Cabrillo National Monument

As I'm sure most of you know, Adam and I prefer visiting state and national parks while on vacation rather than commercialized parks like Sea World.  While in San Diego, we did consider going to the zoo but in the end, we decided on going to Cabrillo National Monument and we weren't disappointed!

Before arriving at the monument, you had to drive through a portion of a naval base.  We also passed right by a naval cemetery that had headstones from as far back as World War I.  It was quite a site to see with the ocean in the background. 

The monument is on Point Loma which is at the southeastern point of San Diego Bay.  Not only did we have amazing views of the city, but we also had great views of the naval air base.  Eliel sat for almost a half hour and watched the planes take off from the landing strip.  A few of them were Chinook helicopters carrying boats which possibly had Navy Seals in them.  Apparently, the navy uses some of the island just off the coast as training facilities so it's likely all the planes and boats were headed there.

The monument itself had a great lighthouse and some fun exhibits to look at.  But the best part of the monument are the tide pools.  I had read about the abundance of tide pools on the San Diego coast and it was the one thing I wanted to do while out there.  We made sure to go during low tide and we were not disappointed.

There were a hundreds of sea anemones and once Daddy showed Eliel that he could touch them and they would close up, he was having a blast finding them.  I also showed Eliel some hermit crabs as they were numerous as well.  I would pick one up out of the water and place is closer to Eliel so he could see it better.  After a few seconds, it would come out of it's shell and begin to walk.  Eliel assumed that all shells would have crabs in them so he would grab one, set it down, and say 'move!'  Of course he'd look at me in awe when nothing would happen.  It was too cute.  Had I not been afraid of dropping my phone in the water, I would have tried to get a movie of it!

Eliel also had a blast jumping from rock to rock trying to get around the tide pools.  Passers by would just smile at him because it was evident he was having so much fun.  Mommy's back was definitely getting a work out though as I tried to keep him from falling between a rock or into the water.

Although we weren't able to get a picture of it, we were able to see a brittle star which is a type of star fish, a sea hare which is a big blobby snail type creature, and we just missed seeing an octopus in one of the tidepools!  He was still there but the family told us that he has just inked and was likely hiding under one of the rocks.  No one was brave enough to feel around for him! ;)

The tide pools proved to be so much fun that we stayed out way past Eliel's nap that day.  Luckily he took a quick snooze on the car ride home but he went to bed an hour early to make up for it that night.  He was pooped!