I have been exposed to fluorescent light bulbs for far too long and with the semester coming to an end, I can’t wait to get my well-deserved break started with the fresh Californian weather we are blessed with.
For a family with an infant and a busy schedule, it can be hard to get away. Thankfully, we live in Southern California, a place that rarely sees winter days. There are plenty of locations that allow my fiance, my baby Savannah and I to escape for a daycation.
I like having a relaxed beach day, where we get to lounge in a chair for a few hours — the people around us watching and enjoying their meals in the sun — allowing us to feel the same relaxation we would find on a vacation.
I may be a beach city-born girl, but sand is not my friend and with a small baby that likes to put everything in her mouth, avoiding the shore for now is fine by me. These places offer the tranquil beach scene without the bummers of the sand.
Pacific City in Huntington Beach
This is close to home, so it is easy to make the trip with Savannah. If we were feeling really adventurous we could walk there, but with a backpack full of diapers, wipes, extra outfits for potential accidents and toys, it gets too crowded to do that.
After we park in the underground garage, an escalator or elevator takes us and the stroller to the main floor where the shops and restaurants begin.
There are several options for food, but my favorites are sandwiches from Lemonade, or sushi from The Backhouse Sushi Yakitori and Bar. Most of the restaurants onsite offer a view overlooking Pacific Coast Highway and the ocean to enjoy while dining.
There are also several resting areas with seats that offer the guests an opportunity to relax with the ocean in view. A play area for children is set up in the middle of the center, offering blue foam blocks for children to play and build with.
They appear to be so overused though that I wouldn’t let Savannah touch them with a 10-foot pole. Although the child’s play area is worn, Pacific City offers a family room that provides an area to change Savannah and nurse her if she needs to be breastfed.
Savannah loves to sit in her umbrella stroller and people watch, but her small and adorable presence usually gains the attention of most that pass by. She sits, learning and absorbing the people she is surrounded by.
Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific
The aquarium offers a day full of adventure with creatures that live in or by the sea. I am looking forward to this trip more than any other, but I am waiting until Savannah gets a little older so she can appreciate the wonder it has to offer.
I can imagine the satisfaction on Savannah’s cheeks as she feels the smooth and slimy touch of the stingrays and sharks in the touch tank in the Shark Lagoon. Her curiosity will grow with the nearby penguin exhibit, which offers a small crawl-in space that leads under the Magellanic penguins’ habitat. It will allow my little one to get a view below the water as the birds swim.
When all the exhibits have been visited, the fun continues outside the aquarium because of its location near the ocean and Shoreline Village, which offers a boardwalk lined with shops and restaurants, allowing my family to enjoy a stroll along the sea.
It is well worth the drive to Long Beach to witness the fascinating creatures of the sea to add to my daughter’s childhood experiences.
Although vacation time is limited, we make time when we can and always seek new experiences. So tomorrow, I’ll wake to my Savannah Sunrise to start another day full of responsibilities like feedings, diaper changes and work. I’ll do this with a smile that reaches across my entire face because with my daughter in the world, life is one big adventure.
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