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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Greetings from the Darkness

This is the most darkest time in finnish climate. There's only a few hours of daylight per day, and that daylight is dim. There's wet and cold out and slush ruins your shoes. Don't get me wrong, I love Finland since this is nice and safe country to live and we have plenty of cool things* coming from our tiny, dark and weird country, but I still would like to ask from my ancesters that what the heck they thought when they settled to live in this country with the cruel climate... they had to arrive during to summer, and in the autumn time they were too lazy to move again. Or too depressed. (Yeah, yeah, we are taking our D-vitamins with Mila and using light therapy lamps to avoid seasonal affective disorder symptoms...)

But, the photographing is quite impossible for me, when I don't know nothing about lightning, and I just love natural light. I just bought a better camera so I could get even some memories saved in this pitch black winter. Finnish winter feels like never ending. I miss the sun. We miss the sun.
Finnish winter feels like...

Few weeks ago I was just wondering...why exactly we should stay in Finland since I still have my maternity leave until it's spring and our baby is healthy? SO we got this crazy, once-in-a-lifetime idea... Let's spend this winter where there is sun at least sometimes, California! So in the end of next month we are going to start our ultimate few months holiday in Los Angeles. Yay! 

Send me your suggestions what to do or try on that trip, and we might give a try and blog about that. ;)

*Angry Birds -game. Sauna. Santa Claus. Rare exports -movie. Marimekko. Salmiakki (Salty liquorice). Esa-Pekka Salonen. Sibelius. Tove Jansson and Moomins. Vampira. Designers. Computer nerds. Artists. Composers. Musicians. Filmmakers. you name it. (List of Finns)


  1. Ohhhhh, California... that sounds good, but what about your southern european neighbourgs?? We should be very happy to see you in Spain and I think they should be in Italy, too!

    I recommend you specially Canary Islands, sweet time all year sounds gorgeous!!

  2. Adele--Greetings from Northern California!

    I LOVE your Mila pix. Thank you so much for sharing them with the world.

    Just outside L.A., in Pasadena, is a wonderful place called the Huntington Library ( But it's so much more than a library!

    The main house is an art museum and the gardens are extensive and lovely. And the library has some incredible texts (Gutenberg bible, early Shakespeare folios, and more).

    It's a great place to walk and relax and just enjoy the day with your family. Have a save journey here!

  3. Of course there's the touristy stuff like Disneyland and Medieval Times and Knott's Berry Farm...all big fun! Descanso Gardens is in Pasadena, I think and I have some wonderful childhood memories there. San Diego has many wonderful things, like the zoo and Sea World. I grew up going to the Library mentioned above and it IS wonderful. Whatever you do, have fun and take lots of pics!

  4. You absolutely have to go to disney land! :) :) :)

  5. Stay away from the TSA. Don't expect consistent or fair treatment from American airport screeners.

    If Mila is up for hanging out in a carrier or stroller, definitely don't miss the Getty Museum in LA. AMAZING collection. The Norton Simon is good, too. If you'll be in LA before January 1st, try to go the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena (right outside of LA). Mila will probably love it!

    Umm, what else. The beach, of course. Maybe head up to Santa Barbara for a day or two.

    Enjoy, and safe and happy travels to you!

  6. Funny, those are the exact thoughts I have about Alaska, where we're stationed now with the military. It's beautiful, but I think, "whoever thought this looked like a nice place to live, especially when it's well below zero!" We have to stay, but have FUN in California! I'd go visit Harry Potter world, if you're into it...

  7. There is so much to see in California. In Southern California, I recommend San Diego. There's always the beaches anywhere. In San Diego you have Sea World if you want an amusement park, but there is La Jolla which has caves to explore. There's a lighthouse on Point Loma that is free and pretty cool to check out. The Central coast offers great weather in the winter months. I also recommmend Santa Barbara for its shopping and beauty. Then up the coast there's. Pismo Beach and San Luis - go to Splash Cafe in Pismo for great Clam chowder, Cambria, which has beautiful trees and the beach-plus hearst castle.
    Inland, I recommend Sequoia Nat. Park and Yosemite. While snow may be a factor and it will be cold, there is an amazing beauty there and it is still sunny most of the time. There's so much more! Have fun!

  8. I'm not very familiar with the L.A. area, but let us know if you decide to take a weekend trip to Northern California. I grew up in the San Francisco bay area and I live in Sacramento now (about a 2-hour drive northeast from San Francisco), and I can tell you Northern California has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world! Plus fabulous museums, theaters, restaurants, you name it.

  9. You have to see San Diego, I love it, love the beach. Also Sequoia National Park and Yosemite. Hearst Castle in the north....there is so much to see...enjoy your time.

  10. I've lived in Southern California my whole life - lots of sun, even when it's chilly out. I second the idea ofthe Huntington. Along with the art and library, it is also filled with various botanical gardens. Since you'll beoming during the winter, they might not be terribly colorful, but it still makes for some lovely walks.
    Disneyland is a must. I took my baby when he was 5 months and 9 months, and he did really well. The second trip especially, he just loved taking in all of the sights. We're going again next week, in fact, and he'll be just a couple days shy of 17 months - can't wait to see how he does.
    There's tons to do here - you definitely won't be at a shortage of ideas. One more - if you've never seen the desert, head out to Palm Springs for a few days. Great weather durig the winter, and we've got a really relaxed atmosphere out here.

    Happy traveling!

  11. The San Francisco Bay area is a great place to visit! You can drive down the coastal highway and stop in Pismo Beach, Cambria, Carmel and Monterey along the way:) Don't forget a day with the Redwoods and Napa as well.

  12. I'm in southern California- come visit me! :)
    We always do Disneyland, especially during the Holiday season. It's truely magical there. Of course, you must go to San Diego at least one of the days- it's so pretty there. Have fun while you're here!

  13. Yay! Exciting! Mila will love the water. There is good sand for building castles. on Santa Monica beach. :)
    There is lots of great hiking in the Los Angeles area. I highly recommend Topanga State Park.
    If you can make it all the way out to Joshua Tree State Park that place is amazing as well.

  14. Eat out. LA has great restaurants. My absolute favorite is Portos--a wonderful Cuban bakery with three locations. Guelaguetza is also wonderful for Oaxacan food: Also, you MUST go to Glen Ivy if you want to enjoy the sun. It's the best day spa and is pretty inexpensive. And if you like fabric head to the fabric district downtown. Oh, I wish I still lived there, I would take you all those places myself.

  15. Hello Mila, I love your pics!

    Nice to hear that you are taken some vacations out of the hard winter in Finland, but in spring you will come back, won't you? Because I've lived in Finland and in spring there you can see the most intense green ever! Trust me, I'm Spanish and we have beautiful landscapes in here... but summer and spring in Finland is just too much, I loved it! Winter there is just the price you have to pay for them... ;.)


  16. I'm in Southern California! Great choice :)

    I agree with everyone else, Disneyland is absolutely magical anytime of year and a great experience. I love going there.

    Also, the beach. Drive straight to the coast and dig your toes in the glorious sand. Build sand castles and play in the waves and just enjoy the beautiful beaches. Don't worry they are beautiful all the way up and down the coast so if you visit San Diego or Los Angeles or Santa Barbara you will still get beautiful beaches.

    Have an amazing trip! The weather is fantastic here and we definitely get more than a few hours of sunlight! :)

    Let me know if you need more suggestions!

  17. Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce is a wonderful place to hike.

  18. Oh wow! That sounds amazing! I have no suggestions since I don't live near LA, but I'm sure you are getting plenty of ideas from your other readers! Safe travels!

  19. Mila must go to Disneyland and get a picture with Mickey. :)

    Depending on what you and your husband enjoy, there is so much to do here in California. The wine country (Napa/Sonoma) is beautiful, San Diego - Southern California - is fun (museums, beaches, Hotel del Coronado), Santa Barbara - in Central California - is beautiful and quaint (State Street, beaches, the Mission, bed and breakfasts, shops)...if you like the outdoors, Yosemite is gorgeous. San Francisco - Northern California - is a fun city, but it can be windy and cold there (the Golden Gate Bridge is quite a sight and there are some great restaurants.)

    Check out Sunset Magazine's website for ideas:
    Hope that helps. I am SO GLAD you're taking some time off and getting away and into the sun! :)

  20. Get out of the city for a drive along the coast! If you're starting from L.A., take the 90 fwy south 'til it turns into Pacific Coast Highway. Then just head north. If you're looking for strictly local things to do first, you can go hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains (get in touch with this group, which has many group hikes there: Head toward Santa Barbara and beyond--visit Hearst Castle, Solvang (a quaint, small Dutch town); rent bikes and go for a day ride on the South Bay Bike path which stretches along 26 miles of Southern California through Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Torrance; visit San Pedro's Ports o' Call and Fisherman's Wharf, as well as the Queen Mary in the Long Beach Harbor while you're there… the list goes on! The beauty of SoCal is that there's something for everyone, and if you get an itch for snow when there's real sunlight, head for the mountains--Big Bear is just two hours away, Mammoth is five hours north. Have fun, and welcome to our sunny paradise!

  21. I am in LA too! I recommend Griffith Park which contains, among other attractions like a zoo and western museum, a wonderful observatory. If you buy a book called "Walking L.A." you will discover so many interesting neighbourhoods in this diverse and beautiful city, while getting exercise :-) La Brea Tarpits and the LA County Museum of Art have to be on your list too :-)

  22. If you're going to be in CA for a few months, you should really explore as much of the state as possible! Drive north up the coast highway, get down to San Diego, go inland to the mountains (although maybe you'll want to be avoiding snow) and see Yosemite! Enjoy :)

  23. P.S. When you're at Disneyland, you should check this out:

  24. So glad you are making your way to my part of the world. I am in San Diego and there are few GREAT things to see!
    You have (as someone else pointed out) the Hotel del Coronado, The "must not miss" San Diego Zoo, The Midway Naval Ship Museum, harbor cruises and our fabulous Gas Lamp district. That is all in the city of San Diego. In our northern part of the county there is the wineries, The San Diego Wild Animal Park. The beaches are nice too. In the mountain area is Juliam.. a beautiful sleepy little town known for their amazing apples. And in between LA and SD is Anaheim. Of course this is home to Disneyland, The Happiest Place in the World. Whether one has children or not, if you are in Southern CA, you HAVE to go ~ but plan a two or three day trip so you can go to both CA Adventure and D-land itself.

    Have a safe and fabulous trip! Looking forward to your blogs from our little piece of heaven.

  25. Holy crap!!! my part of the woods!!!!!

    Well for sure, Disneyland probably :)

    Another suggestion would definitely have to be the beaches :) Possibly along the Santa Monica Pier.

    Or the zoos (one in san diego and another in los angeles)

    Love the camera selection! Can't wait to see the pictures :)

  26. I live in Alaska and I hear you about the darkness. I'm really looking forward to winter solstice!

  27. Ohhhh, I am SO jealous ! I'm on maternity leave also but stuck here in Finland :(
    Do you have friends/family in California or are you just going "on your own" ?

  28. Hi, I am a Finnish Mom living with my family (husband+three little kids) in LA :)! We moved here a year ago. As people have already told you, Griffith Park, Getty Museum are some must-places for you guys to see.. Of course you can experience here some great music, too! And Santa Monica is a cool place to hang around! And be sure to make a weekend trip to see the giant trees (e.g. Sequoia National Park).. it is like a fairytale forest from Mila's dreams! If you want my contact information, I'm happy to send it to you :)

  29. wow, I think that centuries ago climate over there was milder and warmer. they even say people cultivated grapes in Scotland and made wine out of it.

    and Finland isn't too far to the North in comparison to Scotland) so maybe your ancestors sunbathed in their backyards in late September))

  30. gosh! i am your exact opposite. i live in brazil where there is lots of light... not so much for saffety matters though.

    well, sending you both sunny vibes from down south.

  31. WOOOO!!! I would love to live in LA for a few months. I would suggest going to Legoland at some point. I have never been, but I desperately want to go!

    hmmm...what else. Well there's always Disney. And the beach...and when we went last summer my boyfriend and I went to The Price is Right! It's an all day affair, but it was so fun. And totally worth the 5 seconds we were on tv :) Oh and it's free!

  32. I am originally from LA and there is LOTS to do. But most importantly , go to the beach! even if it is winter and cold... it is still beautiful. There are lots of museums, parks, HOLLYWOOD.... I love it. OH, and DISNEYLAND!

  33. Call me biased but if you want a few months of sun, then you should come to the ultimate summer city of Sydney, Australia. Here we have sun, the best beaches in the world, harbour and amazing light for photography! Also plenty to do in this cosmopolitan city! :)

  34. I lived in Oulu for two and a half years and Helsinki was a welcome relief from Oulu in regards to light!

    You could come for a holiday to Australia, it is suitably light and hot here!

    I loved your pictures by the way and I'm sorry people abused them.

  35. What a great idea! Coming up with that kind of idea proves that your vitamins are working!!

  36. Wow, girl, you have so many friend with so many wonderful ideas. This should make your time there much more enjoyable. I never knew that Finland had so little sunlight during winter. It would be very depressing for me. I am so glad you have found an alternative. Have fun and keep in touch with us.

  37. I would think you'd like the Getty Museum in LA, it's ideal for seeing photographs and taking them too.

    I hope Mila has been to Moominland :) Sdaly I visited on the off season so no Moomins for me.

  38. Come to Australia!! Plenty of sunshine and friendly people to meet.
    :- )

  39. A greeting from Palm Springs, CA – the weather today is 72º, sunny, clear and beautiful. I lived in LA for many years and there is definitely plenty to see and do there… The Getty Museum is amazing, Santa Barbara is heavenly, San Diego is one of my favorite places in California, BUT – Palm Springs is clam, relaxing, kick-back and most of all SUNNY! I suggest you do some research on-line on this part of the state, you’ll find it very appealing!!

    Thank you so much for sharing the pictures of your little angel, Mila – they are beautiful!!!

  40. Hmm, California is OK, I guess. It's not as exciting as you think, but what the heck, Come if you want. You might see us! PS. Come to the Yosemite Lakes Park and visit us! I would love to meet Mila. Love,
    Hannah, 9, CA
    PPS. More photos please!

  41. im in orange county! we have very friendly winters! Have fun!!!

  42. Oh, I could not handle that kind of darkness. Our best to you and your family. I hope there will be more pictures of little Mila as book covers. I hope her teeth are coming in well and mom and dad can sleep at night.

  43. Asuin Kaliforniassa 14 vuotta, ja veljeni asuu vieläkin Newport Beachissä. Sieltä löytyy tekemistä joka päivälle, riippuu vaan siitä mitä haluaa tehdä. Kaliforniasta löytyy paljon muitakin suomalaisia. Ota vaikka yhteyttä Suomi-kouluun: Jos lähdette joulukuun lopulla, taitaa joulujuhla jäädä väliin, mutta sieltä löytyy paljon mukavia ihmisiä, ja varmasti hyviä suosituksia siitä mitä pitäisi tehdä.

    Disneyland on tietysti must paikka käydä, jos olette tarpeeksi lähellä, voitte myös miettiä kausilipun ostamista, jottei tarvitse yrittää ahtaa kaikkea yhteen päivään pienen lapsen kanssa. Rantoja riittää. Kalifornia on niin suuri paikka, että pitäisi oikeastaan tietää mikä kiinnostaa, jotta osaisi suositella mitään. Voit laittaa postia jos haluat, ja voin antaa lisää suosituksiakin.

  44. We go to California a lot. I would recommend that you go and relax, than ask around and find things that interest you. There is so much to see and do there. There are plays in LA, there are the amusement parks, the music, Fisherman's market, and so many more. We have had lots of foreign exchange kids who love California. Most of them love to go to the outlet malls that dot the landscape and spend money. I guess the same things in their countries are much more expensive, so decide what you need, breath, and find things you love. I love the beach. There is a peace and a wildness there, especially in the winter months when the crowds are gone. I love the water and the crisp ocean air. I hope that you find things that you love there. I would google where ever you are going to be and look for things in the area that are suited to your interests. Have fun!!

  45. I would definitely recommend the San Diego Zoo! it's a bit of a drive, but it is amazing!! My favorite part is the cheetah, because it's best friend is a golden retriever that lives with it! It's amazing.

    I hope you guys enjoy your holidays in sunny California!!

  46. we escaped to Thailand due to the same reason -- Belarussian winters are cold, dark and dull )))

  47. Welcome to So Cal! I definitely agree with the other posters on many recommendations. But a lot depends on what you like to do. I live in San Diego (SD) so drop me a line when you get here if you would like some more info.

    LA Museums: Getty (Old and New); Norton Simon (it's been years since I've been there); LA County Museum of Art, an Asian museum (I cannot recall the name but has beautiful netsuke), and La Brea Tar Pits (dinosaur bones) all next to each other; the Huntington with its beautiful gardens, ...

    San Diego Museums: Balboa Park is full of little museums including the SD Museum of Art and a Photography Museum, etc. There is one day a month that is free. The SD Zoo is in BP too. Google for more info. The Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla - gorgeous locale, the art escapes me much of the time since I'm more of a traditionalist.

    Drives: Julian is a mountain town east of San Diego. It's a fun drive (if you don't get car sick) to stop and get apple pie and coffee. Just past Julian is the Anza-Borrego Desert which has beautiful wildflowers blooming after the winter rains; check websites for best times. Driving up the coast between Santa Barbara and Monterey is wonderful -- stop at San Simeon for the Hearst Castle. The drive up the coast north of San Francisco is one of my favorites.

    Wine: Napa Valley is heaven on earth--food, wine, nature, spas, .... Make sure to stop at the Schramsberg Winery and have some of my favorite champagne, Blanc de noirs. Closer to LA is the Ojai wine area but I haven't been there yet. To the south of LA is Temecula wine country and that is a lovely day trip. You can pack a picnic lunch since several of the wineries have picnic tables set up on the grounds.

    Hiking: Ask around. There is no shortage of great places to hike in California. Torrey Pines in SD is small, accessible, and easy to get to. Sequoia is wonderful but my favorite is Kings Canyon jsut to the north. Yosemite is beautiful too.

    Fun: Must do Disneyland! Try to go off peak times; the crowds make it difficult for me to enjoy it to the max. Winter is the best time to go to the Wild Animal Park in Escondido (north of SD). The SD Zoo is always a favorite. I haven't been to the LA Zoo in forever (20+ years!) so I can't say much relevant about it. There are several planetariums in SoCal. There are some great low tides in the winter when it is premium time to go to the tide pools. Several in the LA area and a great one in Pt Loma in SD near the Cabrillo Monument. Oh, the aquariums! Small: Birch Aquarium in SD/La Jolla -- great sea horse tanks. There's one in Long Beach. But my favorite is the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

    Food: Wow. Not enough space for that, especially the LA area. In SD, one of my longtime favorite restaurants is Parkhouse Eatery. Extraordinary Desserts on 5th and Quince in SD is a nice stop for coffee and dessert before or after Balboa Park. Best to ask around, especially if you can pick a style of food of interest to you.

    Gardens: This is So Cal -- they are everywhere. Descanso and Huntington are two top picks. Balboa Park has gardens; so does the New Getty.

    Beaches: Everywhere. Many with their own vibe. Explore and enjoy!

    Odds and Ends: The Wayfarers Chapel on Palos Verdes Peninsula is a nice stop. Rogers Gardens in Corona del Mar is always decorated for Xmas. SF is a great place to go and explore. Mammoth Lakes is some seriously beautiful mountain scenery and skiing.

    I also recommend checking out It's the website for a magazine that has been covering the Western USA for decades. Also the Automobile Club of Southern California ( is a great source of maps and activity planning info. The have offices all over California. A year's membership costs around $40 -- It's a worthwhile investment.

  48. don't know what's worse so little daylight or no rain! It's the end of November now and still hasn't rained here in Israel!

  49. Just one thing I would like to add. You understand that California is really quite large, and we Californian's think nothing of driving a few hours to go someplace interesting. A lot of the places suggested are quite removed from one another, but are completely excellent suggestions! I hope you can do all of it!

    For instance: I live near enough to San Francisco, that very many people drive every day for work. It's a two hour drive on a good traffic day. From here it's 5 1/2 hours of driving to Los Angeles.
    The roads are quite good, but often slow with traffic. You'll quickly learn about the rush hour traffic and will negotiate like a local in no time.

    Have a wonderful trip! What a great idea! You are a brilliant woman!

  50. Wow! So much comments and great suggestions!

    I have to confess, I've been in California before. I spent whole summer holiday´97 there when I was 18 and just graduated from high school. It was a youth exchange program through one big organization. I lived few weeks in Grass Valley and almost 2 months in Burbank&L.A. I visited San Francisco few times and also Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento etc. So I know a little what to expect. I loved the humming birds, great nature, smell of fresh fruits and happy people... although people seem to sit in their car so many hours of their life when all the places required traveling with the car. In Finland I use car rarely. I prefer walking and public transport.

    I met so many great people on that trip, but I was too young and silly, so I didn't stay in touch with anyone. I got a nickname: ZsaZsa, 'cause I was a little blonde(back then) diva with an attitude and my spoken english is...well, funny. :D Well, I hope we could get new friends from this trip. I'm not super-social person and as a finn I might be a bad with the small talk, but I still enjoy to get to know new people, especially if we have something in common.

    2 years ago we visited California & Nevada again, we got married in Las Vegas! But that time L.A had those awful snow blizzards in the december. So we couldn't drive to Las Vegas like we planned, but luckily we got the last plane to make it in our own wedding! We got married in that famous Little white chapel. It was hilarious and emotional in the same time. After that we got stuck in Texas, because of the weather, and spend our first night of honeymoon in a cold and dark airport hotel. Oh my. :D

    So things we really like in life and perhaps in L.A:

    - Old fashion diners and cool restaurants. Food.
    - Beach and Sun.
    - Movies! We are total movie freaks. Well, it's my hubbys job too as a film composer. I've seen Universal Studios and Disneyland before, but I will drag him and Mila there too. And movie-inspired trips would be fun! Wine tasting trip like in Sideways...or something like that.
    - Art and design. MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art, will be our one destination for sure. Maybe we will make a trip to New York too to see MoMa. I'm so sad that I missed Tim Burton -exhibition 2009!
    - I really really love stop motion animation and animation. I would give anything (expect Mila and my body parts) to get visit in Pixar (or anyplace where people really make stop motion). Actually our first date was in Pixar exhibition in Finland. I was laughing so much to "Birds" -shortfilm that I nearly peed my pants. It clearly broke the ice...
    - Creative and fun people.

  51. Ahhh, I wish I could do the same! My maternity leave will end at the end of next month and I'll be back to my real world... and I live in Ireland, also very dark place to live in many ways lately...

    While you are in California, make sure to head to Hangchinton beach. I was there over ten years ago and loved it bits!
    Have a great time and looking forward to hearing from you again.

  52. Hi, I am Antonio, I loved your photos from their very beginning.
    I live in Cagliari, south Sardinia, Italy.
    I dont' know if it could be a place for you to come to live,
    (I think you love too much your country to go really away...)
    but Sardinia is a beautiful place to know, and to leave here a piece of heart.
    We have a long beach near by the city, oriented to south, and even during winter
    there are warm sundays when we go to the beach with a book, a dog, a girl or the children...
    (search "poetto cagliari" on google or youtube).
    I just wished to say it to thank you for sharing your lovely photos, strips and thoughts.
    From Sardinia, love

  53. Oh, i´m so jealous... :-))) I have to stay here in the darkness and really cold Finland. I love California. If you have the opportunity, I think you should go to San Diego and show Mila the zoo. San Diego´s Zoo is the best Zoo in the world. Nothing to do with the Helsinki´s Zoo, which was so disappointing when I visited. Near Los Angeles I like Venice Beach. Well... there is so long that I traveled to California, but I thing Venice Beach stills interesting. Well, we rented a car and traveled for a lot of cities which I think you´re not doing because you´ll have a baby with you. And the most interesting things for me were not in Los Angeles... Anyway, I thing you are going to love California and, o God, the sun will be like a blessing for you and your family.

  54. Oh, that sounds cool! Do it! :D *yay*
    I live in Norway... dark here too.

  55. I love San Diego - one of my favorite places in the country. The zoo, the Marines, (go to a boot camp graduation if you want a dose of patriotism), and my all-time favorite - Coronado Island and the Hotel Del (if it's too pricey, just go look or go for their famous brunch). Enjoy California!

  56. My husband and I just went to San Fran for a week for our 1st Anniversary. Yosemite, Wine Country, Muir Woods, and the Golden Gate are a must! We also drove down to Carmel, Monterey, and Pebble Beach. I've also heard that Big Sur is a great place!

  57. Sorry, can't figure out how to get to your blogger profile from your blog. Grrr. Anyway, this was linked to on twitter today, and it doesn't look like it's authorized. Just thought I'd let you know.

  58. Good for you guys! Enjoy the sun, your family, and your mat leave!

  59. Veit kyllä sanat suustani, aivan samoja ajatuksia pyörinyt päässäni viimeset pari viikkoa. Kuka ihme tänne on päättänyt jäädä asumaan! :D Ei tähän talven pimeyteen ikinä täysin totu. We do indeed miss the sun. Mahtavalta kuulostaa teidän reissusuunnitelmat! :)

  60. Dear Adele,
    A friend forwarded your fantastically creative photos of Mila to me and I'm enchanted!
    Congrats on your new Canon. I want one!

    One thing I ADORED while living in La that you may enjoy because of your "sets" is the Garment District. Start at Michael Lavine and work your way out from there to Sante Fe Street!

    THe Huntington Gardens In San Mario Pasadena)is a must see!

    Bon voyage. There will be sunlight aplenty!


  61. I suggest northern California, San Francisco. It's also very nice, it's a *bit* colder than LA, but there's much more to do :D and you can actually *walk* around the city instead of getting stuck in traffic!

    But, if you decide to go to LA, I LOVE santa monica, go there! both the promenade with its cute cafes and street performers and the beach :D oh, yes, go to disneyland! and the westwood area near UCLA is also nice for walking around with Mila :)

  62. If you want warm and sunshine, why don't you come to Australia? It's 27degC and sunny in Sydney today.

  63. Hello: You must come to San Diego! Of course I live here and it is wonderful! Lots of sun and vitamin D. I can get you into the zoo for free AND show you around! There are so many things to see here. I am serious about the show around part..I am a teacher and not a weirdo ;-)
    I found your blog because of my daughter who has a new baby also (2 months). Feel free to contact me

  64. reading all these comments makes me so proud that I'm a human too and there are soooo many lovely people around the world)

    God bless you all, folks)

  65. Adele, if you want to visit Brazil, will be welcome, the atmosphere here is very nice! And there are regions of Brazil that it's summer all year long! Too much sun.

  66. Go to Brazil (but not Rio, please!)... Probably you're gonna desire to live there! Kisses!!!

  67. Hello Adele!
    Congratulations! I just received an e-mail with Mila´s Daydreams and it´s just amazing, I love it. I cry with it! You are special! I´m mom too, my little Isadora has 1 years old. I live in Brazil, Americana. Denise

  68. In the absence of light, darkness prevails.

    Greetings from Texas. Took a trip to Alaska this summer, don't think I could conquer the Insomnia...

    "Den som synder, sover ikke"

  69. Hi - So I am from Northern CA as well. I did not go thru all the comments, but I thought you know if you get the chance you should drive up to north and come see San Francisco :D Once and Lifetime seen sight! You would love it!

    If you need a tour guide please email me, Would love to help :D

  70. Enjoy LA. With this post, I shall not complain about the sun. The weather here averages 33 - 35 celcius, we have no seasons. Just sun all year long with some monsoon thrown in at the end (like now), but still if there is no rain, its back to hot weather. I always dislike the sun as its too hot and humid here..maybe I should not after this. Have a super fun trip :)

  71. I live in California!!!! You'll love it!!! Come up to Santa Barbara!!!! Its beautiful about 1 or 1 1/2 hour drive north of LA depending on where you are in LA.... Hope to see you on State Street... Happy Travels...

  72. Love CA! Palasimme sieltä juuri tänne kylmyyteen vietettyämme lämpöisen auringon alla kolme ihanaa kuukautta. 10-kuisella pojallani on blogi (, jonne hän on kirjoitellut kokemuksiaan reissustamme. :) Ihanan huikeaa matkaa teille!

  73. The Original L.A. Farmer's Market. Amazing Food and fun (expensive) shopping next door at the Grove.
    Have fun, what an amazing adventure and I look forward to you blogging about it!

  74. How wonderful! I'm sure you will all have a great time.

    I used to go to the animation festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. It looks like the museum run has ended, but they have other showings around Southern California:

    They used to save the more shocking animation for the midnight show, but now it looks like they have two different shows; the "Sick and Twisted" festival, and the "New Generation of Animation" show (more family friendly). Whichever you prefer, they always have very funny and creative animated shorts.

    I lived in San Diego county for several years. The places that I loved the most were Balboa Park (you can make a couple of days of the museums and zoo and everything), La Jolla cove, Oceanside beach and pier (not the fanciest beach around, but friendly and relatively easy), and Coronado Island. Driving over the bridge is fun, or you can take a ferry. I especially enjoyed one day when we took a ferry to a restaurant on the island and then walked over to the Hotel Del. The beach behind the hotel is uncrowded and so beautiful in winter.

    Have a lovely vacation!

  75. I live in the north of Spain, now it´s rainning too much and it's cold, but unless we have almost 8 hours of light a day. I agree with you, I also need the sun and the natural light to be happy.
    I love your blog Adele.

  76. how fun for you!!!! I live in LA and we love it here! definately chilly right now for our area ( I am kind of a baby when it gets cold, LA cold is nothing like your kinda cold,lol!) , but plenty of sunshine! I have to lil ones and we are always out and about town doing somthing fun, art museums, kid craft days, music playdates. I agree the getty is a fantastic place to go with small kids. also, you might want to check out giggles and hugs, a kid themed rest. and play area for babies and toddlers! there are two locations! fun place to meet other moms/kids and the food is actually great while being reasonably priced.
    let me know if you ever want to meet there, I take my kids all the time.

    And I know you dont know me but, if you get here and get bored or need help, drop me an email and I can direct you or possibly even meet up with you guys somewhere and show you around. always nice to know at least one mom friend with small kids when you are in a new area.
    have a wonderful extended vacation in the sun!
    Jennifer Post

  77. oh, another great suggestion: santa barbara zoo! its lovely out there, not too far of a drive and the zoo is smallish, just big enough to see all sorts of great animals but small enough to get thru in a few hours. plus, zoo near the beach, BONUS! we bring a picnic lunch and go to the beach with a blanket afterwards. downtown santa barbara has alot of great streets to walk on too, lots of fun eclectic shopping. bundle up, it gets chilly near the shore.
    (oh, and I accidentally posted this and another post with my hubbys account, (tommy post) It actually Jennifer post, lol!

  78. San Diego and the Getty Center top my list. I've lived in the L.A. my entire life! I love it here, wouldn't want to live anywhere else. We have the snow, the desert, the beaches, the cities and all within an easy drive. Hope you have tons of fun and take tons of pics with your new camera. Lots of natural light for it. Mila needs a picture with Minnie Mouse!

  79. Try San Luis Obispo (SLO), California...the happiest place on earth according to several sources! (google it) It is a coastal town about 90 miles north of Santa Barbara. From Los Angeles, you first pass through Pismo Beach before getting to SLO...Splash Cafe in downtown Pismo has yummy clam chowder. A little further north on the 101 (still before SLO) is Avila Beach, which is gorgeous and has some cute shops and restaurants. It is the best beach wind and nearly always sunny. Next to Avila, don't miss Port San Luis and take a walk out on the pier at Port San Luis to see pelicans and sea lions playing in the water and napping below the pier. In San Luis Obispo there is a Farmer's Market on Thursday nights (Double check on the city's website...I'm not sure if it's year-round) The downtown area isn't that large, so you can walk everywhere...don't miss Mission Plaza to see the historical mission and have lunch next to the creek that borders Mission Plaza (there are usually musicians playing outside while you eat), visit the Art Center, and browse through lots of cute shops. A little north of SLO (up highway 1) there is a huge beach where hundreds of sea lions gather daily and just a tiny bit north of that is Hearst Castle, if you're into that sort of tour-thing. It's 75 degrees here in SLO today and supposed to be 80 tomorrow. We're taking a picnic to Avila Beach tomorrow so the kids can make sandcastles and chase the birds. I've been all over California and SLO is by far my most favorite place of all.

  80. If you feel like driving down to Orange County---my favorite beach is Crystal Cove State Park. You can spend all day...the food across the street is delicious too! Laguna Beach is amazing too----I miss living in Southern California...especially this time of year!!! Have a safe trip :)


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