On the day of our flight to California, I almost spilled my cereal all over myself as I saw my mom stuffing extra things into my backpack, making it resemble a bloated balloon. When we got to Los Angeles six hours later, I could barely carry it. It was a relief to dump our stuff off at the motel. On our first day we went for a walk on the beach.
Out of the three of us, I apparently was the only one who thought it wrong to walk on the beach wearing shoes. I took them off and walked up to my ankles into the Pacific Ocean — and I was hooked. I never wanted to leave, but eventually I followed my parents up the sand to the pier that we had reached while walking.
We hadn’t been in the promenade area beyond it for long before I realized that I had lost my sunglasses, which I had very smartly hooked onto my belt loop. We retraced our steps and didn’t find them, to no one’s surprise, and after exploring a little longer, we had dinner at a restaurant on the pier. Now, if you ever go to California, here are the top things you should eat: 1.) Fruit — especially oranges 2.) Fish! 3.) Avocados. I mean from a restaurant or the farmer’s market, not from a store.
I don’t care if you don’t like these foods usually; you have to try it. Maybe try a bit from a relative’s plate or something. Swallow your dislike for the food and swallow the food. Make sure you chew before you swallow, though.
Our plan for the next day was to visit the La Brea (Bray-uh) Tar Pits and then tour the hills. The La Brea Tar Pits were interesting up to a point. After awhile we kind of tired of looking at bones and historical things.
Flat-faced bears from the past weighed twice as much as grizzly bears. And there were sloths that weighed two tons and were bigger than some black bears! We saw how animals got trapped in tar: the tar got covered by leaves and animals would walk into it, get stuck, and attract wolves and saber-toothed tigers, which also got stuck. 100,000 tons of bones were recovered from the different tar pits.
The pits, by the way, were stinky because of the natural gas that rose up in the bubbles from the bottom.
Then we got a rental car to tour the hills on our own. That is, the hills and the surrounding areas and a nice scenic tour along the coastline. At one point it was kind of scary; we were driving on a sort of narrow road with a cliff dropping off of the road, and only a little rolled-up pavement on the edge of the road would ‘prevent’ a person from flying off the edge if they swerved too quickly.
I even saw a smashed-up car in the ditch below! We even got to walk on the edge of a cliff — although we didn’t get too close to the edge, because we were standing on an overhang, and you never know when the cliff edge will suddenly crumble beneath your feet. The next morning we got ready quickly and went to the Aquarium of the Pacific. First there were the tidal pool animals. I touched a slug and it was squishy and velvety and gross looking but it was still neat! I also touched the anemone or however it’s called and it stuck to me, trying to taste me, the staff lady there said.
Next we felt the rays. They like it, and they rub up against the side of the tank to get petted. They’re very soft and velvety, and not a bit scary once you feel them once. Some kids there absolutely loved them and screamed, ‘Here comes a slimy!’ every time one came near. And last, we stroked — the sharks. The rays were softer — the sharks had rough skin. They were little, but some of the kinds we did pet got bigger and were sent to a much bigger tank. We got to touch bamboo sharks, zebra sharks, and epaulette sharks. The zebra sharks were the ones that got bigger.
By the time we got home, I was bursting with stories to tell my friends — including stories that I haven’t told here. I wouldn’t say that our trip was incredibly eventful, but I had fun.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.