A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Weekend Getaway: Monterey Aquarium January 24, 2014

Filed under: animals,California — Kelocity @ 1:02 pm
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Over the long weekend, we trekked five hours up the coast of California to the seaside town of Monterey. We met up with Irving’s mom and grandmother while we were there. It was three days of fish, ocean, family and relaxation. We had a lot of fun.

First up on our list of things to do was of course the Monterey Aquarium. It’s a must see, we spent ALL day there.


We knew Adele would like it, but we had no idea she would LOVE it. She had her face plastered to the tanks, we had to peel her away to move on to the next one.
Her silhouette pigtails are the CUTEST!
Hey fishie! Come here!

We briefly let her play in the touch pool, but she was more interested in watching than touching.


The aquarium is right on the bay, so you can go outside and catch a glimpse at the wildlife out there as well. She was mesmerized by the waves. She kept saying “Water! Water! Water!”

But we eventually made it back inside to watch the Penguins!

This was a ‘beach’ exhibit with lots of birds on the sand. She really liked this one.


Once it was apparent it was nap time for the little (and lunchtime for the adults), we headed back to our hotel. (Shoes not required…the shoes and socks came off one by one on the ride back to the car!)

Adele took a nice nap and Irving, Nini and I snuck off for a nice lunch at the Black Bear Diner. (Thanks for babysitting Adele, Julie!) When she woke up, she was in a great mood, so we headed back to the Aquarium to take fully advantage of our tickets!

First stop was a visit back to see the waves!
Outside, they have an exhibit where you can stand under a glass wall and a wave will ‘crash’ over you. You never get wet of course, but Adele thought it was HILARIOUS. She got scared and then giggled. Over and over.

Back inside, we checked out the Jellyfish exhibits. I remembered these from when I first visited here in 2002(?)

You could even make a drawing and it would ‘swim away’ like a Jellyfish would. Irving’s quite the artist!

We spent the rest of our time there in the toddler playground area. They had a slide and bouncy things to climb on. And also a fish tank tunnel with little Nemos!

That night, we all went for Chinese Food (really really good Chinese food!) and then called it a night. We were all pretty tired. It was a full, wonderful day.

Stay tuned for more photos of the rest of our weekend!


Adele Meets Shamu April 22, 2013

Filed under: Baby,California,Friends,Nature,San Diego — Kelocity @ 9:50 pm
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Irving and I woke up early and drove down to SeaWorld for the day on Sunday! My friend Courtney was in San Diego and since it’s only two hours from LA, we thought SeaWorld would be the perfect opportunity to catch up and do something fun!

We started our day by going up the Sky Tower (a ride that takes you 328 feet up above the park)!  We could see all the tanks below with the dolphins and whales swimming around.

Adele loved it, obviously.


Then we headed over to ride the roller coaster! Daddy and Adele chickened out, but Courtney and I rode the Manta and LOVED it! I giggled and screamed the whole time, it was awesome!

We brought our new umbrella stroller and I think Adele liked it. What a life, right?

Ok, Adele. Where should we go next?

Yea? You want to see the dolphins? Ok, let’s do it!

IMG_1720Look, mama! Fishies!


All around the park are individual aquariums, so we checked out the Sea Turtle exhibit next. These guys are awesome!


It was nice to be able to go from inside to outside so we never got too hot.

I think her favorite part of the entire day was watching the roller coaster go by. haha Maybe because it’s so big and loud, but she was pretty mesmerized by it.


Adele was excited to hang out with Courtney so Irving and I could check out the Shark exhibit together. haha It was like a 3 minute date! haha We even held hands when we walked through. Awe.

And then it was time! Shamu Time!!
IMG_1785(Mom, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a killer whale, have I?) So awesome!


Hey, buddy!

Then it was time to see Shamu in action!

Adele took a 10 minute nap ALL day, so she was pretty zonked by this point, but she still paid attention and watched, even from up high!


After the show, we walked around for a bit hoping Adele would fall asleep (spoiler alert: she didn’t), but we got to look at the Penguins and the Beluga whales! So awesome.

What a great, great day. Adele was amazing and we all had a blast. It was nice to remember that San Diego is really in our backyard.

Then, to keep it interesting, we headed to Old Town in San Diego for some amazing authentic Mexican Food. Yes! I almost don’t want to tell you about it because we like to keep it our little secret. (*cough*cough* Casa Guadalajara *cough*cough*) We ordered way too much food and left stuffed to the gills. We also ordered Adele food from the kids menu for the first time! Quasadilla with rice & beans with a side of fruit. She had plenty of leftovers, but she enjoyed it. Suffice it to say, she slept in the car for the entire two hours it took to get home. (and then another 12 hours straight after that!) Yea, she was tired.

I think Courtney needs to visit us more often!


Cabrillo Marine Aquarium April 1, 2013

Filed under: Baby,Beach,Los Angeles — Kelocity @ 10:01 am
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Saturday was such a fun day and it totally made up for the quiet day we had on Friday. Irving, Adele and I joined seven other babies and friends for a day at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. There were twenty-four of us total! The aquarium employees were impressed that we all drove down to the South Bay to visit. (Totally worth the drive, by the way).

It’s not an exceptionally large aquarium, but they had a few really fun exhibits that we all thought were pretty neat. For example, check out this new adorable breed of fish that has just been discovered!

Hardy, har har. But seriously, there were some really neat things that even I have never seen before. They had the usual octopus, seahorses and starfish, but I was most impressed by the baby sharks! Not only did they have actual baby sharks… but they had an exhibit where you could see live shark eggs…. AND see them forming inside! The eggs are a little transparent, so you could view them at each stage of gestation. It was really cool.

The kids all liked the big tanks where they could gaze in wonder at the little fishies swimming by.


And of course, the dads had to climb into the viewing tunnel to view them from the inside too!

Hi Fishies!


Watch out for those sharks!

Even the littlest kids enjoyed the touch tide-pool!

After we had our fill of educational things, we enjoyed some sunshine on the beach! There’s a cute little playground with swings and slides right on the sand! So fun!
File this one under #LuckyToLiveInLA

By then, we had worked up quite an appetite and after a little googling, we found a restaurant nearby that could fit our large group on short notice. It was the Pacific Diner and they were great! We walked in and said “We’ll take all the high chairs you can give us”. They were SO accommodating.

If you ever wondered what it’s like to dine at a table with EIGHT babies 5-10 months…. let me assure you that it was actually a quiet, fun and enjoyable experience. All of them were so well behaved and we had a blast hanging out with everyone. So lucky to have this wonderful group of people. Looking forward to many more adventures together as the kids grow up!

After lunch, we split off and a few of us walked the San Pedro Pier for a bit until the sun and wind was enough and then we all headed home.
I think everyone slept well that night. It was nice to get out of LA and enjoy a new neighborhood too. This city is pretty amazing.


The Lost World of Atlantis! November 9, 2010

Filed under: Dubai — Kelocity @ 8:00 am
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Originally 10/27/2010…

We dedicated a full day to the Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis. I had been to Atlantis in the Bahamas and I knew we would both love to do it together. Atlantis Dubai is on the tip of the ‘Palm Island’ (the manmade islands shaped like a palm tree).

Irving was the Ultimate Tourist. HAHA

On the other side of Atlantis is the Arabian Gulf (or Persian Gulf). It was really pretty.


We arrived three full hours before the park opened. We thought that we could walk around the grounds and take pictures, but this wasn’t really the case. We had to beg our way into the hotel so we didn’t have to wait outside. We passed the time looking at the giant aquarium inside.






We also finagled our way into the hotel lobby (which is supposed to be for hotel guests only).

There was a gorgeous Chuli sculpture in the middle. I think the Bahamas Atlantis had one as well.
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We still had a couple of hours to kill, so we had a leisurely breakfast in a café overlooking the hotel pools.

Finally it was time to buy our wristbands and get into the park! The bands have a computer chip in them that you connect to your credit card and you can use it to unlock the lockers, and buy food and drinks. cool, huh?

Our first stop was the beautiful white beaches along the gulf.

I remember learning about “The Gulf” in school, and it was so cool to actually be there and put your toes in the water. Or jump right in!

You can see the Dubai skyline from the beach. Just gorgeous.The land in the foreground is one of the ‘palm island’ leaves.

Then we headed to Aquaventure.

We started out on the lazy river to get a lay of the land. It takes you around the park on an innertube.

The coolest part about Atlantis are the Water Coasters. They are actual waterslides but they have jet propulsion that shoot you down AND up like a waterslide! And you don’t ever have to get out of your tube to get to the top. There is a conveyor belt that takes you up automatically!



After doing a few coasters, we had lunch… mmm burgers!

Then it was time for Irving to try the leap of faith!! This is a huge freefall slide that ends inside a shark tank (protected by acrylic). It was made popular in a season of “The Amazing Race”. A girl was too afraid to go down and it they got eliminated because of it! I did the slide in the Bahamas, but I was too chicken to go down again here. Irving was brave and went straight down!

A closer look:

Then we did a little more of the lazy river, this time we tried the rapids!

We did a few more slides and then ended the day swimming again in the Gulf. Behind Irving is the famous Burj Hotel (the world’s only 7-star hotel…the one Tiger Woods hit the golf ball off of).

As the sun set, we could see the Burj Khalifa in the background. the sun was hitting the windows and all you could see was the sun’s reflection!

After that, we spent an hour or so in the “Lost Chambers”. This is the aquarium in Atlantis that is set up like a giant ship wreck. They have a decent collection of strange fish.

These guys were HUGE! Almost as big as me!

By the end, we were fried and headed back to our hotel. Another fabulous day in Dubai.


From the Sky to the Sea! November 8, 2010

Filed under: Dubai — Kelocity @ 3:00 pm
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Originally from 10/26/2010…

Today, we took the metro to the Dubai Mall. This is the largest mall in the world. It is huge and inside, they have an amusement park, aquarium, ice skating rink, stores, restaurants and more!

Here’s the ice skating rink, right next to the food court, no big deal. haha My favorite part is the Zamboni cleaning the ice. Smile

Also attached to the Dubai Mall is the Burj Kahlifa. This is the tallest building in the world. The tallest man made structure ever built.

On the 124th floor, they have an outdoor observation deck so you can observe Dubai from above. You need a reservation, and we made us for early morning. The elevator that takes you to the top goes up three floors per second! Only 1 minute to get to the top!

There are SO many huge buildings in Dubai that you kind of lose perspective on how high up we really were.


It looks sandy and smoky because of all the desert sands in the air. It was quite hazy from the top.


Then we had lunch in the food court. I found some awesome arabic food. I love how available this good food is here! Don’t let anyone tell you Dubai is expensive. We found everything to be pretty reasonable.

After we came back down, we went to check out the aquarium in the middle of the mall.

We were joking that Dubai always has to have the biggest, the oldest, the first, etc in everything they do. The aquarium is no different. This is the world’s largest single piece of acrylic used for the tank wall.

There are so many different fish inside, including SHARKS!

Even though you can see the tank from inside the mall, we bought a ticket to get a closer look at the other tanks inside.

We found Nemo!

And like little kids, we had to climb on all the fun rope bridges!


They even had penguins! And it actually snows inside their tank!

In the middle of the tank, there is a cage where you can pay to snorkel…inside the aquarium…inside the mall! (think about that… snorkeling in an aquarium? You can’t do that in the states. lol)

So…when in Rome… Irving opted to try it!

He’s braver than me. I’m very afraid of swimming with fish, so I waited outside the tank… in front of Chili’s Restaurant. hahaha. this place is so weird!

It was hilarious watching Irving swim around in a giant fish tank.


There were all kinds of tourists around me saying “is there someone swimming in the fish tank?” And I was laughing saying “that’s my husband!”

We brought the underwater housing for my camera and he took it in the tank with him.



A very cool experience indeed.


After our morning in the mall, we headed out on a desert safari! There are so many companies that do the same type of tour, but we chose to go with Big Bus Tours, since we had a good experience with them earlier in the week. Our driver was an Iraqi who grew up in Basra, Iraq. He was very nice, and we had a great time.


First, they take you an hour out into the dessert by SUV, where there are great sand dunes. We were really close to Oman!


And Irving fell asleep on the drive. (Remember I promised you I got a good picture of Irving sleeping?) haha BUSTED!

Then the driver deflated the tires a little in the truck…

And the Dune Bashing began!

Inside, I was hanging onto dear life, but it was SO fun!


You drive full speed up the dunes and then come crashing down on the other side.

Every once in a while, they stopped so we could take pictures of the Arabian sands.

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The sun was setting, so our pictures came out really good. The perfect amount of sun.

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The sand was so red and so soft. Exactly what you’d imagine!

One one dune, we looked over, and there was a caravan of camels walking through!



At one of the stops, our driver gave us some water. Look how they package it! It’s like a jello cup!


As the sun was setting, Irving snapped one of favorite pictures of the whole trip. We call it “Kelley Jumping off a Dune at Sunset”. Winking smile

This was the perfect Arabian Night!

After the sun went down, we pulled into a fort in the dessert.
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They had all kinds of fun things to do (all included in the tour). Irving rode a camel for the first time!
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And I got a henna tattoo!
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Then they had some traditional Arab clothes you could dress up in.
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Meet Mr. and Mrs. Ali Babwa…

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They also had a real falcon you could hold!
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Before our dinner was served, we relaxed with the Sheesha Pipes. Just a little bit of the apple flavor.
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Dinner was served buffet style, and we sat on cushions on rugs on the sand. The food was really good, and the bread was being baked right in front of us!

The night culminated with a great Belly Dancing show!

On our way back to Dubai, the drivers were having a little playful fun passing each other and playing with their headlights. We even went over some dunes in the pitch dark without our lights on… that was scary. haha There really aren’t any driving rules it seemed. They pull off into the Dunes wherever they want and then come back onto the highway. It was a fantastic experience, and definitely a highlight of our trip.


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