo, etc.), but we decided to visit the observatory and hike to the top of Mt. Hollywood (both of which I’ve done before, but Dan and the girls hadn’t).
It’s a giant pain to navigate the traffic and find parking near the observatory; luckily, we snagged a spot off the side of the road just past the tunnel and below the observatory. Also, luckily, both girls napped on the drive up and arrived happy and well rested.
We walked up to the very crowded observatory and walked in and around it, taking in the beautiful architecture of the building, the swinging pendulum (which Lillian loved watching), and the sweeping city views. They only allow children under 5 into their first show of the day and we had missed that, but we were happy to simply walk around inside and outside. When the kids get older, we’ll take them to see the planetarium shows.
We then left the crowds behind and began our trek up Mt. Hollywood. Because of all of rain we’ve gotten recently, everything was green, green, green! The hills/mountains and terrain were gorgeous! Dan pushed Lillian in the B.O.B. stroller and I carried Vivian on my back in the Ergo carrier. The hike is about 3 miles with a 500 ft. elevation gain. Although the weather was cool and the girls were bundled up, Dan and I worked up a sweat carting them (and ourselves) to the top of the mountain!
We arrived at the top shortly before sunset and took in the amazing views below and around us. Because it was a cooler, winter day, and because of our timing, there were very few people on the trail with us and at the top.
As we hiked back down the trail, the sun set and then all the city lights below us turned on. Our view changed, but stayed just as awesome as our daylight view on the hike up. We arrived back at our car just as darkness enveloped the park.
While Dan started driving back down to the park entrance/exit, I looked up a nearby place where we could eat. We quickly decided upon The Morrison Pub, just off the 5 and Los Feliz. We again lucked out with parking by snagging the last spot in their parking lot. And, we lucked out with getting a table right away, despite not having a reservation, when a party ahead of us was a no-show. Service was fast, the food and drinks were good, and although our kids were crazy, we were all happy.
After dinner, we drove home – in peaceful silence again as the girls slept. Back at our home, we were able to successfully transfer Vivian from the car directly into her bed for the night. Lillian woke up during her transfer, as expected, but I was able to quickly nurse her back to sleep.
So…all in all, a very fun family day. We never could have done all of this four months ago when Lillian was still colicky and we are still so thankful that she is happy and we can get her out (and on top of mountains) to see the world (and the Hollywood Sign)!