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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

This past weekend, Jeremy and I went to Griffith Park to see the Merry-Go-Round.

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Got our tickets!

This is not just ANY carousel, either. It is a gorgeous, vintage, pretty gigantic, carousel. The organ that accompanies it is one of the oldest of its kind, and has one of the widest ranges of music — over 100 songs!

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They're in the middle of refurbishing the ride

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It’s surrounded by playgrounds, and picnic areas in a still-secluded-feeling area of the Park.

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The Griffith Park Carousel is ALSO the place where Walt Disney used to take his two daughters on the weekend — and the place where he sat on a bench and dreamed up the idea for a place that had more rides, was cleaner, and that parents could enjoy too…DISNEYLAND!

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I'm blinking...but the Disney bench picture HAD to be included!

I’m a huge fan of carousels in general — I love the craftsmanship that goes into a lot of the older ones, and they just have a great sense of nostalgia surrounding them. Though I’m not exactly discriminatory in my carousel-riding — whether it’s horses, giraffes, whales or dinos, if it spins in a circle and plays tinkly organ music I. AM. THERE.

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A simple, classic, fun way to spend a sunny weekend afternoon!

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Confession: I never went to preschool. I’m pretty sure I escaped unscathed from that little situation, since there were a TON of kids my age in my neighborhood growing up and therefore I was never without playmates my own age. Besides — instead of naptime and fingerpaints, my mom took me to the zoo, and the aquarium and the movies (and I may of occasionally taken a nap too, though I was apparently VERY anti-nap as a child.)

And I’m pretty sure that (and driving around wild African animals for 7 months…) made me a little bit in love with zoos and aquariums. So I was definitely excited that aside from some shopping/eating/wandering around Carmel, the other main thing we did up north was go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

On the way to the aquarium (it was about a mile walk from our hotel) we saw a preview of local marine life:

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Seals!

Their large outer-ocean exhibit was being refurbished, but we got there just in time for a Kelp Forest feeding session:

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And there were LOTS of jellyfish:

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And they had special exhibits on various seahorses, flamingoes and penguins.

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A Sea Dragon

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They get their pink coloring from the crustaceans they eat

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Sleepy little guy

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There was also a lot of information about the California coastline — including safe fishing practices and endangered habitats. It was somewhat smaller than I originally thought it would be, but it meant it was easy to get up close and personal with some of the marine life:

Overall, if you’re in the Carmel/Monterey Bay area, I definitely recommend going by if you have the time.

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium

Next up: My Newsies/Citizen Kane obsession come to life!

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I really like the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby “Road movies”. Our trip wasn’t quite as hilarious as theirs tended to be, but last week my parents and I did take a short trip up to Carmel. We drove, since my parents said that the trip up was supposed to be absolutely gorgeous along the coast.

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Not us.

We took the PCH most of the way there (and back) and it was definitely beautiful:

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Cows!

The twists and turns that come with winding your way around enchanting mountains and gorgeous coastline…well, while there were no “STOP THE CAR NOW” moments, I will say I was quite disappointed in my roller-coaster-raised constitution. It simply would NOT hold it together for more than 20 minutes or so before I would start turning a “delightful” shade of green.

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I called this the Bridge of Doom.

On the way back it was a lot easier to access the numerous turnouts created along the road so we were able to get some really great pictures.

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Me & Dad

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We also made a couple of friends 😉

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You have food for me?!

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Yum!

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Showing his good side for the camera

During our trip we made two really fun stops, but I took so many pictures that they’re getting the separate posts they deserve — so look for those soon! (Hint, one involves some marine life, and one involves someone in one of my favorite movie musicals…Newsies!)

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