HEART+          .


$100 Challenge: LA Edition

If you’re anything like us-you’ve probably gotten into some “passionate” disagreements about how much money it takes to go on trips vs the fond memories you will make while on them.

You see…Jimmy [my husband] and I were on opposite sides of the spectrum. To him, going out of town or doing anything fun required spending money, sometimes money we didn’t have. It was a negative thing in his mind. On my side of the spectrum I could care less about the money we would spend and was willing to go at all cost just to create memories we would always remember.

So I think when it came to traveling all together, it seemed so out of reach and something we were not willing to sort through and figure out because it was such a sour subject.

One of the best things I get to do for my clients is to CREATE MOMENTS they otherwise wouldn’t have. They come to me to create an experience they won’t forget. I found myself constantly saying and thinking “man, this is amazing, I wish my family was here,” or “I wish they could see this with me.” [One time I did get to take them to Mexico when on a destination wedding].

A couple of weeks ago I had one of those moments …and then something just switched, like a light bulb. Why can’t we experience these things together? I rushed home that day to tell Jimmy…we are leaving town…like right now….

I raised a challenge: COULD WE POSSIBLY EXPLORE NEW TERRITORIES AND SEE THINGS WITH OUR KIDS ON A $100 BUDGET? And there it began. This exciting quest to meet half way. We would push to stay on budget because after all there was so much to see that didn’t require spending $ other than the trip and food. We nailed our first trip to Santa Barbara.

We set out our next adventure/challenge for Los Angeles CA. We live only 1hr 45 minutes from LA. We get pretty inexpensive gas at Jimmy’s work. So…if we could find one main activity that we want to go to within a reasonable price range, then we can center our day around that. So we chose La Brae Tar Pits & Museum. We’d taken our oldest there when he was smaller and we were interested in taking our other kiddos. We actually got to experience so much more on this trip-accidentally.

I hadn’t realized that La Brae Tar Pits were right by LACMA [Museum of ARt].

Crazy thing is that the “urban lights” were one of the things I wanted to take the kids to but I didn’t think they’d be as fascinated about it as I am. Much to my surprise, as we were exiting the Tar Pits, I noticed a building I recognized and realized at that moment that the Lights were right there!

Then Jimmy gets chosen to go on TV and is getting filmed right in front of the lights, doing the floss on TV [insert, someone pinch me because if you know my husband…yea] and one of my sons got to jump in and join him. If that isn’t a Hollywood experience for ya…I don’t know what is!

We also hit up Santa Monica Pier…which I must say was a major disappointment. I was looking forward to ending our night here and I had no idea that SMP had turned into Venice Beach! I mean…it’s fine for teens and adults I guess-if you like that vibe-but for kids….not so much. We love the beach and this was not the kind of beach experience my kids were used to. We went on the pier and left within minutes.

Overall we had a fantastic time. The highlight for our kids was the museum for sure-which is so great to hear since that was the main attraction for the day. Our youngest did amazing-which we were worried about-but she loved it. Ok…moment of truth…did we stay within budget? Gas, La Brae Tar Pits for 4, Parking, Lunch, Snacks, Coffee….majority votes on instagram went to YES!….See our results after photos…

Gas: $13

Tickets to La Brea Tar Pits and Museum: $36

Parking: $15

Lunch: $42

Snacks: $7

Coffee + Snacks: $40


$153.00 [wank wank wankkkkkkkk]

So, we went over budget. We learned from it for sure! We could’ve come in budget based on one major thing…SNACKS. We didn’t prepare snacks [I know….what parent doesn’t know that?] I also think prepping a mini lunch, like sandwiches would’ve been perfect at the Tar Pits because there are several picnic style seating areas! We will probably return to LA for another round because there is still so much we want to see, and we will bring snacks!

Up next for the month of April….we are taking on a new challenge! We head out to …..[drumroll please] SAN FRANCISCO!!!!!!!!! Can we stay on a budget of $100 with the fun ideas I have for us in SF?! We shall see.