Story by

Marian Diop

March 29th, 2016

This adventure was SO much fun. It started with a picture I had seen, but I wasn't too sure of where it was located. I had a general idea, so we loaded the kids up in the 4Runner and headed off. On the way, we talked about our plan and watched the mountains, looking for the one we were trying to find. We parked and started hiking down the beach. We had a long walk down the shore until we got to a little secluded cove. Along the way, we collected shells and sticks and talked about how sand is made. We talked about how sand is made up of tiny particles from lots and lots of rocks that were broken down by the waves.

All three kids had questions. The baby wanted to know why she couldn't walk. (Because she was going very, very slow.) The three-year-old wondered how many sharks were in the water and would eat him. (We saw zero sharks.) The seven-year-old had just learned about clouds, and wondered how all the different shapes were made. When my three-year-old found a slimy sea cucumber, he almost died from shock and excitement.

The most exciting moment of our adventure was discovering an injured sea turtle. We almost walked right over it because it looked like a rock in the sand. As we got closer, we could see that it was covered in tumors and seemed to be in pain. We called the turtle rescue organization (NOAA), gave the description and location of the turtle, and the rescuers said they would send someone out. We were able to greet the conservationists and learn that the turtle was probably about 50 years old and the tumors were caused by environmental pollutants. It felt great to be able to help a hurt animal.

As a parent, my takeaway from our adventure is that you never know what you are going to experience, so get out there and do something! We like to go on random explorations as often as possible. I try to make our lives a little less busy so we have more time to do so. The kids just thrive running free and I always feel better after some time in the sun. Life is best lived outdoors.