Fun with a Friend at the Redondo Pier

We took our friend A to play at the Redondo Pier.  It was bittersweet.  For me, I got to see what it would be like if Darus had a sibling.  For her, she got to see what it was like to hang out w/ a special needs' child.  It was a learning experience for us both, I believe, to say the least.  The drive to the pier was about 20 minutes.  It was a drive much different than I'm accustomed to, as I had actual back and forth communication.  An 8 year old was asking me questions and I got to respond.  I got to ask her questions, and she responded to me.  How novel?  When we got there, we parked and then we walked.  We walked a lot.  A was so intrigued by seeing the fish in the sea below us.  We saw Garibaldis and minnows.  We stopped into a shop, but quickly left, as it was filled w/ breakable trinkets that I knew Darus had potential to destroy in short order.  We played at the arcade for about 10 minutes.  I'm sure A would have stayed for much longer, had we been afforded the ability, but Darus wasn't having it.  His body needed to keep moving.  We walked along the pier, checked out the living seafood for sale and eventually back towards the car.  We were going to eat dinner at Captain Kidd's, but they didn't have macaroni and cheese, so we headed back to the car to get dinner elsewhere.  Again, I'm sure A would have loved to have explored more, but it just wasn't possible.  I felt bad knowing this, but also felt like it was a learning experience for her.  She's the older sister of 2 younger brothers, so her patience is in tact.  She also has a very motherly and loving personality.  We ended up at Island's - which was the perfect place for us.  The kids shared the ipad and watched Dora together while we waited for our food.  We even had a kid in the neighboring booth join in on the fun!  After dinner, A asked for ice cream.  I told her, "no, I'm sorry, not tonight".  She really wanted ice cream.  I didn't give in.  It felt good to make that parenting decision and stick to it.  As we got closer to home, A said to me, "I'm really tired, I'm glad we didn't stop for ice cream."  All in all, it was a really special evening for us.  I look forward to more outings like this.