We are officially back from our summer of fun in Los Angeles. Not exactly home since we are now living in hotels due to remodel delays (more on that later), but we are back in AZ. This was a summer I’ll never forget for so many reasons. I’ve always had mad love for the California coast, so I can truly say spending 7 weeks on the beach is a dream come true.
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After a two week hiatus, I’m back to the blogging world. I’ve done my best to keep up with posting pics to Instagram, but the blog, well, it fell by the wayside. The last few weeks have been full of stress, hotels and unexpected challenges. There have been more than a few tears and restless nights, but we are battling through. I promise, I’ll give you the full scoop on the remodel soon.
For those of you who may have missed my blog posts talking about why were were in LA, let me fill you in. We are in the middle of a massive home remodel. Since we are replacing just about everything in the home, we needed to move out of the house for a month or two while the workers tear the place apart and put it back together. My husband’s company is based in LA so we figured what better place to spend the summer than at the beach and avoid the Arizona heat. We rented a friend’s house in Venice Beach and had an absolute ball this summer. Here are a few of my thoughts on living the SoCal life.
- The beach. This might be obvious, but we absolutely loved living the beach lifestyle. Our friend’s place is literally 5 houses from the beach and Venice boardwalk. It was amazing. My husband still had to go work every day, but the kids and I had the all-time best summer routine: workout/park, lunch, beach, shower, dinner. I can’t even count how many hours my kids spent riding boogie boards, hunting for sand dollars and building sand castles. This is absolutely what summer is made for. If it was a tad too far to walk, we rode bikes down the bike path. There is something about the beach that is just flat out good for the soul. I love the sound of the ocean and watching the waves roll in and out. Even the days that weren’t super warm, we threw on sweatshirts and played volleyball and soccer in the sand. I already miss the beach.
- See above. It’s too good to not mention twice.
- Walking distance to awesome stuff. I absolutely love being in a community that doesn’t require a car. Supporting local markets, restaurants and shops is my kind of lifestyle. We checked out so many cute spots while we were in Venice and no need to worry about the parking, an extra drink or traffic on the way home.
- Anything you can possibly need. Gotta love a big city for tourist attractions, shopping, Disneyland and more. It is fun to be able to do anything you want to do within an hour drive (well, depending on traffic). I love big cities so much for this reason.
- Traffic. I know every big city deals with traffic, but LA traffic is no bueno. I swear every time I typed an address into my phone GPS it told me my destination was 50+ minutes away. It didn’t matter if it was 4 miles away or 20 miles away. 50+ minute commute one way? I mean, who has time for that?
- Close quarters. I’m all about community, but I don’t need to hear my neighbors talking while I’m lying in bed. I also don’t need to be able to tell exactly what time the folks next door turned in for the night. In college it was fun, but in my 30’s I feel differently and value my privacy.
- Homeless people everywhere. I’m sympathetic to the homeless, but if I’m being 100% honest, I don’t want my kids close to homeless people on a daily basis. I could hear them digging through my trash cans at night and saw multiple unhealthy outrages on the boardwalk. On a number of occasions, it made me feel uncomfortable.
- Parking is a pain. In LA, parking is rarely free. Also, we only had one parking spot dedicated to our place for the summer. That meant Kurt and I implemented a schedule where depending on the day, he or I would circle the neighborhood to find a street spot. We had to move cars or plan accordingly to avoid street sweeper mornings. We made it work, but I can’t imagine doing this every single day.
- Sand everywhere. Literally, everywhere. I absolutely love the beach, but sand is insanely messy. More than once I caught myself folding laundry on my bed and then climbing into bed for the night. Why is my bed so grimy? Obviously the sand falling out of the clean clothes, fresh out of the dryer. Nothing like getting out of the shower and stepping on a sandy floor. The beach definitely made it’s way into my home and while I love the beach, it was pretty annoying indoors.
- $$$$$$. Let’s talk dollars for a minute. Everything in this city is expensive. Whether it is housing, parking, food, wine, gas or everything else, it costs a lot of money to live in LA.
When it comes down to it, I absolutely loved every single minute on the beach this summer. However, I couldn’t be happier to get back to AZ. This summer reaffirmed Arizona is home. Would I spend the summer in LA again next year? Absolutely! Are we considering moving there? No way!
That makes me think I need to write a blog post talking all about why I love living in Arizona. Would anyone be interested in that?
Does anyone else agree with my pros and cons to living in LA? Let me know what you think in the comments!