Just an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles, on the famous Pacific Coast Highway, sits Leo Carrillo State Park, boasting almost 2 miles of beach, perfect for ocean sports of every kind, sun bathing and hidden in its tide pools, we discovered the most incredible array of sea creatures Mother Nature has ever thought to create.
|Living in Harmony|
We have had the pleasure of visiting this state park many times. We’ve camped at their campground which is walking distance to the beach, we have explored its many coastal caves, climbed its crags and lounged on its shores. Depending on the time of year, it can be quite crowded, but we’ve been lucky to have avoided hoards of beach-combers on our visits.
V was almost overwhelmed by all there was to explore. Barefoot, she darted in and out of the pools, navigating the jagged rocks like a pro. Picking up every single piece of seaweed she spotted, she tried her best to associate it to the seaweed mommy puts in her salad, then tried to eat it, then became fascinated by its many different textures; so many things to discover and feel and smell and see (and taste!).
When she wasn’t bouncing from rock to rock, she was standing as still as a statue reveling in the ebb and flow of the sea anemone’s tentacles as it drifted lazily in the ocean currents. We spotted what we thought was a sea hare and were bestowed the honor of watching it release its deep purple ink. We were both completely enthralled as we watched the vibrant ink mix and swirl and spread in the little pool of water it called its home.
It was hard to keep her from trying to pry off every starfish she saw, but it was also a great conservation conversation starter. As we walked along the soft sand, we discussed the importance of tide pools and the role they play in our environment. She understood, as much as an almost 3 year old can, then she was off and running again towards the coastal caves for a game of hide and seek.
So fun, so much to explore and so many opportunities to learn! I feel so lucky and blessed to live in such close proximity to such wonders that I can share with my toddler!