Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

How was your holiday? Hope you had a good, relaxing break. We got back to Brooklyn last night, after a week and a half of visiting relatives and getting a blast of that California sunshine. Here are a few photos, if you’d like to see…

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

First, we went to Palm Springs to meet up with our family — my dad and sister; all my sister’s in-laws and cousins, and Alex’s side of the family. It was a huge, noisy group, with someone invariably asleep on the sofa at all times. (I wish I’d gotten a photo of everyone!)

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

We lucked out with this beautiful Airbnb, which had a fireplace, pool and four bikes. (It’s crazy, though: Palm Springs rental houses all seem to be amazing with pools and views of the mountains.)

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

The cousins spent the days swimming, going to the playground, drinking date milkshakes, and generally acting like lunatics. (This moment cracked me up.)

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

Toby, who loves all things sartorial, wore his new goggles all day. In the evening, he turned to me and said, “Mama, DID YOU KNOW IT’S ME???” Hahaha, five-year-olds are such a funny mix of worldliness and innocence.

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

Finally, we went to the Ace, one of our favorite places, to have avocado toast and hang by the pool. It has become a Christmas tradition, ever since Toby was seven months old.

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

Next, we drove to L.A. for a couple nights. We hit up Venice Beach first thing, so the boys could splash around in that freezing cold water.

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

We stayed in a Kid & Coe rental house in Venice. They’re all family-friendly rentals, and the boys went crazy over all the toys. Meanwhile, Alex and I chilled out and drank wine and talked uninterrupted for an hour. It was a vacation miracle:)

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

Finally, after two nights in L.A., we flew back to the east coast, taking a detour to Florida to see my mom and her husband for the final long weekend.

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

My mom always plans the menu for our trip weeks before we arrive. It’s so endearing! On New Year’s Eve, she outdid herself and made salmon en croute, in which salmon, mushrooms, shallots and vermouth were all wrapped in puff pastry in the shape of a fish. She carved scales and added a peppercorn for an eye! We were freaking out, it was so delicious.

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

After a great few days of playgrounds and swimming, we headed home…

Vacation Photos: Palm Springs and L.A.

It was an exhausting week and a half (and Toby needed this flag for every flight), but overall it was one of those great trips where everything just clicked, and we felt so grateful for that.

Hope you had a good one! I’m looking forward to catching up and sharing some fun things this week. Sending lots of love your way. xoxo

  1. kj says...

    We are about to head to Palm Springs for Thanksgiving! I’m so excited and this post was really helpful. Were you able to use the pool at the Ace without staying at the hotel? I’d love to check it out…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes for sure! We stop by, swim and eat tacos! :)

  2. Your mom is adorable and her salmon en croute looks absolutely amazing! I think she should do a guest post to share the recipe :)

  3. lomagirl says...

    I thought of you when we went to the St. Monica pier! Had a great time in LA area ourselves.

  4. Sara says...

    Where do Toby’s American flag pants come from?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      american apparel! :)

  5. I love Toby’s eye wear and that he thought it “mystified” his persona! Five is an awesome age. Glad your trip was fun!

  6. maggie says...

    I hope your sister and her daughter are doing well. They’ve been in my thoughts.

  7. Melanie says...

    OMG! The picture of Anton asleep on the plane is classic. So, so sweet. Happy New Year!

  8. Rowena says...

    I noticed Toby’s temp tattoos – so cute!

  9. cappy says...

    Om gosh your funny moment with the kids reminds me of a Phish show I saw in Utah but it was Adults dancing like that!

    • Stephanie says...

      YES! I showed my husband and he asked if LSD was involved :)

  10. Amanda says...

    Your mom’s husband bears a striking resemblance to Mike from Breaking Bad!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha you’re so right!

  11. Beth says...

    Thank you for sharing! We have family in LA and we were just thinking of doing an LA, Palm Springs trip in March but the planning with two young boys. We may have to take some ideas from your trip!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, you should! it’s a really great trip. some other recommendations: on the west side of LA, we love gjelina (restaurant and take-out) and gjusta (cafe), tavern (restaurant), the santa monica farmers market (with live music and the best burritos) and the santa monica pier (kind of overwhelming for kids but fun). also, of course, lacma, and the broad looks amazing if you get free tickets in advance. palm springs is SO easy and fun; the ace is such a great place to spend an afternoon, and the playgrounds are really sweet. have fun!!!! xoxoxoxo

  12. I heart thèse photos and Palm Springs. My family takes trips every year and now there is one new baby and one coming and everyone wants another trip. I Said Palm Springs but they are not buying it to be family friendly. There’s like a lot of nices and nephews ranging from not born to 23 so it’s all about timing and my crafty persuading lol. An airnub is perfect I now have my plan lol im talking 25 people and this is brother and sisters and their kids lol oh and grand mother one aunt two cousins. Not to mention their family. I can’t take Disney world again lol

  13. Jamie says...

    I LOVE your red plaid shirt – the perfect red that isn’t too orangey! Who makes it? Thanks!

  14. Thank you for sharing about Kid & Coe! We have a 19 month old with another baby due in May, and my husband loves to travel! This site might help me be less stressed about traveling with kids!

  15. I’m jealous! Palm Springs is one of my favorite vacation spots and that Airbnb looks amazing.

    Happy New Year to you, your family and the rest of the Cup of Jo team!

  16. Heather H says...

    Kudos on surviving all that travel and you have reminded me that all the hassle is worth it for the memories.

  17. That airbnb looks fantastic! Glad to have you back, can’t wait for your posts this week!

  18. Cindy Nichols says...

    Would love the recipe for the fish in puff pastry! thanks

  19. Brianna says...

    Fun photos! I could use a tropical vacation about now. Reno has been bitter cold and I think we’re in for a long cold spring at this rate.

  20. Wow sounds like an amazing holiday! Your mom is beautiful. The kids look like they had a fun overdose!

  21. THAT VIDEO!!!

  22. That short video was hilarious! They’re off with the pixies!

  23. Oh my gosh, this was the best. Your boys are SO adorable! Happy New Year!!!

  24. As I was reading all about your trip, my kids (Luke 8, Madeleine 5) peeked over my shoulder and saw Toby and Anton’s pictures. A barrage of questions followed! “Who are THEY?” “Does Joanna have any daughters?” “What are they DOING?” I explained how you “write on the computer about your life and kids and about things mommies like”, I told them your sons’ names, and how Madeleine is born in May like Toby so they might even have been born on the very same day. All that info seemed to satisfy them and they went on their merry way. So funny. Glad you enjoyed your trip. Looks like it was wonderful.

  25. It’s funny how glad you can be for someone you’ve never met in real life, but it gladdens my heart to know you were with your sister over Christmas. If she is ever willing to share her thoughts on grieving her husband, I’d be honored to read them. Two books that have given me comfort during my grieving process are “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion and “The End of Your Life Book Club” by Will Schwalbe.

  26. Amanda says...

    What a lovely holiday you all had. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    We have family and dear friends all over the place, so your holiday and travel posts always give me hope for the fun that can be had when traveling with little ones (which will hopefully be soon for us!).

  27. The house you stayed out is beautiful! Never tried airnb but heard great things about it. Glad you got to enjoy the sun.

  28. Leigh says...

    We visited Palm Springs and Venice Beach in March for a ‘last hurrah’ trip before the birth of our daughter in August. Your trips with the boys give me hope for future travel. Isn’t visiting Palm Springs just like stepping back in time? I loved it! And that date shake was a pregnant lady’s dream!

  29. My husband and I adore Palm Springs. We’ve been there twice and will go back again and again. Haven’t tried the house rental though, but that’s a great option for a group. We stay in the Colony Palms Hotel. It’s retro and romantic and about a five-minute walk from downtown. Love the energy and landscape of Palm Springs. The tram is an awesome thing to do if you don’t mind heights. Looks like you had a great holiday!

  30. Flora Guevara says...

    We also went to Palm Spring for a couple of days (we are from LA). Have you gone to the Living Desert Zoo yet? We fed a giraffe and rode a camel there. Fun times! We also took a hike up to a 60 foot waterfall with our 3 1/2 year old at Taquitz Canyon. Totally recommend it. We also tried to ride the tram up to see some snow but the wait was 4 hours.

  31. Flora Guevara says...

    we went to palm springs too for a couple of days (we are from LA). have you gone to the living desert zoo yet? We fed a giraffe and rode a camel there ! fun times… plus went on a hike at Taquitz Canyon and saw a 60 foot waterfall with our 3.5 year old. tried to go up the tram to glimpse some snow but it was a 4 hour wait.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      the hike sounds so beautiful! my dad went on a couple hikes, but we stayed at the pool. next time i will join him:) and we went to the living desert a few years ago but i’d love to go again now that the boys are older!

  32. toby is just so cheeky in his american flag pants and goggles! such a hilarious stage in life

  33. Aga says...

    The view in the second photo is amazing! And while i generally love all photos of Anton, the last one wearing “the struggle is real” tshirt is beyond.

    Happy New Year to Cup of Jo and all the crew! Love ya guys!

  34. Angela says...

    Seriously, your mom?! Can we get a beauty routine on her? And Toby in those flag pants? I about die of cute every time!

  35. Now I understand who those people are splashing in the water in January (while I am walking around swaddled in a parka)! Happy 2016!

  36. So impressed Anton has his headphones on! My 2 year old wouldn’t put her seat belt on, and wouldn’t wear the headphones. Good thing our flight was ONLY two hours. Impressed with your stamina!

  37. So glad you’re back! I had been checking your blog for updates :) The video of the kids losing their minds on Instagram cracked me up!

  38. Carolyn says...

    Your mother is really beautiful and so young looking. Would it be possible to do a blog post about her beauty routines? Something that might give all of us other old ladies some hope? Happy New Year to you all!!

    • Heather says...

      What a great idea!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you’re so sweet to ask! that’s such a fun idea. i’ll ask her!

    • Aga says...

      I was thinking the same thing!

  39. looks like you actually had fun, which is no mean feat with kids in tow <3. Maybe next year we'll join! ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg please do!!!! that would be a dream!

  40. beautiful photos! looks like you had a great holiday. that salmon dish sounds so yummy. happy new year!

    midnight snark

  41. Amy says...

    Happy new year to you and your crew! I missed your blog and can’t wait to see what you have in store in 2016.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, amy! so sweet of you! we’re excited to get blogging again and are working on some new posts i hope you like.

  42. Sounds like a wonderful trip! But I am loving the sound of this Kid & Coe rental website! We’re planning a trip to Santa Monica in March – and with 2 kiddos this sounds perfect!! We normally use VRBO to find rental, but I will check it out!!


    • Joanna Goddard says...

      their LA homes are so great. i’d highly recommend the one we stayed in, if you’re up for staying in nearby Venice.

  43. Glad you had a good vacation! Now I am definitely dreaming of going back to California! I miss that sunshine.
    The clip of the kids is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Love it!

    Kristi | Be Loverly

  44. Where did you get that shirt in the last photo?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your note! it’s from this cute store, Cheerily:

  45. Colleen W says...

    Lovely photos!! Thank you for sharing, it looks like a great time was had. All the best in 2016!!!

  46. What lovely pictures. That airbnb looks fab. Love CA! What better way to celebrate the holiday than be with family & close to the water :) Welcome back!