Noah J does LA

Play time before we fly

Flying with an infant sounds scary—but it doesn’t have to be! Lucky for you, I was gifted the secret to airplane success from my brother, and I’m here to share. It’s cute. The flight attendants dig it. But, it only works if you’re flying American Airlines. 

The secret… is in the Junior Flyer onesie! 

Ok, so you’re probably thinking, “Really, that’s your advice? A onesie? What about getting to the airport 15 minutes earlier than you normally would? Feedings during take-off and landing to equalize their ears? How about bringing a blanket or boppy pillow so your arms don’t get tired? Trying to get an empty seat beside you?”  Yes, do all of these things—these were incredibly helpful suggestions I was given. I have another secret though: you want to make friends with the flight attendants. The onesie is your ticket to friendship. Buy the onesie. You can thank me later. 

Sleep baby, sleep

Last month we went to LA. The morning of our trip started off a little rocky. Noah and I were tagging along on Aldo’s work trip, and we planned to stay with my cousins over the weekend. Aldo bought a direct ticket. I flew standby. You probably think I’m crazy for leaving our first flight with a baby up to the standby travel Gods, and, well, I am crazy. And like most of my trips, the direct flight did indeed fill up and I had to leave Aldo behind and connect in San Antonio. Um, how did I get the baby and the connection? So with a change in flight plan, plus a little miscommunication in the morning and an unfriendly gate agent, we made it to LA—and both flights went really well! Noah was a champ and earned his wings, mama got her wine, and we both enjoyed the empty seat beside us and the view from our window seat. Buy the onesie. 

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We stayed in the Redondo Beach area. While Aldo worked, Noah and I explored Redondo Beach Pier, walked the streets and parks nearby, strolled along Hermosa Beach, did some shopping, crashed a movie set. We had fun, but after a couple days the walking ruined my feet with blisters, so we also did lots of napping in the hotel room. Come Friday I was ready to be southbound on the 405.  

Watching with wonder

Noah and I found this little park near the hotel, so I’d get my morning coffee and we’d head over to the park to hang out. (Hang out = roll around on the blanket and make silly screeches.) Vacations are a bit different with a little one, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I could watch Noah all day while he takes in the world around him. He watches carefully and intently with thoughtful, curious eyes. I’m in awe of him. When people say to keep that child-like sense of wonder, this is exactly what they’re talking about. I hope he always looks at life this way. 

I hope he also learns to sleep through night. We had a pretty significant regression during this trip that required several night feedings. I know there are worse things, but please, send help! We are getting back on track now, but that was ROUGH! I think what has helped us the most is not only increasing the amount he eats before bed, but increasing his calorie intake throughout the day (just a little). Big appetite for such a little guy! 

Aldo and I had no problem increasing our calorie intake on the trip, not that we needed to. If you ever find yourself in Hermosa Beach, be sure to check out Abigaile Restaurant & Brewery. It’s hip and trendy and has gooey cheese puffs that are served with honey and literally melt in your mouth. Need I say more?? When Aldo stays in this area for work, he always goes to this place…for said cheese puffs.  

Redondo Beach Pier

Another restaurant I’d recommend in Redondo Beach is R/10 Social House, a little gastropub in the marina. We sat next to an open window and enjoyed the waterfront view with some oysters and a bottle of white wine. Our server was so sweet, and she pushed Noah around in his stroller when we couldn’t get him to sleep. Anyone who entertains my baby and brings me wine is a winner in my book. She told us about the annual Manhattan Beach Pier Lighting Ceremony coming up and sent us off with a few other must-sees, like the Hermosa Beach Farmers Market. 

The weekend was spent with family, and we had a really good time catching up—laughing at old stories and talking about life lately. We went to Balboa Island for lunch and stopped in a quaint little bookstore called Island Tales Bookshop. We left with like five Pete the Cat books and a newfound love of this series for Noah. It’s cute and catchy, with animated videos that go along with the books.

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Brunch at Old Crow Smokehouse

Aldo played in a flag football game with my cousin, Jason, and some guys from the neighborhood. When he wasn’t bent over with his hands on his knees, he did pretty well! We also enjoyed a neighborhood Friendsgiving feast, bottomless mimosas for the Cowboys game, and a walk along Huntington Beach. The weekend went by too fast, as they always do when you’re having fun with ones you love. That’s why we have to cherish the time spent together and start planning for the next visit!