Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas in Beverley Hills

There is always much to do in LA. It is challenging though to find things to do that are cheap and fun and children accesible. Sure, if you have about a gazilion dollars lying around, which it appears everyone does down here, then you are laughing. Entertainment abounds! We aren't rich by any stretch and we definitely aren't the types to go spending tons of money on entertainment. So when I found this cute and perfect sounding Saturday afternoon for somewhere between 5-10 dollars, I was stoked!

We drove into Beverley Hills which is about a 12 minute drive from where we live. Not too bad at all. Parking can be an issue down here so we jumped on the first public underground parking lot we found. Only to realize as we drove in that it was valet parking. This for some reason made us very uncomfortable and we assumed it would cost too much money or we looked ridiculous with our little Nissan Cube getting valet service. It ended up being free for the first two hours and we felt like ballers. The day was off to a good start. 

Rodeo Drive is a luxury shopping road/mall area. Most 'malls' down here are outdoors but pedestrian only. They tend to be gorgeous with white, colonial architecture and huge old trees lining the brick walkways. Every single door had not a fingerprint on it and sold clothing or jewellery worth more than my entire existence. We felt out of place but were there to hop on a Beverley Hills Trolly and find Santa. Lennon was wearing a little black dress and of course looked like she was born to be there. Until she started blowing raspberries on the glass window of some security guarded jewellery store, leaving mouth prints and sticky candy cane handprints as a memento of her appreciation for the finer things in life. 

We quickly found a woman dressed in Christmas type clothing and talking to a small group of parents and kids. Lennon was stoked to meet Mrs Claus and me and James quickly noticed she was either way too into her character or drunk. Either way, she was entertaining. The trolly was crowded but fun as we sang christmas songs, Lennon shook her booty, and we drove up and down the streets of Beverley Hills, looking at 3 million dollar cars, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Buglari and the magnificent homes perched on top of a half a block each with perfectly city maintained front yards. Finally, just as Lennon was about to get antsy, we arrived at the Paley Center for Media. 

Here, we found Santa, telling a very animated rendition of the Night Before Christmas, cookies and hot chocolate. The event was sponsored by Time Warner and so the photos with Santa were free, as was the hot chocolate and cookies. Lennon was immediately terrified of Santa, clinging to me and asking repeatedly where Daddy was, who was right beside her. All the Americans budged in front of our mild tempered Canadian selves and we ended up going last. Lennon didn't mind. She probably would have preferred skipping the entire sit on a strange man's lap thing. When we finally made our way up there, she wouldn't let go of me, holding her legs up so she didn't have to sit on Santa's lap. I squatted beside her and she requested her Daddy be close to. You can never be sure of this Santa guy. She fussed and almost started crying until the photographer grabbed her attention. The moment she realized there was a camera, she stopped fussing, sat on his knee and smiled her perfect little smile. I love that they caught us both looking at her. She draws people's attention wherever she goes!

In a small theatre they were playing classic Christmas movies, and throughout the center were displays of original puppets from the classics we all know and love like Rudolph. 

Although we have found ourselves really missing home these days, it is getting out of our routine and really enjoying all that we have to experience down here that helps this feel more manageable. Especially during the holidays when you get to enjoy family and friends the most. We will always love the charm of a snowy tree and cold fingers warmed by hot cocoa but there is something so unique about palm trees and sunglasses for the holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

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