Each year, my husband, a highschool science teacher, takes his Sophomore Biology class up to Morro Bay for a trip, and we are blessed to be able to tag along.
So over the next few weeks, I thought I might share with you what we did on our trip. For one, I want to document this trip for my kids. And two, I want to share the fun learning activities that Joey plans for this trip in case you are ever in the area and are looking for things to do. I think I took about 7032 pictures, so it would be difficult for me to write about the whole trip in just one post. If you follow me along on Instagram, I’m sure you may have already have seen some of my favorites.
UC Santa Barbara
Our trip begins in the beautiful Inland Empire of Southern California. Our first stop is at UC Santa Barbara. A couple of students took us on a tour, allowing the students to touch animals of all sorts including sea stars, sea anemone and small sharks in their touch tanks. This year, there was a journalist from National Wildlife Magazine writing a story about a virus impacting the sea star populations. UC Santa Barbara’s touch tanks are the only place that hasn’t been greatly affected. He asked to use our kids in his photos for his article.
I can’t wait to see the article!
The tour guides also took us on a short walk on the beach. Joey and Caleb went on the walk and my three littles searched for rocks and shells on the beach.
Sophia found this beautiful rock with a heart etched into it.
After stopping for lunch, we continued our drive. I love to read to our kids while we drive, but I always get a kink in my neck and a sore back from the awkward twisting position and a tired voice from yelling so the backseat kids can hear. So a few years ago, I bought a plastic megaphone from the Dollar Store and now I read through that. I’m sure I get weird looks as people drive by but I don’t even care.;) I get to read to the kids now in comfort. We’ve started the Narnia series with the kids and they are in love. So between listening to Swiss Family Robinson on audio and me reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia , the driving time passed quickly for them.
Our next stop, was the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach.
The butterflies are of a different variety and have a life span of up to six months instead of six weeks. This is their home as they find shelter in the Eucalyptus groves from October to February. “The butterflies form dense clusters with each one hanging with its wing down over the one below it to form a shingle effect. This provides shelter from the rain and warmth for the group. The weight of the cluster help keeps it from whipping in the wind and dislodging the butterflies.”(Monarachbutterfly.org)
Often, when the weather is warm enough, the butterflies are very active and fly low enough to be seen and sometimes even held. This year was a little too cold, but we were able to see the monarch clusters in the limbs of the Eucalyptus trees through scopes. I was able to take pictures and videos of the clusters with my phone through the scope.
Here is a shot of our little Livie trying to look through the scope. She had to hold one eye shut.
Her sweet sister was holding her up so Mommy could take the picture.
We were also able to see two great horned owls. Again, they were high up in the Eucalyptus trees so I had to take their picture through the scope.
After the butterflies, we made our way to camp at the Morro Bay State Park to set up and prepare supper.
The kids are helping to get water for supper
Everyone helped to set up camp and then we ate supper. It was late by the time we were finished eating so we got the kids ready for bed and I read a few chapters of Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John to them before going to sleep.
And that was Day 1 of our trip. You will have to stay tuned for the next exciting episode. 🙂