Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Santa Cruz Day Trip

We started off our Memorial Day weekend by heading north to spend the day in Santa Cruz with some friends.

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center was first on our list for the day.  The Seymour Center is a working marine laboratory and research center for the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

We were greeted on our visit to the center by Ms. Blue.  At 87 feet long, this blue whale skeleton is the largest whale skeleton in the world!

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Once inside, Trenton and Charlotte gravitated towards the kiddie table.

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The kids weren’t in the mood for touch tanks (even though they were really awesome tanks), so they split time between the table and the aquarium tanks.

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My favorite thing (that I failed to get a picture of) was the baby swell shark tank.  There were three baby sharks in the tank with their hatch dates noted.  There were also two swell shark eggs.  One was expected to hatch any day.  This egg was completely dark inside because the baby shark was out of room.  The other egg is expected to hatch in about a month.  Since this shark still had to grow a bit, the silhouette of the baby could be made out inside the egg.  So cool!

While the floor exhibits were all very interesting (Clairol hair dye is used to tag seals), they were more geared toward adults and older children.

On our way out of the Seymour Center through the back, we ran into another whale skeleton.  This one, a Gray Whale.

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Even though the day was overcast and cool, we decided to check out the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

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What a difference a few miles makes!  It was dazzlingly sunny at the boardwalk!

The race cars caught the eyes of my kiddos right off the bat.  Trenton was tall enough to get his own car, and Charlotte was going to ride with Daddy.  As soon as Jarrod tried to strap Charlotte in though, she threw a fit.  Back to me she came.  Not that she minded since she got to share garlic fries with me and Amanda!

Jarrod crawled in Trenton’s car, and they were off to the races!

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Next up were the helicopters.  Trenton was able to move his helicopter up and down by moving the controls.

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After Jim and Amanda took a turn on a ride, we decided to cap off our visit to the boardwalk with a spin on the carousel.  Trenton said that he didn’t want to ride, so I took Charlotte on.  She was really excited….until I sat her on the horse.  We pulled the old switcheroo again, and Trenton rode instead of Charlotte.

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We headed back to Jim and Amanda’s for dinner, but before the guys got the grill going, we took advantage of the fact that Jim and Amanda live only two blocks from the beach.

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Oh, and just in case you didn’t know – real men like pink sippie cups!

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