Having grown up in Indiana, I have a lot of friends who could not imagine spending Christmas in a warm locale.  In 2009, my brother, sister-in-law, mom and I descended upon LA to try out the warm weather effect on our Christmas celebration.

FINAL OBSERVATION: We had an AWESOME time!

Could it have been the weather?  Well, it certainly didn’t hurt as it is pretty spectacular to hang at the beach during the day and only need a light jacket at night.  That said, since my father died unexpectedly in 2005, we’ve begun cherishing our time together as a family.  It’s a shame that it took something so traumatic to remind us that life is fragile.

No matter the stresses you’ve experienced this holiday season, remember if you’re lucky enough to be hanging out with someone who loves you and you love back, you’ve already received the best gift you could ever hope for.  Wishing you and yours all the best!  Val

Highlights from our Los Angeles trip:

 

Mom and I hanging on Santa Monica Beach.

Mom and I hanging on Santa Monica Beach.

The whole family enjoying Shutters on the Beach, a fairly swanky haunt with raging cocktails!

The whole family enjoying Shutters on the Beach, a fairly swanky haunt with raging cocktails!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding the merry-go-round at the Happiest Place on Earth (aka Disneyland).

Riding the merry-go-round at the Happiest Place on Earth (aka Disneyland).

Scenes from mom and I’s FAVORITE ride at Disneyland – It’s a Small World!!!  My brother, by the way, HATES this ride vehemently!  We made him go on it twice!  🙂

 

Scenes from my and mom's favorite ride: It's a Small World!!

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J Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa

Courtyard at the Getty Villa along the Pacific Coast Highway. The views of the ocean were magnificent!

 

Mom in front of Clark Gable's hand prints at Groman's Chinese Theatre.  He's her fave actor!

Mom in front of Clark Gable’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’s her fave actor!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who knew there were canals in Long Beach, California?!?!!  Complete with gondola rides to see the outrageous lights on display.  Naples, Italy it is not, but still well worth visiting during the holidays!

Who knew there were canals in Long Beach, CA?!?!

Sunset is the best time to start your gondola ride!

 

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My brother Eric and his wife Memory live in Shanghai, China. We all met in LA for the holidays.

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It was a Griswold Christmas for sure!

 

 

 

 

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