a beach happy weekend

It was recommended that we take it easy this weekend, so that our kids are rested and ready for school on Monday, so we decided to spend some time at the beach. It got pretty hot this weekend, with a high of about 88 on Saturday. But, it didn't feel like 88 degrees. I've come to the conclusion that 88 degrees on the west coast and 88 degrees on the east coast are not created equal. I'll take west coast 88 any day of the week.

On Friday, our half day, we visited the Aquarium of the Pacific, just as planned. We spent a little over 2 hours navigating the 19 different habitats of the Pacific Ocean. Lucas spent a good portion of his time looking for Nemo, and he was pretty happy to encounter several Nemos...

The aquarium was a great language-rich experience, as we saw sharks, eels, turtles, sea lions, lots and lots of colorful fish, sea horses, jelly fish, starfish, giant crabs, among other things. We also learned that our little monkey (as a result of a "monkey see, monkey do" experience) can swing from a bar on his hands. We learn something new every day.

We walked around the Long Beach harbor a bit, then had dinner at Taco Surf in Belmont Shore. We're lucky to have a local tour guide to recommend such places to us. :)

On Saturday, we slept in (Lucas slept until almost 9:00!) and decided to go spend the day on the beach in Malibu. We enjoyed our drive north along the Pacific Coast Highway, with many breathtaking views. We did not spot any celebrities, although we enjoyed dreaming about who might live where. We stopped at Point Dume State Beach to set up camp. We packed lunches and spent several hours there. We also stopped at a little hardware store in Malibu and bought a beach umbrella. It was a very wise decision. Lucas thoroughly enjoyed himself in the "water" and "sandbox". It was actually there that Lucas was very clever with his newly learned songs. We sang "where oh where oh where is Lucas" and he responded, "right here in a sandbox!" So we sang that question to him several times this weekend and got many different answers like "right here in a white car," and "right here in Laurie's house". Lucas loved the sand and water. So clever!

It took us much longer to get home than anticipated, as we experienced the dreaded beach traffic on PCH. But, after showers and some relaxing in our apartment, we headed to Yogurtland. Oh my, that will not be the last time we visit there. 12 different favors of self-serve frozen yogurt, with 30+ toppings to choose from, at $.30 an ounce = lots of yummy (and pretty healthy) goodness. It's a shame that the closest one to us at home is in Florida.

On Sunday we decided to head to Pasadena (which is only about a 15 minutes drive) and visit the Kidspace Children's Museum. What a delight! We were expecting an indoor museum, but it was 75% outdoors! It's a good thing we were planning to go to the beach later and had brought Lucas's swim clothes along, because he had ample opportunity to romp around in water! Again, it was a great language experience, where Lucas learned about bugs and nature and had a lot of great hands-on experiences.

I'm so glad we decided to go! We left right after lunch to head to the beach, which coincided perfectly with his nap. We didn't hit as much beach traffic as yesterday, but we had trouble finding parking in Manhattan and Hermosa beaches, so we kept driving south and hit the beach in South Redondo instead. It was a lovely afternoon spent with Laurie and her hubby. And I still can't believe she lives that close to the beach.

We had a beautiful, relaxing weekend, and we are gearing up for week 2 at the John Tracy Clinic. Lucas woke up this morning asking "friends?" again. We read his experiences books before bedtime tonight, to familiarize him with his routine. I hope that tomorrow is full of smooth transitions for our little Lucas. He sure loves this place.