Playing in the Sun in So Cal

The sun has been up for a few hours, it's so peaceful here.  I am sitting in the dark, listening to the soft breathing of my grand baby.  She's a bit worn out from the past couple of days.  Today we will take it down a bit and just relax.  Run a few errands, do some laundry, enjoy the day. There might even be some wave chasing, shell gathering going on. We only have a few more days here.

Long Beach was amazing!  Now I can understand why people move here.  The breeze off the ocean made for a delightful contrast to the warmth of the day.  In fact when we were out on the boat I was so thankful that we'd all brought jackets and that baby girl was wearing long pants.

First stop was Aquarium of the Pacific.  Wow, that is all there is... the wow factor was so high it was unbelievable.  We were able to pet moon jelly fish, bamboo sharks, sting rays, anemones, sea urchins, star fish and so much more.  It was lively, beautiful and educational.

Bixby the Harbor Seal Pup was so engaging and busy following fingers and chasing people in the underwater viewing tunnel.  It was the perfect start to the day.

Next up we went whale watching!  It was so much fun! We were only hopeful we would see whales, I have other friends that have done that recently and didn't see any.  So I wasn't expecting much.  Just hopeful!

Well, we not only managed to see whales at least 5 times, evidently we were in the right place at the right time.  Although my photo skills and my phone camera might not be the best tools for recording this incredible sight.  We watched them surface and come up out of the water, none of them jumped for us, but that is okay.  just to watch them was so cool.

Heading back to the harbor we ran into a mega pod of dolphins. There are truly no words to describe the wonder of that!  Our boat was literally surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of playful dolphins.  Jumping out of the water and chasing the boat, racing us, and moving so fast.  It was incredible, absolutely incredible. Our captain decided to play with them for a bit, turning the boat in large circles as they entertained us all.  Pairs of dolphins like groups of synchronized swimmers, frolicking and splashing in the waves.  It was simply amazing!

The sedate sea lions sunning themselves on the buoy's seemed sort of anticlimactic after all that energy!!

Back on shore we strolled the harbor walk, enjoying the beauty and eating dinner over looking the harbor, as the sun was starting to set we headed back to the house, we needed to rest to get ready for the next day.

Yesterday brought a new experience... Disneyland.  I believe I have said many times that I am not an amusement park fan.  I do not like the crowds, the chaos, or well much about them.  But how could I bring my grand baby to Southern California and not take her to Disney?

Her excitement was barely able to be contained!  Even standing in line for almost an hour just to get the tickets did not dampen her enthusiasm.  The boy and I were not so sure we were sharing it... we accidentally picked the hottest day to go. And standing in those non-moving lines for tickets was a bit tiring.

Once inside, we couldn't tell that smiling little girl no.  We immediately ran into Goofy!  So it was definitely picture time! Next stop lunch, none of us had eaten and it was already lunch time.  We enjoyed lunch while watching Darth Vader, Jedi and the rest of the Star Wars cast.

Grand baby, who had assured me had grown out of her passion for princesses, wanted to get into that castle!  Next thing you know we are Bibbity, Bobbity Boutiquing it... after wandering around she discovered rides...

Tea Cups were first up, that was so much fun! Then we decided to go on the Storybook Boats.  The miniatures were amazing!  After what seemed like hours in Storybook land we were off to ToonTown!

Against the California sky, the scenery blended in so perfectly that they boy and I were absolutely dumb struck.  It simply didn't look real.  Little bit decided she needed to climb around in Chip and Dales house for a bit.  Gave me and the boy a chance to stand in the shade and enjoy some cold drinks.  Man was it ever hot!

That was when it started... our little thrill seeker decided we should brave the mini-roller coaster in Chip and Dales back yard.  The boy and I should have been concerned.  After all neither of us were your typical ride rider, we simply don't do it. But how do you tell a cutie pie no?

That first "thrill ride" opened a flood gate... Pirates of the Caribbean,  Splash Mountain (why yes, for the record... white clothing on that ride = serious wardrobe malfunction) Although Miss Thing loved being in front even though she was soaked to the bone!

There was only one ride she really wanted to conquer, as the sun was starting to get lower, and everyone was heading to the main road for the parade we gave her the choice, parade or Matterhorn Bobsleds. Dancing and singing characters were absolutely no match for the little thrill seeker... and luckily... most everyone else wanted to see the parade.   Twenty minutes later we were dashing through the dark tunnels Miss Thing leading the charge!

Her adrenaline was running high after that... me and the boy, we were running out of steam. With the sun starting to head down we slowly started guiding her to the exit, hoping that there were no more rides along the way.  We'd been there for over nine hours, we were so tired.  To think I had offered to get the multi-park one day pass... whew!

Enjoying the parade as we left, stopping for a chocolate dipped strawberry, slowly the little thrill seeker started to realize she was so tired!

Waiting for the Tram she almost fell asleep standing up.  The view of Anaheim from the parking garage was so beautiful.  It was a wonderful day!

Disneyland and Disneyland Paris are almost mirror images of each other.  So it was familiar even though I had never been there.  Spending the day with two of my favorite people was priceless.  I wish Grampa had been there to enjoy it with us, although I am afraid she would have had him calling uncle! She wore us out!

Who knows what treasures today has... our time here is running short...

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