Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Outdoorsy L.A.

We spent a lot of time outdoors in L.A. this July, too. There were a few scorchingly hot days, but most of the month was really mild and at times downright chilly. That made for some good outdoor adventures. I love how the places we discover on our annual and sometimes binannual visits to Los Angeles evolve with my son as his interests deepen and change over the years. 

Early morning neighborhood walks was the best strategy for getting over jet lag at the beginning of our trip. While my observant child noticed all the living creatures from pill bugs to woodpeckers to be found in sidewalk cracks and on the trunks of tall palm tress, I enjoyed the craftsman style bungalows and well groomed front yards.

Eaton Canyon is a place we'd been before, but never had we set our goal to completing the hike to the waterfall. It was a blast and in the pool beneath the falls the observant 6 year old surprised us once again by spotting a single freshwater trout swimming by his lonesome along the crystal clear bottom.

I had never heard of Debs Park nor its Audobon Center in Highland Park prior to this trip. This is a great find. At the center you can borrow binoculars, nature trail guide books, art materials for making nature drawings and even rugged strollers for families with small children. There's a wonderful outdoor kid's space and lots of trails to hike. The day was a scorcher so we managed to complete one trail, although next time I really want to hike to the top of the hill and visit the duck pond. We saw plenty of hummingbirds, a few ground squirrels, and even a wild rabbit.

We loved the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro. This was new for us, too, and  compared to the aquarium in Long Beach, where we had been years ago, this center seems much more educational, interactive and community oriented, plus there is no admission fee. We were able to hatch grunions (see the baby fish swimming in the bottom of the jar?), learn from the research tanks and get our hands wet in the touch pool. Really an amazing place.

The aquarium is located right next to Cabrillo Beach and is a short walk to some tide pools. We wandered over there, got our feet wet, spotted anemones and the boy couldn't stop himself from catching (and releasing with a goodbye kiss) a little crab just for fun.

My son and hubby are quite the fishermen and they experienced pier fishing in So Cal for the first time. I hung out long enough to witness the duo in action but preferred watching the street performers in Santa Monica (especially the guy with the parrots!) and checking out the shops on the promenade. While my son had to content himself with catching a mackerel, he was greatly inspired by the shark someone nearby had managed to reel up!

And as a note to self, a fun thing to keep in mind for future visits is some exploration of the L.A. River along the bike path or by kayak.

1 comment:

  1. How lovely to go away in the summer!love the first photo of the daisies.xx


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