Friday, October 03, 2008

By the Beautiful Sea

You can read Woody's version here.

MY version goes like this:
We all woke up this morning in high anticipation of participating via satellite in the 178the Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We so look forward to the spiritual lift that comes as we listen to words of guidance and counsel. Last Monday night as part of her Family Home Evening lesson, Jelly provided a special conference packet that she and Doodle will be using to keep their focus during the four two-hour general sessions we'll watch this weekend, right from our cozy living room.

Did you catch that? FOUR TWO-HOUR SESSIONS in two days!! It's wonderful for the soul, but it does require sitting fairly quietly for a LONG TIME!!

So, to prepare our spirits to be ready for a feast, we decided that we needed to prepare our bodies to be receptive. We spent the day today "by the beautiful sea!"

We aimed the Wonderwood Academy Schoolbus at Long Beach, the only "aimed" driving that took place today until it was time to aim for home. Utilizing our membership to the Aquarium of the Pacific today means that in just one more visit it will have paid for itself already, with still almost a year to go! Hurray!!

Upon arrival, we asked the girls what they wanted to focus on today. With no hesitation, they said the wanted to see the lorikeets and the seals and sea lions.

Jelly was first up to offer the lorikeets some tasty $3 nectar. Almost before we had completely entered the aviary, this cute guy took her up on her offer.

When we had moved a few feet farther into the enclosure, it was Doodle's turn. While one lorikeet drank its fill, another sang not-so-sweetly right in Doodle's ear!

Today's visit was not our first to the lorikeets, but it was the first time the girls fed them. It was unanimously decided that this will be a new-and-improved family tradition. The giggles and smiles were clearly visible outward signs of inner joy!

After spending some awed-reflecting time with the sharks (Daddy's request, though we all enjoyed it immensely!), we moved to the seal and sea lion tank. The view from above is wonderful, but if you hang out in the underwater observation area, you are treated to some amazing displays. This tradition is already well-established!

After a yummy brunch at IHOP, we somehow ended up ON the Seal Beach pier, all of us! Pier walks have LONG been individual AND family traditions in our immediate family as well as in our extended family. I don't usually get to participate anymore, because most piers aren't terribly "accessible." I try not to complain, but I do have to admit to often getting wistful as I watch. There are just so many things to experience and when you can share them the magic of the ocean just seems to multiply exponentially!

A spontaneous snuggle with this sun-warmed seal guardian of the pier was a sweet end to a marvelous day.

Except, um, I guess the Sonic slushes we picked up on the way home were pretty sweet, too. ;o)

I declare us ready for conference!

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