We started out at my sister’s house. My niece had a day off of work so we grabbed her and headed to South Street. The last time I’d been there was probably 20+ years ago and it wasn’t the same but we had fun.
You can take a picnic, lawn chairs and drinks to Stewart Park from 5-7 to hear live music. It’s REALLY fun and takes care of Sunday dinner/entertainment if you have little ones. This year they have added food trucks too in case you want to take it easy re: shopping, cooking & lugging dinner that inevitably no one will eat anyway.
WHERE: Stewart Park (where 28th turns into Stewart by 10 FWY in Santa Monica.
WHEN: Sundays in August 5-7PM
WHAT: Live music (This week: Cats with Class) & food trucks (This week: Dogtown Dogs & Sweet Lucie’s Organic Ice Cream.)
BRING: Picnic blanket, chairs & beverages (Both discrete & non-discrete types…)
There is a play structure just next to the stage so kids will be doubly or triply entertained!
A few months ago a friend of mine suggested my kids & I join her one Friday morning at Malibu Country Mart. If I’d been drinking coffee it would’ve come out of my nose I laffed so hard. Not only do I hate driving & try to do as much as possible without getting into my car but I also don’t own any Lululemon yoga wear. I totally blew that off thinking, “Malibu? That’s like me going to the Valley!”
Anyway, a few weeks ago I found myself driving G’s truck to Malibu Feed Bin for some haystacks. We were having a little barnyard animal themed joint birthday party for the girls and I thought they would make up for what we lack in patio furniture, plus they’re cute!
This place is easy to find – right on the side of the PCH. I pulled in ready to get in & out in no time but it’s way too much fun so we ended up looking around! Inside (I couldn’t take pix as I was trying to keep Bea from gettingherfingersbittenoffbyaratbreakingglassesswipingdogtoysandpocketingtinyplasticfarmanimals.), they have cages of bunnies, rats, chinchillas, hamsters & I *think* a cockatiel? WOW! The girls were fascinated!
After admiring the caged animals we paid for our hay. Incidentally, I keep calling it “hay” but it was actually “straw” – a distinction that matters to people who allergic to one but not both of those! We got 4 strawstacks for $10 each. They are about 3′x1.5′ and about 1′ high if my memory serves me. Anyway, it was lots of fun for the kids to see the animals – then I drove around back to pick up the stacks.
After that I decided to finally check out Malibu Country Mart and let the girls burn off some steam. I didn’t know exactly WHERE the park was so I just found the shadiest parking spot I could and decided to explore. Next time I’ll explore with a stroller instead of a sweaty kid who gets out of a Teva sandal quicker than I can say “heat rash.”
When you drive in off of the PCH, park in a lot on the NORTH side. That’s where the playground/main food area is.
It’s basically a playground surrounded by shops (expensive shops) & restaurants. Lucky for us there are a couple of casual places to eat. And a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
There are some cheaper counter service places too. And plenty of tables under umbrellas.
After eating, we headed to the playground.
It was HOT.
My only complaint: I only found 1 single bathroom. THere was a line for it, of course. There probably is a bigger bathroom somewhere but I didn’t have time to research that! I don’t believe there was a changing table in there either (not the end of the world if your child can stand on her/his own but if you have a newborn it might be challenging.)
After eating, we went to the baby swings since they were in the much-coveted shade.
The fancy people were eating behind the swings.
Sometimes when we’re out we’re having such a nice time that I keep on STAYING out past that sweet spot. Past the time of goodness. This was one of those times. M lost her s— on the swing & tried to kick me.
Back from vakay with a longggg to do list. What the heck! Let me get you this yummy salad how-to – still good for those end of summer picnics & BBQ’s. I’m making it tomorrow for the last “Jazz on the Lawn” concert.
We ate this at a dinner party up there. I couldn’t get enough of this. Neen and I had been wandering aimlessly around Sequoia National Park all day and arrived late & ravenous. How polite of us. With Nina’s help, I tried to replicate it when I got home and I’m please with the result! This salad is so satisfying, tasty & hearty. It’s REALLY easy to make. The most time-consuming part is boiling the grain which takes about 45 mins.
Here’s all you need:
1 1/2 c uncooked wheat berries or barley (barley is cheaper & easier to find but I was out)
8 oz feta (depending how much you like)
1/3 c sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 c sliced kalamata olives
parsley to taste
1/4 c olive oil
2-3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice (about half an orange)
First, cook your grain according to package directions. You can do this a day ahead and chill in the fridge. Just be sure to drain thoroughly first.
Now drain & chill the barley. You don’t want it hot when you combine your ingredients.
NOTE: I didn’t really measure anything. I just added ingredients and tasted. That’s partly why this is such a simple salad – you can add more of things you like or have.
Combine ingredients in a large bowl.
Stir to combine and add dressing ingredients.
Here’s a rough approximation of the dressing amounts:
1/4 c olive oil
juice of half an orange
2-3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle about half that on salad & stir to coat thoroughly. Taste & adjust, adding more dressing if needed. I don’t like a puddle of dressing at the bottom of my salad so I start light & add more. The barley will absorb the dressing but I liked this as leftovers for up to 3 days.
Don’t let Maddie’s excitement fool you. She didn’t dig this.
Jazz on the Lawn
Rogelio Mitchell & Friends
Sunday, August 26
Bring a picnic/blanket and/or low chairs!
A quick trip to Marina del Rey Garden Center this morning to pick up a pumpkin. I am NOT getting paid to say this but they were SO friendly! They took our picture, gave our kids candy (thanks a LOT) and let us loose to find the bunnies (who were, unfortunately, napping.)