Anika's Coming-Of-Age Trip to the Northwest: July 9-28, 2016

7/7/2016 Thursday: Marine Mammal Center

In 1984, before we had any grandchildren, and our eldest was just graduating from Dartmouth College, a very dear friend, John Hennessey, told us how he and Jean took each one of his grandchildren on a long summer trip without parents or siblings. It is a wonderful bonding experience for all concerned, and I urge you to do it with your grandchildren when they reach the age of 12.

Our first was Aron, who in 2004 chose to go on a Lewis and Clark Expedition, retracing the steps of those early American explorers. Our second was Natan, who chose to go to Alaska, and even managed to help land a 7-passenger plane in Barrow, the northernmost hamlet of the United States. Our third was Erik, whose first choice was Hawaii, which was deemed too dangerous for his doddering grandparents, so he settled for his second choice, Washington, DC. Our fourth and last was Anika, Erik's sister, whose first choice was also Hawaii, but her grandparents were deemed to be even more doddering than before, so she settled for the Northwest.
As a pre-cursor to our trip, and because her parents told us that Anika loved animals, we paid a visit to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. It was a bit disappointing since we couldn’t get close to their animals, but we were given a nice tour of the facilities and a talk about their work there. There was a gigantic (but life-sized!) statue of a sea lion, and a “monster” made of the fishing nets and cables and plastic pulled out of a single sea-lion’s innards. We saw glimpses of other rescued animals in their cages, but we couldn’t get very close.

Anika's Notes

Planned our day while we ate beignets with Mike (Grandma’s Friend). Drove to the Marine Mammal Center and did the tour there, I saw sea lions and a baby harbor seal. Had domino's pizza with sausage. Played scrabble with Mike. Mike’s sister Kaly came over and we ate dinner together. Played dominos with Mike and Grandparents

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sea lion statue

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a fish-eye lens view of the holding pools

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This hulking and thought-provoking sculpture, "Ghost-Net Monster", was made from a small portion of the 450 pounds of "ghost nets" and trash found in the belly of a sperm whale necropsied by The Marine Mammal Center. It shows what can happen to marine life when humans set their garbage adrift.

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3-month old Northern Seal pup

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Anika with a statue of a sea otter

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mobile of the oceans and schools of fish at the Marine Mammal Center

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3-month old Northern Seal pup

On Friday, 7/8/2016 we pretty much stayed close to home. Anika played some vicious games of Scrabble with Mike Price, Kally’s younger brother, who is staying with us and will take care of Teddy and Mila (Mike’s dog) while we are on our trip.
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Mike Price who plays a
mean game of Scrabble