**While I was working on this post a terrorist drove a van into the crowd on Las Ramblas in Barcelona killing 16 and injuring many. I feel sick thinking about it.**
Looking back now I’m not sure how we did it but we somehow coaxed the girls to visit the original Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. It was an easy walk from La Sagrada Familia.
The Hospital was absolutely gorgeous architecturally and reminded me of “A Cure for Wellness” which I haven’t seen. Lol.
the cool basement provided refuge from the heat
Another underground tunnel.
Everywhere we turned there were gorgeous details to admire. Everything is so new in the United States and seems to be constructed with much less thought/design due to the pace of modern life.
There is a new Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau now but we didn’t visit that one as it’s a working hospital.
After wandering we took a cab over to Park Guell which sits atop Carmel Hill in Barcelona and was designed by Antoni Gaudi. Read more about its origins here.
NOTE: access to most of Park Guell is free but if you want to visit the Monumental Zone you need to buy tickets. We bought ours a day or two prior via the website.
Park Guell Monumental Zone tickets
You will want the tickets for sure!
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.
We happened upon the Magic Gardens:
Outside The Magic Gardens
M was pretty grumpy as we’d just flown in the night before and it was pretty hot. Ok forget the excuses – that’s her default mood.
We had lunch at this largely empty pub. Free air hockey and a local cider, what more could you ask for?
Rachel and me at a pub
After lunch we headed to Smith Memorial Playground. Acres of playground
When I was a kid we at times sprayed furniture polish on the wooden floor, put socks on and slid back & forth. Some genius translated this to a slide!
You grab a gunny sack, run around the walkway and WHEEEEEEEEEEEEeeee down you go!
This little fellow helped us up at the bottom.
Texting & sliding.
No texts were harmed in the filming of this slide.
Not a bad “Intro to Summer Vacation.”
G and I had the idea to take the van on a road trip in a circle around the country. So we bought a map and started planning the drive. Holy Toledo (NOT one of our destinations) we’d never have time to actually get OUT of the van if we did this. Not only that but our plan had us passing through the deep south in late July. You can FORGET THAT!
We decided I’d fly east with the kids and see everyone we could while we were there. We’d meet G later on.
Christina: Thank god for Jet Blue and its TVs! Keep these kids off my BACK.
M knows "Real Housewives of Orange County" is not appropriate for a 7 year old.
Plenty of bribes made the flight go smoothly.
Part 2 Vacation
M only missed one day of school so I told her she could play hooky towards the end of the year. We wanted to pick strawberries at Underwood Farms in Moorpark but couldn’t face the weekend crowds.
If you haven’t been, it’s about an hour from Los Angeles.
Maddie put on Aunt Charlotte's jean jacket to wear to the farm
Patsy embroidered it!
It started out foggy and cool. Going on a weekday is key. Going early is best. The parking lot is almost empty.
When you arrive, you pay the entrance fee and can buy a bunch of tickets. This is the time to get a few tokens for the cars as well as some carrots for the animals.
We had the place mostly to ourselves at first.
No line for the pony ride.
I don't feel good about this but am too lazy/wishy-washy to say no.
M remarked that the ponies looked pretty bored.
Empty bouncy house = best bouncy house
Mama & baby pig
We also picked LOTS of strawberries but my hands were too full to snap any pix. They are very inexpensive when you pick them yourselves.
After a full day we grabbed a bite at In-N-Out and headed home around 4PM.
Lunch at In-N-Out finished a fun day
This is a fun day. You don’t need a stroller because they have wagons to haul your kids/bags/water bottles & produce around.
- sneakers/socks (flip flops will get kind of grody)
- snacks (they have a food bar but it’s not always open)
There are two farms: Somis and Moorpark. Moorpark is the one with all the extras (besides produce picking): bouncy house, animals, petting zoo, pony rides, and in the fall, a corn maze. They also have a produce market on the way out. Somis I believe is much smaller and is primarily for picking produce.
Moorpark Farm Center
3370 Sunset Valley Road
9am-6pm (during daylight savings)
9am-5pm (during standard time)
Open March-Thanksgiving and weekends through Christmas
Closed Thanksgiving Day.
$6.00/person weekends and major holidays
Children under 2 are free.
A month or so ago we met Lyn in Chinatown (Los Angeles that is) for some dim sum.
Afterwards we descended the steep staircase
to head over to The Bob Baker Marionette Theater to see “The Nutcracker.”
There goes Lyn in the industrial elevator.
We met at the Theater. Founded in 1963 it’s the oldest children’ theater in LA and several years ago was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (Wikipedia). G had taken the girls a year or two ago and last November, after Bob died at age 90, suggested we go in case it shut down for some reason.
There are some chairs lining the outside of the seating area but most of the kids sit on the ground as close to the “stage” as they can.
Here comes the Sugar Plum Fairy!
Lyn got each girl a marionette after the show. Thank you, Lyn!
It was fun to see the old pix of the theater’s film work.
We had yet another fun day with Lyn!
I highly recommend this experience. You can buy tickets online from their website. They are so totally helpful and friendly – when G wasn’t able to show up they offered to refund his ticket money! We didn’t even ask (or take them up on it.)
Bob Baker Marionette Theater
1345 W 1st Street
LA, CA 90026