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  • Writer's picture Jana

Winter Holiday Break:Day 1 and Counting. Backpacks, Passports, Contemporary art and Chinese Food!

I have spent the last month or so planning our Winter Holiday Break Staycation. Since we are not traveling, I wanted to make our break feel like a really special vacation for the kids. There is no shortage of fun and interesting things to do in Los Angeles. If you get creative, it can feel like you've gone on a fantastic vacation. We hope you'll have fun joining us over the next two weeks as we embark on an epic Los Angeles Staycation.

Right off the bat I have to confess that I can't really take a full two weeks off from all duties and responsibilities. With four kids, nothing (not even Christmas) lets you off the hook from the day-to-day drudgery. My goal is to keep the drudgery to a minimum, both for the kid's sanity and my own. That said, that is more difficult to accomplish when you don't jet off to some exotic locale, leaving all your cares behind.

Speaking of drudgery, we started the day with the not-so-fun task of cleaning out backpacks, not properly cleaned out, nor washed, since school started in mid-August. It's one of my yearly holiday traditions, but not one the kids relish. The emptied junk all comes out in the mudroom (left) and then the backpacks go into the washer and get hung out to dry (right). Clean at least. Mommy is so happy! By the way, I rewarded the kids with plates full of freshly made warm french toast to ease the pain of this dreaded project.

After we finished the backpack project we headed out for our day of fun. En route, we made a pit stop to get our passport photos taken, something I have had on my to-do list for months. Not too bad, at least they don't look too much like police mug shots, except for Garin's, perhaps just a bit (sorry Garin).

We then headed to see Granny and Great-granny to decorate their graves for Christmas. The cemetery was absolutely gorgeous with red poinsettias, festive wreaths and hand-decorated Christmas trees everywhere the eyes could see.

Our next stop was The Broad, the incredible museum of contemporary art in downtown Los Angeles.

The building itself was so cool, designed by Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, a British Iraqi architect, The kids had a great time riding the all-glass elevator and exploring all the interesting places and spaces.

We ended our outing with a delicious Chinese dinner in Chinatown. We dined on Slippery Shrimp with broccoli, Beef Steak with Honey Garlic & Black Pepper Sauce, Yang Chow Fried Rice, and Chicken Low Mein. For dessert we had the most juicy fresh orange slices and fortune cookies. My fortune read, "Your investments of time now will lead to success later." I thought that rather fortuitous.

When we got home, we all had hot baths and then started this wonderful National Geographic documentary, Welcome to Earth, with Will Smith. A great start to what promises to be a magical Winter Break.

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