The main objective of our long weekend was to introduce Em to my grandfather, whom I hadn't seen in more than two years. After visiting at his house in Morro Bay, we went out to lunch. My grandpa, whom I've always called Pop-Pop, fell in love with Em, and she eventually warmed up to him, too.
After lunch, my grandpa and his wife headed home while Brent and I took Em to the nearby aquarium, a place I had fond memories of visiting with my family growing up.
The aquarium starts with its rehabilitation center for sea lions. Currently there are three sea lions, and you can purchase cut-up fish to feed them.
I thought it'd be fun for Em to feed them, but she's still too young to grasp the concept. I was a little grossed out by the bits o' raw fish myself (yet I adore sushi), but I still fed the little guys.
Brent, who'd never visited this aquarium, immediately dubbed it the "Haunted Aquarium."
It is a bit creepy. It's small and features tanks that are probably straight out of the '60s.
Em was momentarily unhappy.
Admittedly, the fish were kinda scary.
Ok, *really* scary.
But we still had fun, really!
Later that evening our friends, Matt and Nicole, arrived from Northern California. Matt's parents were so sweet to let us all stay at their awesome vacation house in Pismo Beach. After Em was down for the night, we had a blast catching up with our dear friends, who brought along some poetry from the lovely Suzanne Somers.
(Matt and Nicole recently attended a comedy night in San Francisco, where comics read aloud from other actors' autobiographies. That's how they discovered that lovely gem of a book.)
The next day we drove through the Cal Poly college campus, where we all went to school.
It was amusing to see how much the college has changed over the last 10 years. Tons of swanky new dorms and dining options, and huge new buildings for various departments.
We lunched at Downtown San Luis Obispo's Firestone Grill for its amazing tri-tip sandwiches. Then we introduced Em to Bubblegum Alley. Notice that we kept her secured in her stroller 'cuz I think I would've vomited if she went for any of that chewed gum on those walls.
We rounded off our weekend with a trip to the nearby outlet mall (where I used to work), and a quick visit to a monarch butterflies grove.
We were hoping the rumors that were still lots of butterflies were true.
Sadly, we probably saw about a dozen TOTAL.
Despite the wacky aquarium and lack of butterflies, we had a really nice time with our friends and family! It'd been way too long since we'd taken a trip anywhere.
Em seemed to enjoy herself, too!
"No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one." - Elbert Hubbard