On Friday, I decided to take advantage of our recent heat wave and the fact that I didn't have to work (I had a fabulous 3 weekdays between end of old job and beginning of new one) by taking Vivian to the beach.
I am ashamed to say that, despite living in California all of my life, I very rarely go to the beach. Many years, the only beach trip was when we went to Lake Tahoe. But not this year. I have resolved that I will not spend the summer bitching that it's too hot, and gawd I wish we had a pool. If the water cannot come to me, then I will go to the water!
Having very little experience with LA's beaches, my first stop was the Heal the Bay Beach Report Card. The news is always full of the latest unhealthy report, so I wanted to make sure everything was safe before I put Vivian in the water. And I knew that didn't want to drive very far, because if Vivian wasn't happy, I didn't want to be stuck in traffic for hours trying to get home.
After much web surfing, I decided to try out Mother's Beach in Marina del Rey. The only cost was $6 parking, but you park so close -- no long schleps with baby and gear -- that it was worth it. The beach is protected by the marina, so there are absolutely no waves to worry about. Vivian loved it. I sat her down on the wet sand and she just started crawling out into the water as fast as she could.
We got to the beach at about 11:30 a.m., and stayed until 2:30, which ended up being just about perfect -- she napped in the car both ways, so she was in a good mood for most of the time. The beach also has picnic tables, and even barbeques, so next time, I'll plan to bring a bit more food. Vivian and I made friends with some other parents and kids, and just had a great time hanging out together. It was a great day.