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Santa Monica, California:  Weeks ago, Gramps and I volunteered to watch (babysit?) Leo and Lucy this weekend. The original idea was the grandkids coming out to the desert - Lisa driving them out, then we would drive them back. It just seemed like a lot of back-and-forth driving, so at the last minute we changed our plans. I booked a room at a hotel in Santa Monica. Why not enjoy a weekend at the beach with our grandkids - without their parents around to spoil all the fun!

We drove to Los Angeles, stopped by Lenny & Lisa's, picked-up Lucy, two little suitcases, switched our Jeep for Lisa's car-seat-filled Prius, fetched Leo from his school and headed west. By 3:30p, we were checking in. Our room was not ready, so the clerk offered us complimentary snacks in the lobby lounge while we waited. Done!

They brought quite a bit more than snacks. A peanut butter & jelly sandwich for Leo, a grilled tomato & cheese (it was Tillamook!) for Lucy. Wine for the grandparents. By the time we had finished, our room was ready.

So much for our ocean view room! The left coast was socked-in this afternoon. Lucy cracked us up, by stating the view was "funky" instead of foggy.

We did have a funky/foggy glimpse of the hotel pool below our balcony, but it was too cool for an afternoon swim.

After settling-in and checking-out the lay of the hotel, the kids demanded sushi. (Didn't they just eat?) We walked about a half mile to SUGARFISH, where each kid took-down their weight in yellowtail sashimi. The servers doted on the kids - even providing "cheater" chopsticks. It may surprise you that little kids would eat sashimi and sushi, but don't forget their mom was raised in Asia and grew up on these foods. Lisa and Lenny have exposed their kids to foods from around the world. But they are still very American kids - Leo and Lucy love pizza, mac & cheese, guacamole, and the usual childhood delicacies.

Not exaggerating, a dozen passers-by complimented Lucy on her adorable coat.

After our return stroll to the hotel, the kids had a bath, room service ice cream, watched a movie - and FINALLY to bed! They each consumed so much food today and were both so well behaved all evening.

They are so stinkin' cute, I can't stand it. I bet they are nearly as cute as your grandchildren?

Until my next update, I remain, your "blogging in the dark" correspondent.