The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Archive of ‘Hikes’ category

Spitfire Grill & Topanga State Park

I am writing in my pjs, a hoody & some Smartwool socks. But only a few weeks ago it was hot here. Like really hot. We decided to take a hike in Topanga Canyon. Packed up the kids, the water bottles, sunscreen, Chariot, snacks, dog, leash and ourselves, got in the car & drove up to the trail. We learned the hard way to bring some form of jogging stroller for tired little people so that we don’t end up carrying anyone. By the time we got there it was even hotter.

I am too hot to remove this hat.

Who decided to put Bea in black yoga pants?

(Btw: I just realized when adding the link to the park that the dogs are NOT allowed on the trail. D’OH! If you are looking for a dog-friendly hike where dogs can be off leash – try Westridge. It’s a fun hike but there is NO shade!)

As we started the ascent, the front wheel fell off of the stroller. The pin that holds it in was stripped so there was no quick fix. From there we pushed it on 2 wheels. The only one having fun was the dog and with a black coat, even he was burning up.

After about 20 minutes with the broken wheel we gave up. Between the tantrums, the heat & the wheel we admitted our defeat & headed back to the car.

On the way home we decided to stop over at Spitfire Grill for lunch. It’s a little spot by the Santa Monica Airport that happens to be across the street from a nice dog park & playground.

I had eaten lunch there a few lifetimes ago when I worked at SimEx in the Santa Monica Business Park. The meal wasn’t memorable. But we weren’t going there for the food.

When we got there we sat on the patio. There were other dogs out there, lazing in the shade. Bea was asleep so we put her back in the front wheel-less Chariot and ordered a couple of $3 mimosas.

Not my typical post-hike beverage but since we didn’t really hike, what the hay?

The kid’s menu is pretty standard:

Maddie is the only kid I know who prefers a salad to fries. Or adult for that matter.

So relaxing with Bea asleep.

Agghh!! Bea woke up.

Post-nap daze

As you can see from the menu, the vegetarian options are few but perfectly fine. I got “The Glider” (“Roasted red peppers, baby spinach, avocado, tomato & daichon sprouts on a grilled herb focaccia with pesto and melted jack cheese”) Tasty!

G actually got a hot pile of ribs. It was like 90 degrees out and there he was tearing hot meat off bones. [No photo, luckily.]

We took a look at the Happy Hour menu.

I don’t find the appetizers compelling. The well drinks are good deals. Anyway, I’m not doing a Happy Hour recommendation on this post as I wasn’t there for it!

In a nutshell: here’s one way to handle Spitfire Grill: eat there during the day on the patio. Perfectly kid-friendly lunch/early dinner spot. Take your dog and you can run over to the dog park to play before or after. If you don’t have a dog, take your kids to the park across the street to burn off some steam. If you don’t have kids or a dog, you’re SMART!

Feel free to share any comments about the Happy Hour or any other park of the SM Airport campus.

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Nerd alert!

My brother came to town last month. We took him to the park. The only reason we call him a nerd is that he’s an avian ecologist. Bird nerd.

We’re just jealous.

Allison had to stay behind with Stella. Rats!! But she (Stella, that is) doesn’t fly coach.

Went out to eat at Miyako’s.

M likes the cooked shrimp sushi. My own struggles with organization make me admire her precise shrimp stacking.

Biking home from Miyako's.

One morning we took Andrew to Clover Park.

Beer love!

I think Bea is looking forward to playing soccer with the big kids.

The girls suckered A into the TOWER. I’d like to know who installed this urine-soaked deathtrap in a children’s playground? Who?? Why??

Gratuitous tub shot.

We grilled out at home Saturday night. So nice not to have to clean up & rush off somewhere all the while trying to beat the nighttime rush.

Next morning we went for a hike at Sullivan Canyon. It was already pretty hot but the Canyon is shaded.

Bea in her hiking dress.

Someone put up a fun rope swing in there!


Mountain lion bait.

We were really hot & tired so we got us some Jamba juice & headed home.

Pup seatbelt

During Bea’s nap, Andrew & M read the books he brought them: “A Light in the Attic” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”

On the way to LAX we took Andrew to one of his favorite restaurants – Killer Shrimp. It used to be a really small/alternative place on Washington Blvd. There was one in Studio City too. It only had one dish: Cajun style shrimp. You could get it unpeeled (best!), or peeled over white rice (hypo-glycemic nightmare), or over angel hair pasta (ditto). It’s served in a spicy broth with a colander of doughy white bread, perfect for soaking up the broth. Anyway, that’s how it WAS. It closed for a few years but it’s back! Now it’s more of a large family-friendly place with a full menu. It’s not vegetarian friendly in any way though. Still, I enjoyed the grilled caesar salad (which I make better at home) and a glass of chardonnay. Nice!

Whew – I didn’t mean to do a mini restaurant review there. But since I’ve gone this far: Killer Shrimp is family friendly with a bar, an aquarium of exotic fish, indoor & outdoor seating on the marina, and TV screens to watch sports (Great!) (Not.) The kid’s meals need some tweaking. They have a mac N cheese for kids but it’s HUGE and has real cheese in it v. American cheese. My kids really didn’t like it and it also tasted like they used a lot of flour. They also have sliders though and those worked out fine. They need to work on the portion sizes and offer something besides fries for the kids though.

At first the kids were well-behaved. And by kids, I include M’s doll.

But Bea started getting restless.

Time to go!

We miss Andrew & Allison!! We can’t wait to see them again & meet their new pup, Stella.


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