For the holidays, we went to Palm Spring and Los Angeles for two weeks. It was great to get a blast of California sunshine, and a few funny things happened during our trip…

I couldn’t stop smooching this little hunk. Those soft biceps are too tempting! (Don’t his arms look like Pillsbury crescent rolls?)

And after Alex snapped this photo at the Ace Hotel, we realized how similar it is to this photo of Toby at the same age! Uncanny!

We piled into a lovely rental house in Palm Springs and spent long lazy days with my dad and Alex’s family around the pool, playing guitar and picking grapefruit off the trees. The best part was the fire pit, which we’d sit around in the evenings with a bottle of wine.

And guess who learned how to sit??? Bravo, Antoni!

On Christmas Eve, Alex’s sister got engaged! Her boyfriend played their favorite song and proposed before dinner, in front of everyone. We were all in tears! As you can see, Toby was awestruck, and now he’s totally obsessed with weddings. He has asked me if I’m married about 1,000 times. And he often tells me, with a very serious expression, “I’m not married, Mama. I’m just a bachelor.”

After Palm Springs, we drove to L.A. for a week…

My mom met us there, which was such a treat! In the photo above, she was indulging me by trying on the plumberry lipstick I’m obsessed with:) She was also a really good sport and played Cards Against Humanity with us, although the cards were so inappropriate that she laughed too hard to say them and made us read them for her!

We stayed in a sweet Venice apartment, which we booked through Kid & Coe, the kid-friendly vacation rental website. It was our first time staying in one of their homes, and it worked out really well: Toby loved playing with the toys (especially the trains and airplanes), and they had a crib for Anton, which made packing that much easier.

One afternoon we went to Blue Plate Oysterette, where we had fish sandwiches and Anton flirted with the waitress.

Afterward we went by the Santa Monica Pier, and my mom taught Toby the joys of whack-a-mole.

Another afternoon, we went to the James Turrell retrospective at LACMA. Have you seen his stunning light installations? And I was surprised by how each color affected our moods—the pink room, above, immediately mellowed us all out. Other rooms felt like haunted houses—you’d have to creep down a pitch-black hallway, holding onto the wall, until you turned a corner to see all different shades of light. The exhibition was fantastic. (Sadly, we only got to see half before we had to hurry home for the boys’ naps!)

Finally, on one of our last evenings, we discovered sledding on the beach! We had no idea this existed! We borrowed a round sled to take the Venice Pier and actually got up to some pretty good speeds:)

Anyway, it was such a great trip and we miss California already! Sending a big kiss westward :) Hope you had a wonderful holiday!! xoxo

Here’s a video of sledding that my friend took:)

P.S. Our Christmas trips over the past three years, if you’d like to see.