This past August, preceding our trip to Disneyland, we attended my brother and his wife’s beautiful wedding in La Jolla. We stayed right in La Jolla Cove with views of sparkling waters, rugged cliffs and a large grassy park where, if we’d had more time, I would have loved to picnic. The paved pedestrian path that runs along the cliff was perfect for morning jogs, and we were walking distance to a number of delectable eateries, stunning art galleries and high-end shops, each worthy of their own visit. There’s so much to be said for this informally upscale gem of Southern California, and I’m looking forward to returning there soon.
Here are a couple of things we did in our short stay that are worth noting:
The Children’s Pool: This small, sheltered beach is protected by a concrete breakwater wall that was originally constructed to keep the area safe for young swimmers, but has ended up creating a safe haven for sea lions and seals. It’s a wonderful place to watch these animals up-close, though warnings suggest to refrain from interacting directly with the protected creatures. Tell that to my son who was yelling for a basking sea lion to “wake up!!”
Pirate Caves: Grandpa and Nana took Graham to see the Pirate Caves, which he wouldn’t stop talking about for the rest of the trip. Sunny Jim Cave opens to a set of stairs that venture down towards a sea cave where you can stand on a platform and overlook the water and cliffs. Don’t forget to grab a pirate souvenir at the Cave Store.
We also made a stop at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, which I have to say is a pretty cool aquarium. It couldn’t be situated in a better spot, atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Along with 60+ habitat exhibits, it’s also got a shark reef, an outdoor play/educational area for kids, and an exhibit of the strangest, most awesome sea horses I’ve ever seen or have known to exist.
Now comes the part about the ring bearer. This was the first of two weddings Graham will make an appearance in; he will also hold duty as the ring bearer in my other brother’s wedding this winter. Let’s talk about the tux. This was not some three-piece Marshall’s special; this was the real deal with all the trimmings, from a bow tie and cuff links to the shiniest shoes he’ll probably ever wear. We even used some of dad’s hair pomade. I had to tell Graham the tux was a “Batman Tuxedo Costume” (those exact words in that exact order) otherwise I knew we’d end up having to pin him down and stuff him into the tux, bribing him with lollipops and M and Ms, sending him off down the aisle in a raging sugar-high frenzy.
But since I started the whole exchange off on the right Batman Tuxedo foot, it all went smoothly. Then comes the big moment. I told Graham that Grandma Gigi had a “cookie treat” for him up in the front row, thinking he’d head down the aisle on his own. But instead he dug his Batman Tuxedo shoes firmly into the grass and started calling out “Cookie treat?! Cookie treat?!” for all to hear. I figured it was time for me to step in, so I took his little hand and led him to Gigi, who indeed did have the cookie treat.
After that cookie went down he persistently asked for more more more so eventually my husband had to exit the ceremony with him, and the next time I saw Sean, he had that look in his eye. The look of a parent who just spent the past 30 minutes dealing with a full-blown tantrum. I traded with my husband: Graham for a beer.