Real Mom Time (RMT)

http://realmomtime.com

Posts reflect events experienced or observed in Real Mom Time (RMT). Or, in other words, just some random thoughts, observations, and tips from my point-of-view as a regular ol' Full-Time Mom to a high-energy boy in So Cal.

K is a winner of Top 25 SoCal Moms - 2013

What's the best part of raising a family in SoCal?

Both my husband and I are 2nd-generation SoCal natives, and all of our parents and other extended family are still in SoCal, too; we couldn't imagine making our home and raising our son anywhere else. We live in Long Beach and reside about one mile from the ocean, which means we have beachfront access 365 days a year. That's the perfect proximity for our family as we love to hunt for shells, dig in the sand, and splash in the surf during a walk down the beach. We also own a small inflatable boat and stand up paddle board so we can toss those into the back of our truck, head down to the water, and launch off of the beach for a cruise through our local canals and along our beautiful waterfront in Alamitos Bay.

We also call Long Beach the biggest small town in California. Though there's a population of almost 500,000 here, you'd never know it. Because we live in a neighborhood that was built in the 1920s, we can easily walk or bike around our neighborhood year-round to grocery shop, dine out, and visit with friends. I know, I said walking in SoCal (yes, people do this!)! And sometimes the visits with friends are completely impromptu as we always tend to run into someone we know wherever we go (or make a new friend or two)! We really love that close-knit factor about our city no matter what area of town we’re in.

Though we SoCal'ers may take the wonderful weather for granted sometimes, deep-down we're always appreciative of everything that the Southern California lifestyle has to offer for all-ages. We are grateful to live in one of the best climates and friendliest cities in the country, if not on Earth!

What's a great destination for a family vacation in SoCal?

Our family loves to take overnights to the local desert (Palm Springs, CA, and surroundings). We've grown to love the La Quinta Resort (http://www.laquintaresort.com/), which is about a two-hour drive from our home in Long Beach (CA). We started going here when our son was 2-1/2 years old; three years later, it's still T's and our family's favorite. We've celebrated a few Father's Days and birthdays here, and we've just booked a few days ahead for a quick getaway weekend for no reason at all.

The 45-acre property boasts award-winning restaurants and more than 40 swimming pools to enjoy. Yes, 40+ pools! It's as rich with history (this is where Frank Capra penned "It's a Wonderful Life" and other Hollywood legends escaped to for R&R or inspiration) as it is with recreation. Along with the pools, the resort has enough tennis courts for anyone wanting to play and a handful of PGA golf courses that regularly host pro tournaments with top-name players. There's definitely a nice mix of things to do at La Quinta... or you can do nothing at all. It's gorgeous enough of a place to just sit, relax, and look at the stunning mountain views while the kids splash about in the pool nearby (and there's always a pool nearby!).

Depending on the time of year you are reading this and clicked-through the link above, you might have gotten hit with a bout of sticker shock. While the resort costs a pretty penny in the winter months (their high season), we prefer going during off-season when the costs come way down, the temperatures go way up, and the crowds thin way out. Or better yet, we've learned to take advantage of one of many credit card getaway deals. For more information on how that works, you can read my post here: http://realmomtime.com/2012/08/21/chase-visa-amex-credit-card-lux-hotel-resort-programs/

Happy vacation planning! Wherever you decide to go in SoCal, you really can't go wrong.

What do your kids love most about living in SoCal?

Hmm, well if you want to know what my son thinks of living here, I guess we ought to ask him…

Me: "Hey, T, what do you love most about living in SoCal?"

T: “Not dying.”

Me: "OK, I’ll try again… no, T, I meant what’s your favorite thing about Long Beach?"

T: “Toy stores, my friends, and bounce houses.”

Well, I think it’s a safe bet that five-year-olds like “the usual things” that any five-year-old might like, wherever they might live!