You'd think they'd freak me out, because... slimy, swimmy, creepy, crawly, tentacled, gloopy things reside in them.
But I adore them. They're the coolest little things ever.
I grew up in Florida, within 15 minutes of some of the top-ranking beaches in the US, and yet, I only went to the beach once or twice every summer. I despise Florida's beaches. The sand is all powdery and gets in everywhere (I mean... E V E R Y W H E R E). There are sandspurs, and stupid tourists, and it's all hot, and muggy, and it could rain and thunder at the drop of a hat, and it was just not worth the hassle to me. Plus, the water. Oh dear lord, that murky, murky water. Yeah, it LOOKS pretty, from aerial shots overhead... all turquoisey/emeraldy blue. But. I promise you, it's not. It's murky, and creepy, there are fish, and crabs, and STUFF that lives in there. STUFF!
And, really, there's only one thing the beaches in Florida are good for... working on your
skin cancer suntan. (Nikki, I'm looking at you.)
I'd be willing to bet I've taken kidlets to the beach more often in the 7 months that we've been in Cali, MORE than I'd taken them in Florida cumulatively. True strory.
Sunday was PERFECT beach weather.... 75, sunny... no breeze. Beautiful. Happy January, SoCal. So I packed some sandwiches, and some of my super awesome produce steal from Sprouts, and threw kidlets in the car, and headed out at low tide to check out the tide pools.
We're about 15 minutes from Laguna Beach, which is our favorite spot. Great tide pools, parking is easy, and there's a Starbucks down the street. Win.
I must have hit a super amazing low tide, 'cause we were able to go out much further than I'd done previously. It was no easy task, believe me, scrambling rocks with a 3-year old, but. She had a blast. Every time I asked if she was ready to go back, she said, "NO! I want to go more!". And more we did... as far as we could without REALLY getting in the ocean.
All this was almost foiled by an uber-adventurous #2 who felt it was necessary to rock-hop out as far as she could, until a giant wave pummelled her and almost swept her out to sea. Somehow, I ended up with a heart attack, and she ended up with an ankle scratch.
Anyway. We saw the usual snails, and crabs, and anenomes (which never stop being so freaking cool), but also scoped out some tiny fishies of some sort, and a starfish!
Baby did not understand why I wouldn't let her reach into the tide pools and pull out whatever kind of sparkly, slimy, squirmy thing she found fascinating, but (sorry, I know it's against the rules!), I did let her pick up a snail and watch it slime on her hand. She thought it was funny. Tickly little things, you know. Despite my best efforts, she wouldn't pick up the colorful sea... plant.. things lining the beach...
After the tidepooling, we scoped out a tiny spot amongst some rocks for our picnic, and let the kids run willy nilly.
They spent a bit of time jumping over rocks to chase this pesky critter away.... creepy red eyeballs and all. CREEPY!
And, because ALL of that wasn't awesome enough.... beautiful snowy mountains on our drive home.