Our second day in California, we met Brenda and Aelora at Newport Beach to go on a Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour. It was awesome. It was such a neat experience!!
|Look how blue the sky was! The weather couldn't have been more beautiful!|
The tour company was Davey's Locker and they did such a good job. We were on the boat "Ocean Explorer."
|Notice the board on the pier...there is a great blue heron on it. So cool!|
First, we saw a pod of dolphins. There were at least 30 of them and they were all around our boat.
After watching the dolphins for a bit, we headed farther out to sea where another boat had spotted two blue whales. We hoped to see them also. We got lucky because we actually saw three blue whales...and they were all relatively close to each other. We spent about 30-40 minutes watching the whales...primarily two of them...we would watch one while it came up and then hurry over to the area where the other one was and watch it while it was up. They were staying down for about 10 minutes in between surfacing. The guide said that they are pretty consistent...meaning that if they surface after 10 minutes, they will continue to surface after approximately the same amount of time over and over. My pictures aren't great...the whale looks tiny and far away but we really had a great view. I just was taking photos with my phone (because I broke my camera in March) and it doesn't do a good job.
|Aelora, Brenda and Michelle watching for whales.|
Near the end of our tour, we also got to see California Sea Lions.
The California sea lion is very social. It makes a barking sound. The guide explained the differences between seals and sea lions. Seals don't make a barking sound. Seals aren't social. Sea lions have ear flaps and seals don't. Sea lions are nocturnal eaters and just rest during the day. Sea lions are good swimmers.
|Again, hard to see...but there are pelicans resting. A bunch of them. Very cool!|
After our tour ended, we went to get lunch at Newport Beach. We also bought t-shirts as souvenirs (although Ella chose not to get one and Gabby got a stuffed dolphin instead of a shirt.) We had pizza and it was really, really good. We also had a root beer float and an orange soda float. I really liked the orange soda float.
Then we headed to La Brea Tar Pits. Brenda and Aelora joined us there as well. I thought it was so cool. Pricy, but so fascinating!
|A ground sloth|
The La Brea Tar Pits are a group of tar pits in the middle of Los Angeles. Natural asphalt (NOT tar) has seeped up from the ground for thousands of years and over a million fossils have been found there. There are about 650 species that have been found in the pits...including saber toothed cats, bison, camels, wooly mammoths, dire wolves, and many more.
|In this exhibit, you could try pulling a bar out of the asphalt. It was hard. No wonder so many animals got stuck!|
|This display of a wooly mammoth moved.|
You could also see some of the pits where they are working right now with fossils flagged right in the asphalt. It was so fascinating to see history and science right before our very eyes. This was a big hit for me...the kids and Alfredo weren't quite as fascinated.
Right next to the La Brea Tar Pits (in the same park) is the LACMA...Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We didn't go inside but we did walk around and see the statues outside the museum and outside the Japanese Art Museum.
|This is a sculpture...a long pathway with a huge slab of stone above it...down underneath the stone are Ella and Aelora...see how tiny they are in comparison to the wall and the stone. It was huge!|
|Michelle really got a kick out of this sign. She was tired...all the kids were...by the time we finished.|
|This building is right by the La Brea Tar Pits. It's some kind of business but I thought it was so cool looking.|