Whoever said that slimy, prickly or even fuzzy sealife had to be kept at arm's length -- and I think that person was me -- definitely has not been to an aquarium in a while.
Today, Ian, C and I headed down to San Pedro to visit my friend Sara from work who has her own shop on eBay called Penguintastic. She specializes in vintage designer clothing, and oh my, did I clean up.
She needed a model for some gorgeous vintage items she had found (hello, Halston, St. John and Ferragamo!), and luckily I was the right size. I say lucky, because some of the clothes I was supposed to model, I ended up buying. (Hmm, smart thinking, Sara.) She gave me an amazing deal on the pristine St. John sleeveless dress that she was going to put on her site. Not to mention the Ferragamo shoes! For a mom who frequents Old Navy more often than she hits Nordstrom, this was a day made in designer heaven.
After I had tried on the Halston suit for Sara, Ian, C and I decided to check out San Pedro, which is about a half-hour or 45 minutes south of L.A., depending on traffic (and a pitstop for donuts; yes, again). We saw a sign for the beach and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, and we were sold.
First, we found an empty picnic table near a hotdog stand and decided to have lunch. Little did we know that surrounding seagulls had the same plan. In fact, literally two seconds after I put my hotdog on the table, during which time I was trying to ready food for my own child, some jerky seagull swooped down and swallowed my hotdog whole! Without the bun, of course.
Then an entire flock of seagulls (not the band, although that would've been funny) flew in, hoping for their own taste of hotdog goodness. The flapping wings and cackles of insanity immediately made me think of "The Birds," and I rushed to C's side, just in case they were thinking of doing anything untoward. I could always buy another hotdog, but my child's eyes were not something to take lightly. Ian watched from the sidelines and just shook his head.
After we ate lunch and watched C run through the sand and around palm trees, we hit the nearby aquarium.
It was adorable. The facility is made up of several buildings, some with active research going on, housing baby octupuses (octopi?) and baby sharks, and some with fascinating exhibits. There's even a Tidepool touch tank (see top photo) that C also mistook for a diving tank. There were several times when I had to tell her not to climb over the little rock wall, a la her erstwhile crib, to make friends with the starfish.
But that was not before hitting the "stick your head in a fish face" photo op. We could've stayed here for hours, to tell you the truth. C really enjoyed it, too. But not as much as Ian, clearly, in the mouth of the Great White Shark.
It was a gorgeous day -- sunny, a bit brisk -- and San Pedro was a nice and unexpected detour in our regular routine. I got to wallow in vintage designer goodness, C got up close and personal with some tidepool dwellers (you better believe I washed her hands after that one), and Ian got to pretend he was being eating by a deadly shark.
Talk about Penguintastic! OK, Ferragamo-tastic, too.