Travel

Vacation Photos: Los Angeles and Palm Springs

This holiday, we went to Los Angeles and Palm Springs to visit our families. Despite my computer breaking and Toby needing stitches (more on that later!), it was one of those great, boisterous trips where everyone’s excited, and you return home happy and refreshed. I’d love to share a few of the highlights, if you’d like to see…

Now that Toby can walk (yay!), he hates sitting still, so we figured the plane rides might be a little tricky. See the poor red-shirted dude sandwiched between babies? He was a great sport, but to sweeten the deal, we brought little bags of candy as a heartfelt apology to our seatmates, which we passed out as soon as we sat down. Hopefully, the Snickers helped distract them from kicked seatbacks and screechy yelps. (You can also buy cute kits on Etsy.)

We landed in LA, where we stayed a couple nights with friends and a couple nights at the Oceana Hotel Santa Monica (a hotel we really love).

A couple mornings, our friends took us to Thyme, an amazing neighborhood cafe in Santa Monica with delicious pastries, salads and a breakfast burrito that will change your life. Here, Toby shares toast and eggs with his friend Norah.

Thyme also had some of the best chocolate-chip cookies I’ve ever had — chewy, salty, rich, with that slight flavor of cookie dough. If you live in LA, I would honestly recommend a trip over there, they are that good!

Santa Monica is a great place with a baby in tow–with the beach, farmer’s markets, playgrounds, the amusement park, street musicians on the Promenade

…and car shopping carts at Whole Foods! Score! Toby was in heaven.

After a few days in LA, we packed up the rental car and drove two hours into the desert to Palm Springs. Here’s Toby playing with my glasses during the car ride (followed by my wallet, keys and cell phone, naturally).

There we met up with both sides of our family: Alex’s mom, sister, brother and sister-in-law and my dad and brother. It was awesome.

We were lucky enough to book the same rental house as last year, where we could hang out during the day and all eat dinner together at night.

One day, as a special treat, we stopped by Ruby’s Diner to get Toby a mini lamb burger and ice water, which he excitedly assumed was a milkshake, just like Daddy’s.

Ruby’s is a cute 1950’s-style diner, with old-school bikes and a running train track above the tables!

Now a tradition, we were thrilled to spend a couple of Toby’s naptimes at the The Ace Hotel‘s awesome pool, which has hammocks, a ping-pong table, a hot tub and delicious food. The music was great, and everyone was super friendly. Such a fun place to hang out. Felt a million miles from freezing cold NYC!

Alex, his sister and I chilled in the hot tub…

…next to a cute couple reading their Kindles! How 2012. :)

My brother had lost a bet with his friend earlier in the month, and his punishment was that he had to grow out his beard until January 1st. Doesn’t he look straight out of the 70’s with his corduroys and PBR?

Instead of a rental car, my brother and dad rented a huge yellow motorcycle during their trip. Toby was completely enamored and gazed at them like they were superheroes. (Can you spot his little feet in the third photo? :)

One afternoon, we all decided to ride the aerial tram to the top of the mountains overlooking Palm Springs. Even though Alex is scared of heights, and I’m a tried-and-true claustrophobe, we had a (white-knuckled) awesome time. The tram walls are all glass, and the car slowly rotates as it rises 2.5 miles to the top of the mountain. The craziest part is, at the bottom, the weather can be hot and sunny, but at the top, everyone’s wearing winter jackets and going sledding and cross-country skiing! The tram ride is only 10 minutes, but the temperature differences are phenomenal! (Btw, I love my sister-in-law Lesley’s face in this photo! :)

Overall, it was a wonderful Christmas. Thank you so much for reading! Hope you had a great one, too. (P.S. Any LA or Palm Springs recommendations? I’d love to hear!) xoxoxo

A mini travelogue:

Favorite LA dinner restaurants we tried (without the baby): Son of a Gun (fun to share small plates with friends, especially the fried chicken sandwich), Lucques (romantic, you can sit the ivy-covered garden), The Tasting Kitchen (our favorite restaurant in LA, simply amazing food and cocktails, and warm, friendly ambiance).

Favorite LA lunch spots we tried: Thyme, Huckleberry.

Favorite Palm Springs lunch spots we tried: Cheeky’s (for everyone), Ruby’s Diner (for kids), El Mirasol (for inexpensive yummy Mexican food where you can sit outside).

Favorite Palm Springs activities we tried: The Living Desert, The Aerial Tramway, the Ace Hotel‘s rad pool.

P.S. 10 tips for traveling with a baby

(Most photos taken with the Hipstamatic app on the iPhone)

  1. Makes me want to pack up the family for our own Los Angeles vacation – nothing like beating the heat with a nice dip in the pool and you can never go wrong with the Santa Monica Pier. If you enjoy sharing your experiences like I do, don’t forget about http://myhollywoodvacation.com/

  2. Anonymous says...

    Great pictures! I have to say that this is the first time I’ve ever heard a parent be evenly remotely apologetic about their kids’ behavior on planes. If more parents brought me Snickers rather than ignore the fact that their little angel is kicking my seat back for hours on end, I’d be happier! I know kids can’t be fully-controlled, but acknowledging it and apologizing it is cool.

  3. Georgia says...

    This is a very sweet post (I, too, spent the holidays in SoCal, where I’m from, and just got home to the East Coast today), but I gotta be the naysayer on the candy-for-the-seatmate idea. Crying children are one thing (because that can’t be helped and doesn’t require any apologies or excuses), but running around or kicking the seat? Those are simple discipline problems. I would prefer that the parent simply correct the child than offer me candy.

  4. ps. the Oceana is in LA (santa monica, by the beach), and the Ace is in Palm Springs. xoxo

  5. thanks for all these lovely comments! LV, the oceana is AMAZING with kids. super friendly, welcoming, and they have a pool, too. i’m actually posting about them today, so you’ll see a bit more about them.

    and the Ace is super, super kid-friendly, as well. there are always tons of babies and kids (and puppies!) around the pool — and it’s still fun for grown-ups too (doesn’t feel overrun by kids). you can play ping pong, and they have those floaty tube things. the perfect balance!

  6. Looks like such a fun time! You guys are so lucky to have visited the LA area during the heat wave. My family and I were out sun bathing on Christmas Eve. So surreal, but I was certainly enjoying it before I headed back up to chilly San Francisco.

    http://www.qacreate.com

  7. ha your brother looks like such a little hipster. what a cute family vaca. glad you had a good time!

  8. LV says...

    Hi Jo! We’re thinking of taking our 2 year old to LA in February and were wondering about the ACE hotel in Palm Springs… I notice you were there for swimming. Do you think it’d be a good place to stay? I know you mentioned Oceana, but I really like the vibe from what I can tell online. Do you think it’s welcoming/appropriate for kids?

  9. I can’t believe how big Toby is getting! He’s adorable!

  10. Toby looks so much like you! And thanks for sharing, you’ve refreshed my love for California :)

  11. Dear Lord, those last few photos of Toby are SO STINKIN CUTE!!!! Lovely photos Jo! *S*

  12. Yayyy! I live in LA, loved your photos. I will definitely be trying out Thyme, and I’m glad to see some recommendations for Palm Springs, too, because I still haven’t been there and am dying to visit. Great post =]

    http://www.existation.com

  13. Happy New Year! These photos are lovely!! I can’t believe that my grandmother lived in Palm Springs until she past away, and as a native SoCal family, we never took the tram. Ah..next time I’m home we are doing the tram!!!

  14. What lovely photos of your winter vacation.

    I literally live down the street from the Oceana. This is my neighborhood. Glad you made it to the Westside of L.A. I think it’s the best part—-but that’s probably because I love the ocean and I live here.

  15. Thanks so much for the recommendations for Palm Springs. We just moved to Joshua Tree in Sept. and have been looking for good places to eat. We are going to try Cheeky’s this weekend. I can’t wait!

  16. Anonymous says...

    Toby is one sweet tot :)

  17. oh my goodness, toby is so big! and SOOO adorable. that cute little smile :)

  18. Long time reader – love the blog… don’t think I’ve ever commented though! I’m out in LA and was in Palm Springs for New Years and we rented the exact same house! I thought the rug was familiar in one of the pics and after seeing your pics from last year I’m 100% positive. Love it. We also think the Tasting Kitchen is one of the best restaurants around right now. They never miss.

  19. Jessica says...

    Happy New Year! What fun pictures! Joanna, where are your glasses frames from? They look fab on you and Toby!

  20. PS – the museum just purchased one of my grandfather’s other building and has big plans for it to become home to all things mid century architecture and design. My aunt is running the show there and I’m sure would be happy to hook you up on a tour next time you’re in town!

  21. WIth grandparents who lived in Palm Springs (my grandfather helped design the tramway!), I fell in love with hikes in Indian Canyon, date shakes from Hadley’s, the patio at Las Casuelas and the Palm Springs art museum. Also designed by my grandfather back in the day, he came out of retirement later on to add the new, beautiful wing. I love standing under the huge skylight and taking it all in…it’s dedicated to my grandmother :)

  22. OMG! We are flying to L.A. tomorrow and I am totally going to buy our seat mates goodies because our son is at the loving-to-hear-himself-screech-stage. Thank you thank you for the idea!

    Toby is such a beautiful boy! Love him!

  23. Your holiday getaway sounded and looked amazing! So glad you had such a great time! Toby is darling! You are beautiful (I agree, would love a makeup post/series) and so thoughtful (love the idea of bringing treats for neighboring travelers).

  24. Anonymous says...

    Hi, I am the owner of Thyme Cafe & Market. Thank you for blogging about us!! We are so glad that you enjoyed your meal here. We hope you come back to visit! Next time you are in Palm Springs you have to go to Cheeky’s!!! They have an amazing breakfast and lunch! My husband and I love this place! Thanks again and Happy New Year! Maire

  25. What type of car seat do you have? It looks like you may be able to snap into a stroller frame. Is this an infant seat? Thanks!!! We are traveling soon.

  26. Also, Aroma Cafe near Hollywood as well. I love their jerk chicken wrap! It’s a super cute place with outdoor patio seating that surrounds the entire cafe and it has a cute little bookstore. It’s always packed!

  27. Some of my favorite places to eat in L.A., (I live in a suburb about 45 minutes away) are Umami Burger; there are a few of them in L.A. my favorite is the truffle burger, and The Griddle; an amazing breakfast place in the Hollywood area. They have crazy huge delicious pancakes and waffles!

  28. Toby is sooooo cute!! Sorry to hear he needed some stitches out in LA. What happened!?! Hope the little guy is A-OK now! :)

    xx

  29. I think Toby looks so much like your brother!

  30. These pictures are great! I love the goodie bags for flight neighbors. Such a cool idea.

  31. These photos are great and Toby looks super adorable, of course!

    But what I really couldn’t help but think through this whole post is “Damn her brother is one attractive man!” Mmm hmm. That beard is going to look awesome once it’s trimmed down :)

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. I grew up in LA (I live in Boston now) and haven’t been back in 19 years but am going in a few weeks and I can’t wait! I’m excited to see the home I grew up in, my schools, and Disneyland! And, some favorite restaurants (Philipe’s, Tommy’s, In-N-Out).

  34. I’m curious to know Jo, did you get a chance to check out the new restaurant LuLu when you were in Palm Springs?!
    I actually just wrote on the restaurant over at my site! Have a great day!

  35. the photo of you and Toby looking at each other in the booth is just perfect.

  36. Im glad you had a good time in Palm Springs, such a nice relaxing getaway, right! You should have gone hiking in Palm Desert at the top you can see the entire valley and it’s gorgeous!

    -from yours truly a Palm Springer

  37. Anonymous says...

    I love how my comment was erased even though you do need to learn how to buckle up your son properly. Oh, well.

  38. Your brother looks so handsome with the beard that he should never ever cut it off! Give him my greetings from Istanbul!

  39. I used to live in LA and I crave Thyme on a daily basis. I’m so jealous you got to eat there!!!

  40. I love huckleberry! ps. Did you see these posters on The Atlantic?

  41. thanks for these sweet comments and tips!!! Anonymous, thank you!!! we just got the bigger toddler one. i appreciate your comment!! corinne, thank you!! i’m flattered, and i’d love to do a post. sammi, i was actually wearing a josie maran red lipstick. sarah-mai, yes! the ace hot tub is insanely hot, i love it. and as for the tram, i had a glass of wine before we went up!! :) that was my trick, haha. xoxoxo

  42. Anonymous says...

    Toby looks exactly like your brother!

  43. Corinne says...

    I love how you keep your makeup! Simple but gorgeous…

    Hints/advice on the products you use? I’d love to know in a makeup post!!

    -cfrankenfield5@gmail.com

  44. What an awesome trip! It looks like you did a lot but found time to relax too :) Toby is getting SO big and ever cuter!

  45. we usually stop and ride the tram on our way home from newport beach in the summer. always a thrill, the kids love it but it’s a love/hate adventure for me !!! i don’t even want to imagine what my face looks like on the ride up or down :) dreaming of a weekend at the ace hotel in palm springs, looks like so much fun out by the pool. thanks for all of the restaurant recommends, will surely try them out. glad you had a fun get-away… toby is a toddler, wow! hard to believe how fast time flies when you are having fun!!! xo, marni

  46. oh my god. toby is getting so big!!!

  47. Toby looks so grown up, I can’t believe how quickly he is growing.

    Also, is that the lipbalm you were advertising that you’re wearing in the pictures with Toby at Ruby’s Diner?

  48. Next time around LA (Orange County) I would give Los Golondrinas a try (best take “home made” Mexican food on this planet. Yumm Chili Relleno burrito! AND In and OUT for cheeseburgers (double double) and shakes…landmark!

  49. Coral Tree on San Vicente in Brentwood is AMAZING! My favorite berakfast/brunch place with yummy juices and splendid healthy options! Another Brentwood favorite is The Brentwood Country Mart on 26th=cute shops, eats, & a fun bookstore.

    I just found your blog and I’m in LOVE!

  50. I wish I would have thought of treat bags for the airplane when we took our 18 month old on a 3 hour flight a few weeks ago. Great idea.

  51. Omg I grew up in Palm Springs and was just there for Christmas! We went up to the tram on Christmas Eve and had the BEST meal ever at Spencer’s that night! Fancy place and it is sooo good!

  52. Ahhh I’d recognize that Huckleberry pastry case anywhere! My guy lives across the street so we’re there MANY mornings — their coffee (Verve from Santa Cruz) is also delicious. And Tasting Kitchen is also “our spot”. We’ve never had a bad meal there, and their waffles and fried chicken at brunch are AMAZING. You’ll have to go during the daytime on your next trip — the dining room drenched in sunlight is so inviting!

  53. Amie says...

    I’m from LA, and I did the exact same thing this past week! The aerial tramway was so exciting. This is great for anyone visiting from out of state, and those in the area who just don’t realize how much there is to do!

  54. I had a déjà vu moment looking at that first photo of toby, as he looks so much like my brother when he was a baby :)

  55. Toby is so cute in those last two photos. I think I’m in love.

  56. Anonymous says...

    What wonderful pictures! Your family is so beautiful! It looks like you guys had a great time. I love California!

    I feel SO silly saying this, but I’m a car seat tech and I can’t help myself- it looks like your sweet boy is getting big for that Graco! It may be time to move him to a convertible seat!

  57. Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful pictures! I took my then 7 month old son to CA last April, and we too had a blast in Santa Monica. You can’t beat babies on the beach. :)

  58. Did you happen to use Hipstamatic for the photos? love them! Also, I love your restaurant recommendations- next time you’re in L.A. (Culver City actually) try Waterloo and City. Since your parents are English, I really think you’d appreciate it, although England isn’t known for having the best food- this place is one of my favs! Thanks for sharing your photos- looks like fun! Makes me want to go back to Ace Hotel- I went with my girlfriends last Spring- I recommend their SPIKED! sweet tea slushes! swoon.

  59. We love PS! Isn’t the Ace hot tub the hottest you’ve ever encountered?!?

    Native Foods is a great choice for dinner (even if you’re not vegetarian), the Parker Hotel has a couple of great dining options and awesome grounds to explore.

    And I agree, Pappy and Harriet’s is a must!

  60. what a fun trip! we did palm springs a few months ago for the first time and LOVED it. stayed at the ace hotel as well, which we were definitely not hip enough for (perhaps it was the american eagle photo shoot in progress while we were hanging at the pool). ;) happy new year!

  61. Your little Toby looks so precious in those glasses and riding the grocery cart.
    Happy New Year, all the best!
    :)
    mikky
    http://www.todaloos.com

  62. Anonymous says...

    What a great vacation! Love the pictures. Have a great New Year.

  63. oh you lucky girl you!
    cali is having absolutely the best weather lately.
    i so miss it there.
    wasn’t it nice to have sun all the time for a change?

  64. Looks like you guys had fun! Some of the pics look like they were taken in the 1960s! Crazy. :)

  65. OMG those chompers! xo

  66. What an awesome vacation, there’s nothing better than great food, small diners, friends, and family. I want those cookies so bad now!

  67. Toby is so big now! Wow, what a charming little dude. I have big dreams of spending Christmas in a warm spot like Cali. :)

  68. What an awesome trip! We visit Palm Springs often to visit friends with kids, we always go to the Polo Matches. Great food, outside seating, and the kids love running around and helping with the divots!

  69. We tried the Tasting Kitchen after reading your post about last year’s vacation and it was wonderful! I loved the bar area with the communal tables and dim lighting. The portions were surprisingly big and the food was wonderful. I saw that you recommended Gjelina, which is my favorite place in LA so I knew the Tasting Kitchen would be a hit. On a side note, the Tasting Kitchen has the nicest servers I’ve ever had in LA. We felt like we were visiting a friend’s house, not dining in a commercial restaurant. Thank you thank you it looks like you had a wonderful vacation this year again!

  70. I rode the tram when I visited Palm Spring last Spring. I was so surprised by the temperature difference and forgot to bring a jacket! I took photo on top of the mountain that looked like it was Alaska.

  71. toby is such a little man! looks like a fantastic time. happy new year!

  72. Your trip looks like it was absolutely wonderful! I grew up not far from Palm Springs in Joshua Tree. I moved away when I left for college, and haven’t made too many trips back. Your photos of your travels made me miss it!

    I grew up right outside Joshua Tree National Park, when Toby gets a little older he would love to scramble on the boulders there, the landscape is out of this world.

    Joshua Tree also has some cute places to dine. Crossroads, right downtown (if you can call it that), is a regular rock climber hangout and has delicious food. A little further away in Pioneer Town is a place called Pappy and Harriets. Pioneer Town is an old movie set created for Westerns in the 1940s and 50s. It is a funky place, but Pappy’s serves beer out of mason jars, and decent Tex Mex food. They also host some pretty amazing live music.

    Hope you can check out the High Desert next time you are in SoCal!

    http://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm
    http://www.crossroadscafejtree.com/
    http://www.pappyandharriets.com/

  73. your photos are wonderful. it looks like you and your family had a wonderful trip :)

  74. wow, jo! you look so effortlessly gorgeous! and toby is beginning to look like a little boy!

  75. These are great photos, it looks like you guys had a really good time :) xx

  76. Such a good idea to give out candy when you fly with a little one! My flight home also featured numerous babies, and not only were the babes screaming, but the parents were unapologetic and the whole plane was grumbly. A little snickers can go a long way in those situations, I think :)

    Hilary

  77. There are so many great places to eat in LA, especially around the Los Feliz/ Silver Lake area. Some favorites include Cafe Figaro, Speranza, the Fix Burger (not terribly cozy, but seriously, they have the best burgers,) Forage, the Casbah Cafe, and many more! Pazzo Gelato is also a great stop if you’re looking for something sweet and cold on a hot summer (or, going by the weather lately, winter) day!

  78. Anonymous says...

    I would be happy to sit next to a baby if I got a snickers – or nuts or chex mix for that matter. They don’t even give out peanuts anymore on some flights!

  79. I enjoyed your trip to LA etc. Great idea with the candy on the plane. Your kids are way cute!

  80. Sounds like you had a great trip! And Toby will be a heartbreaker later, he’s such a cutie!

  81. H says...

    What great pictures! Isn’t the west coast the best? (: Toby looks so big now, hah even though I’ve never seen you all in person! But you do have a lovely family.

  82. Looks and sounds like you guys had a wonderful trip!! I will be in LA this weekend for a mini family reunion. I live in Santa Barbara so if you ever go there on vacation (I HIGHLY recommend it!) don’t hesitate to ask me for suggestions!

    Erin
    http://www.fablifeincalifornia.blogspot.com/

  83. I’m with Sophie – would love to know you mustered the courage to get into that tram! I am SO scared of heights and I have most of my life missed out on awesome things like that because of panic attacks. So proud of you and Alex for just going for it!
    And Toby is so precious – what a doll baby!

  84. Looks like you have been having a brilliant time – the photos are great. Now to enjoy 2012!

  85. Love love love PS. I live in San Diego, so every now and again or for a bachelorette, it is the go to destination. Nothing beats the Mid-Century modern architecture and the dry heat. Over the last two years, I have been there multiple times and vacation rentals are the best bet. Most recently, we rented a house through VRBO.com that was out of site and for my dad’s 60th, we rented a house through; http://www.roomservicestore.com/vacation_homes/index.html. For good food, I would also recommend Cheeky’s and Johannes: http://www.johannesrestaurants.com/, where we have had multiple delicious meals. Thanks for always having something fun to read!!

  86. Monica says...

    I think toby looks like your mom!

  87. Sophie says...

    The shopping carts is just amazing!
    A question: how did you deal with claustrophobia and fear of heights? I’m feeling stronger in a lot of situations since my son was born, except with heights… Tell us your secret !
    Happy new year to you and your dearest ones!

  88. Hey Jo! We were literally on the same path, LA and Palm Springs last week! Surprised we didn’t run into you…we stayed at the ACE! Happy New Year and see you soon in the hood.

  89. Caro says...

    Oh my gosh. Toby looks like a Alex jr. with the glasses :D
    And his little feet look too cute next to the motorcycle :)
    Ah you are such a sweet family and you seem to be so happy!

  90. toby is getting so big! he looks just like you. i love the idea of giving out ‘i’m-sorry-i-have-a-toddler-this-could-be-a-crazy-ride’ bags of candy!!! so smart!

    p.s.yikes on the comment above….

  91. Looks like So much fun!
    -I wish the parents of children I sat next to on the plane gave me sweet things!Very kind of you!
    -Are those sun reflection sreens I see in your photos?? very LA!

    looks great!

  92. The photo of Toby touching the front motorcycle wheel is so cute! It makes him look so tiny and sweet.

  93. Anonymous says...

    What great pictures! Toby looks so grown up. Thanks for sharing.

  94. Ahhh Palm Springs, my favorite! We are getting married at The Ace in October! Looks like a wonderful trip =)

  95. two things:
    1) toby has hair!
    2) I love the idea of handing out candy to the people sitting next to you on the plane. We sat next to a crying baby for 9 hours on our way to Spain. I more so felt awful for the parents (and was by no means annoyed), but I won’t lie, some chocolate would have eased the pain a little ;)

  96. Nothing like So Cal. The housing prices and traffic is ridiculous but nobody in the US beats our weather and endless outdoor activities! :)

    Christina

  97. Are the broken computer and Toby needing stitches related?! Or separate mishaps? I’m sorry about both but glad he’s okay : )

    I think Toby looks exACTLY like your brother Nick, just from pictures you’ve posted on the blog before. He is sooo big now! What a cutie.

    And lastly, handing out candy bags to your neighboring passengers is the cutest idea EVER! I bet they were so impressed with you as a mom- what a creative and sweet thing to do.

    I’m going to LA/Palm Springs in one month and these photos made me sooo eager to get there!

  98. Great pics, Joanna! It looks like you guys had a great time (minus the stitches part!). I was so struck by how much Toby looks like your brother – how sweet. :)

  99. Last year I went on a girl’s weekend and we stayed at the Ace and it was the best. We did the tram too– I thought I was being brave, but we have a funny/sad photo of me basically in tears. Agh heights! but the hiking was so worth it…Oh I wish I was back there. So fun looking though your pictures

  100. Love this! Such wonderful pictures! The whole world is at his fingertips!

  101. Hi Joanna! Such adorable travel pics — it looks like you had a wonderful trip.

    Which Hipstamatic lens did you use? I’d love to download it for my iPhone!

    Happy 2012!

    Rachel
    http://www.rachelpapers.com

  102. hahaha Toby looks so adorably tiny next to the motorcycle.

  103. What a sweet & sunshine-y vacation. You have such a cute family! Thanks for sharing. (Love the Kindle couple.)

  104. Thanks so much for mentioning my Friendly Sky kits on Etsy! Glad you had a fun trip!

  105. i, too, think toby looks like a mini alex in those glasses!

    and i love that you documented the kindle couple. how 2012, indeed.

  106. love love love the picture of Toby where he has his finger up to his lips as he is standing in the grass in just a diaper! (I’m guessing the bandage on his foot will be explained in your stitches story?)

  107. Toby is a perfect mix of you and Alex! And he is pressssshhhhh-ous.
    Looks like an amazing family holiday!

    Love the red lips and toes, Joanna!

  108. I lived in Santa Monica for 8 years and miss it SO MUCH sometimes.

    When you go back, and if you stay in Santa Monica, you MUST go to Huckleberry on Wilshire and 10th. It is THE BEST bakery I’ve ever eaten at. And it was a block from my apartment = not good for the waistline. :)

  109. Such a great idea to give treats to neighbors on the plane!

  110. The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs is my favorite of the lot (though I haven’t been to the one in New York yet). The only other recommendation that I would make is to visit The Parker hotel, which was designed by Jonathan Adler. We went there for brunch and explored the beautiful grounds; the bar and lounge were stunning.

  111. It looks like y’all had a great time! The pictures are adorable and Toby looks so big now!

  112. I love the Oceana, I travel to santa monica for work a lot. We always stay there.

    I will have to check out Thyme!

  113. sandra says...

    We were in Palm Springs last week! We went up that same tram! It was amazing to be in the snow at the top of the mountain. It was the highlight of our trip. We stayed at Rancho Las Palmas which has a great restaurant, a lazy river and water slides!, and fun activities for the kids. We really enjoyed Sherman’s Deli!

  114. What nice photographs..I love the effects you used, your brother really is straight out of the 70s!

  115. Love your travel updates! So fun when they’re personalized. One of the food editors at the mag where I work was raving about Son of a Gun too, so I’m excited to check that out next time I’m in SoCal. Have you heard of the Chefs Feed app for the iPhone? Chefs in L.A., New York, S.F. and other cities dish about their favorite eats at other restaurants in their city.

  116. Seems you had so much fun!
    Toby is really cute!

  117. Just visited Palm Springs in early December and fell in love with Cheeky’s too. Such a great spot. Looks like you had a fab vacation!

  118. I’ll definitely have to try to check out Thyme next time I’m in Santa Monica.

  119. Toby is such a cutie–and looking so adorable with those glasses. He is looking more and more like your hubby. :) Looks like a fantastic trip….and on a random note, that red lipstick looks great on you. :)

  120. Jo! Toby is looking so big! He’s like a little boy now! I love the idea of traveling with “Sorry for the baby mayhem” kits – so thoughtful. It looks like such a fun trip. My husband and I are thinking of going out to LA/Palm Springs in the spring, and we will for sure look back on this guide when we do!

  121. i love you and toby in the tram pic. you look so adorb! nice to see shots of you with your little man.

  122. Love the feet behind the motorcycle hahaha Cute Pics. My holidays were fun-filled with family as well. :)

  123. Haha.. the picture when he’s wearing your glasses Toby looks just like your husband!

  124. Ahh, what a welcome sight amidst the bitter cold temperatures here on the east coast. You three are such a good looking family! Glad you enjoyed your trip! Belated happy holidays!

  125. Toby’s looking so much like you! Love the photos of your brother. You guys have such a beautiful family.

  126. wow! Toby is getting to big! His hair!

    Looks like a great trip, too! ahh…warm weather…