snow, L.A. style

Today, Paul and I took Ben to see snow fall at the Grove shopping center. By “snow”, of course, I mean the tiny bits of foam that are used by shopping centers and Disneyland when they want to create holiday seasonality. But at the Grove, it’s a Production, complete with music and a synchronized fountain (water leaping to “Let it Snow”). And between the faux-flurry and the giant Christmas tree, Ben loved being there tonight.

We actually had a great day with Ben. We went to Pan Pacific Park before it got dark. Paul and I ran around, keeping an eye on Ben and making sure we spotted him accordingly when he decided to climb something not designed for a two year old. (Ben climbs like a monkey, and we often let him go and just try to be ready in case he slips). Ben also loves going to the park – any park. He just loves being able to run around, preferably on playground equipment that has a slide or tunnels attached. I love watching him in action, and seeing how confident he is in his own physical ability on a playground.

After the park, we decided to try something new for dinner. I had a Groupon for Rahel Ethiopian Cuisine nearby on Fairfax, so we rolled on down to Little Ethiopia to try it. It’s a vegan restaurant, so we knew there would be lots of lentil and chickpea dishes that Ben would probably eat. I also thought that eating with our hands would be a good option for our little boy. And neither Paul nor I had had Ethiopian cuisine before. Our entire knowledge on the subject came from watching Top Chef Masters last year, which, actually, made me curious to get around to trying it. And we did actually get Ben to eat a small portion of injera bread and lentil stew, not to mention green beans and carrots (!), so we considered it a success.

Then, after the requisite Ten Minute Traffic Jam on Fairfax, we finally made it back to the Grove. The parking structure was at maximum capacity, leading us up to the roof to park. And when I saw the Christmas tree top at the same height, I knew it was a huge freaking tree. When we finally got down to ground level, I was actually impressed by the size of the tree…and how much stuff had been put on it. The Grove tree, which is actually taller than the one at Rockefeller Center in NYC, has thousands of glass balls and lights decorating it, and, from the ground, looks the size of a building. The only thing slightly spoiling the effect was the 3D promotion for Yogi Bear at the bottom of the tree: a mock Ranger station for Jellystone Park, complete with bear photos and bear crime scene notes. Sigh.

So the three of us wandered around the Grove for a bit, looking at store windows, enjoying the scheduled 7pm snow flurry, and checking out the new book options for Ben at Barnes & Noble. Ben then fell asleep in the car on the way home…and I fell asleep right after he did

Actually, I’m supposed to be out right now, at Bootie. I’m not. I took a nap, woke up, and have been sorting through the bills and random items in my Inbox for the past couple hours, because I’m off to NYC tomorrow, and wanted to be sure I didn’t have any outstanding items before I left. I have a few library books, but that’s it. Go, me. Time for some well-earned sleep.

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