It's spring break for the kids, so we're trying to keep things busy, in order to cut down on the amount of time they can spend arguing with me or bickering with each other (I can't decide which I enjoy more! All of the back sass all of the time!)
I've taken the kids to the aquarium in Long Beach a couple of times before, and every time I leave physically and mentally exhausted, because the kids have been too little, and I end up carrying one (or both) of them around, or turning my back for a fraction of a second to turn back and realize I can't find them in the maze of other small children, or them just being regular old small children who get tired and hungry and overwhelmed quite easily. This time though felt like the sweet spot. They're both big enough to walk the whole aquarium under their own power, and also big enough to not do a runner or dart too fart out of sight. We met up my old coworker Emily, her husband Brad, and their son Liam and daughter Jordan. Jordan and Ellie walked around holding hands the other time, and having a third parent with us was great in terms of managing all of the littles.
The kids loved watching the seals and sea lions, and the otters swimming around. The other thing is that the otter tank is set up with several viewing levels, and then pretend rocks in the back against the wall, which was like a rock climbing wall for small friends. Adam says that was his favorite part, of course. Ellie loved the touch tanks and and sea lions.
And then they both loved getting to pick out a stuffed toy in the gift shop afterwards.
It was really a fun day with our friends. And, though the kids didn't fall asleep on the car ride home, we all took a nap from 2;30 to 4pm, which is the REAL victory.