Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Ten Things About LA in 2009

I thought this list might make it easier for me to remember all the things I have to be thankful for in my life. 2009 was my first full year as a stay-at-home mom and it was really tough. Though there are times during the day I still wonder what the heck I'm doing, those moments are becoming fewer and far between. This next year will hopefully bring the end of diapers for R, and then life will become even better. But enough of that, here is my top ten list!

This list is in random order and entirely my opinion.

1) Kogi Truck. I don't think I can say enough about how much I like the Kogi burrito. It by itself is almost enough for anyone to live in the LA area. Once it was pouring rain and I had the boys with me. Kogi is too spicy for them so they gave the boys some toasted slider buns gratis. Nice!

2) New Hope South Bay. I've never been to a church that has so challenged my comfort zone and made me part of community outreach. I may not be in LA for life, but I will never lose the sense of mission that I've gained at this church.

3) The weather. It's going to be 72 degrees on Saturday. No complaints! H went out into the snow and has told me that he does not like it, he likes no snow.

4) LA Moms Blog. It's been great getting to know the fellow mom bloggers in the LA Moms Blog community. So many different voices in so many different areas; makes me feel more connected than I did last year. I'm fortunate enough to be mentored by @mintcool. Without her, I never would have started blogging.

5) Farmers Markets. I love being able to get fresh local produce. I'm not saying I do it that much but knowing that there is the option of going to a different farmer's market every day of the week makes me feel like I am not stuck with eating garlic from China or apples from Chile. One of my favorites is the original farmers market next to The Grove. Once I got raspberries and blueberries there for $.99 in the height of berry season. So good. You'd never see those prices in Manhattan. Of course I also love the original farmers market because Bob's Doughnuts is there--best doughnuts in LA.

6) Koreatown. I've never lived in a place (other than Korea) where you could get a full dish with banchan for $4.99. There are a ton of those sullongtang places in K-town. So good.

7) Disneyland. I've been to Disneyland/California Adventure 5 times this year and I don't have an annual pass. I think I've made up for all the times I didn't get to go when I was a kid. It really is the happiest place on Earth!

8) International Moms Club. I went to the Founders Day lunch in February and heard Dr. Laura speak. A lot of people don't like her, but she gave me what I needed at the time--validation as a SAHM. It's really tough sometimes to be in such a thankless job. So many people think that I am on some sort of vacation. I no longer talk to those people. If you're an at-home mom, definitely find your local chapter and join. I don't think I would have survived this year without the Moms Club. I guess this isn't technically LA specific, but it is for me since I never would have joined without having moved here.

9) The Strand. Without it, I would not be able to fit into my clothes. The dolphin at one end is something I use to keep the kids willing to sit in the double stroller. I'm not sure why they like to climb on it but it never fails to engage them. (photo from wikipedia, Joelle Leder)

10) The weather. Did I mention that already? Well, it's definitely worth mentioning twice because H went swimming in our outdoor pool last week, something that probably wouldn't happen in winter in any other place I've lived.

I couldn't mention Legoland because that's technically in the San Diego area but that's another place we love. I can even take the kids there by myself because there are so many free play areas they enjoy.

So get out there and experience all the good things in LA. While you still can. I'm convinced it will fall into the ocean when the Big One hits, but hopefully that is a long ways away. Hello 2010!

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