Sometimes it’s easy to lose focus, lose sight of what’s important, what makes you smile and what brings a smile to the faces of those you love. As a parent there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your child’s face light up at the delight of something they’ve seen or are doing or get given.
Too often though we measure this with material means and as a nation of spenders not savers it’s easy for parents to over indulge, over complicate and saturate our kids with ‘too much stuff’. Sometimes you need to take a step back, go back to basics, strip things to their bare bones and just enjoy simple pleasures together and create memories.
The last two days for Miss Roo and I have been spent adjusting to the relaxed lifestyle that Santa Monica loves. Shops here stay open till 10pm and later at night and whilst there is most definitely money oozing from the pockets of those who walk the street I have also seen some of the biggest smiles on the faces of kids (including mine) for quite some time.
Down by Santa Monica pier, which you can spend a whole day at playing on the beach, enjoying the shows and shops, is Pacific Park which is an ‘old school’ amusement park that offers amazing value for kids – $15.95 (for kids under !) for unlimited rides on all the attractions in Pacific Park except the bungee bounce and wall climb.
The last two days have been spent in here from 10am till around about 4pm and both days have produced some magical smiles, shrieks, screams and excitement from Miss Roo.
The rides are simple, quaint and what fairgrounds used to be like. Traditional pirate boats, flying balloons a rickety rollercoaster and an old fashioned ferris wheel – not the glitz and glam of a multi billion dollar theme park, this historical home on the boardwarlk has more charm and character than those. Families flock in their hundreds to this park but rarely have we queued for more than 20 minutes. At quiet times staff will let you have double go’s on rides and with most rides suitable for kids over 36cm kids love the fact they can do so many of the attractions on their own.
Simple, fun, uncomplicated rides which have been so much to go on and let our hair down on. I hate pirate ships and dragon boats but today got through both despite major nausea. I’ve played those terrible win a toy arcade games and won and watched Miss Roo shriek with delight as she hurtles across the rails on the rollercoaster.
Not an expensive day out – but one that has yielded some absolutely stunning photographs that capture just how keeping it simple is often all kids need to be really, really happy. Tomorrow we will on doubt be there again as there’s also an aquarium and acres of amazing, clean sandy beach to explore and run our legs off on and play imaginary games, eat our own picnics and chill out until the sun goes down – expensive? Nope. Good fun – definitely yes.