My parents picked up some In-N-Out and met us in La Jolla for a picnic. It turns out this is one of the actual locations of the tide pool memories. A seagull pecked at my camera while taking this picture. Bad seagull! My camera is not a french fry!A couple of fries fell in the grass as we unloaded the burgers and passed them around so my mom casually tossed them away. “What are you going?!” said my dad, aghast, as seagulls romped up from all over and proceeded to stare at us, mouths open, shrieking. “Oops,” said my mom as the gulls circled us and cried louder and louder. Preface: I’m all about ‘nature’ and ‘the environment’ and animals and stuff. I massively recycle in Japan. I don’t litter. Here’s what I’m not into: being preached at (unless it’s…you know…a sermon). It is not illegal to go down to the water, but seal activists strung up a line of rope barring the entrance to Children’s Cove and have tables set up for maximum preaching. I’m not sure why they’re so protective of the Children’s Cove seals. There are seals and sea lions all up and down the coast sitting on rocks and frolicking in the water. Some rich lady originally donated Children’s Cove to the public so that children would have a safe, sheltered beach to play on. Now it’s so clouded with fecal content it’s not healthy to swim in and for some reason it is under tyrannical protection. I don’t get it. One time on family vacation we came down here post-seals but pre-rope. Or maybe we walked under the rope; I forget. We walked down by the critters and were admiring the babies, and since all of us siblings were there and the parents were elsewhere, we invented the Touch the Seal Challenge. I dared Simon. Simon said he’d give me a quarter to do it. I said show me the quarter. Simon pulled it out of his pocket, held it up…and dropped it onto a very big seal. This was very funny. A lady was taking pictures of us. Excellent—an audience. The seal was big enough that I barely had to lean over to pluck the quarter off its round blubbery belly. Hannah said, “Whoa!” I leaned down again and patted it. Simon leaned down to pat it and it swung its big head around. “Yaaa!” we all jumped back. Camera Lady approached without removing her sunglasses. “Those are wild animals,” she began. Obviously. We all looked back at her and nodded. “You know it’s illegal to touch the seals,” she said. Simon and I shrugged in unison. Later we checked the sign. It’s not in fact illegal to touch them; however it is illegal to feed, harass, hunt, capture or kill marine animals. Fortunately we did none of these things. Until we chased a cute baby into the water. Ha ha, so how about those tide pools!? Infinitely fascinating! We poked anemones and watched crabs scuttle from pool to pool. I saw a seagull flying around with a big tentacled sea critter in its beak struggling to free itself while the gull fought off other gulls. A couple of mallard ducks camped out in one pool and some brown seagulls fished in another. La Jolla Cove has seals and sea lions too, but for some reason it’s not as activated as Children’s Cove. We walked down on the beach and puzzled over the rocks—was this where there used to be a natural arch? It seems to have collapsed. Hey, why wasn’t someone conserving that!? We had such a nice afternoon enjoying the warm sunshine and spending time with my parents!