we took full advantage, of course. with a long list of fun activities available to us, we decided to get away from the inland valley heat and head out to the beach. i'd been wanting to check out some of the kid-friendly ones i've always heard so many good things about, and so we threw on our bathing suits and packed up the car for a fun outing.
long beach was our destination this time, and this is where we stopped:
it was pretty crowded, but we got lucky and found a parking spot right in front. we lugged all of our crap out and plopped down onto the sand not too far from the water. the bean wasted no time in grabbing a bucket and running straight to the water.
meanwhile, i busied myself with setting up the umbrella, spreading out the blanket, and making myself a nice cozy spot in the shade.
the teen stretched out next to me in the sun, and we both kept an eye on the bean as she splashed and dug and had a wonderful time. and as she always does, she made a friend.
i really liked mother's beach. because of how it was situated, there were no waves and the bean could wade way out into the water and still have it only waist-high. i didn't have to turn into a helicopter and hover over her every moment of the time we spent out there. although i must admit that i missed the ocean breeze. oh, well. can't have it all, i know.
while the bean loves the water and playing in the sand (duh, she's five), the teen and i have never been the type to hit the beach for an all-day excursion. we can spend a couple of hours, max before we're just over it. and this time, we had a good reason to leave by a certain time. before we left the house, i'd snagged some half-price tickets for part two of our long beach day of fun:
admittedly, the teen and i were pretty much bored stiff. but it was fun to watch the bean's excitement over every little thing that moved. like here, where she may not have found nemo, but went straight to the sequel by finding dory.
here, an exhibit where you could see what a shark looks like as it develops - before it's even born.
a little duckface in front of a giant tank, before turning around to find a diver waving at her.
because we're 10, the teen and i were snickering at this sign.
everyone's favorite part.
in the gift shop, i thought this was a little freaky. hey, come look at live fish in the aquarium! and then buy some in gummy form that you can bite the heads off of.
we grabbed an early dinner at an old favorite - bubba gump shrimp co.
and then before we even got onto the freeway:
that right there is the sign of a very successful outing.