Monterey Bay on Sunday

I have been to Monterey twice, I think. Maybe three times. Once, I went with my friend Wendy, who was visiting from Los Angeles, and her mom, who was visiting from Ohio. We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium only to find a line out the door and well backed up onto the street. We didn’t go.

When I brought up the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Christy thought it was a great idea. So, we planned to spend the weekend in Santa Cruz and drive down to Monterey on Sunday. We got our tickets at AAA (and saved $3 per ticket) on Friday.

Now remember, we had spent almost 12 hours at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Saturday. Everyone was kind of dragging. We had to get the house cleaned up and we had to pack our things. It took about 2 hours. Then, we had to get from Santa Cruz to Monterey – another hour. Our family arrived first. I had to go across the street from the Aquarium to sit down – my legs were hurting from the previous day. But I got a good picture of the entrance:

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

The first order of business was to eat lunch. The Aquarium cafe is PRICEY. Jack and I were the first ones done, and we asked a man where the otters were. They were going to feed the otters, and we wanted to see it. We were told, we got the others, and we parked the kids in front of the great glass windows to see the otters. They got plastered up against the glass with the crowd. I didn’t get to see the otters much at all, though I did get a good picture or two.

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

We found ourselves with the jellyfish next, which Morgan really dug. I actually got a lot of good jellyfish pictures. I’ll spare you, though, and just post the coolest ones.

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey
From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

Sunday was Father’s Day, and I managed to get a good shot of Jack and Max waiting in the entrance to the jellyfish. (Jack got scared of the dark in the exhibit, so we were waiting for the others to be done.)

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

We headed over to the touch pools. These were always my favorite parts as a kid – now too, really. There were starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, crabs… Here, Jack and Caitlyn are touching a starfish.

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

Oh, and there were abalone. I got into a discussion with a volunteer about how yummy abalone is. Mmm…

There was a big children’s play area near the penguins.

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

The kids were very interested in the water play area and in the dress up area. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is right on Monterey Bay, and there are some amazing views. So I didn’t get any water play shots, opting instead for…

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey
From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

I did get lots of pictures of the kids playing dress up. Jack was a sting ray.

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey
From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

I think Anika and Caitlyn were both octopi. They were all playing with stuffed fish as pets.

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey
From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey
From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey
From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

Jack was very cranky in the afternoon. I knew that we wouldn’t be coming back to the Monterey Bay Aquarium anytime soon, so I wanted to see as much as possible without him melting down. I took him separately from the other kids and found a quiet exhibit. The problem? It was an exhibit on how fishing is destroying sea life. We saw a lot of pictures of dead sea turtles. It made Jack sad, of course! We went from dead sea turtles to see a presentation about great white sharks. It seemed to be a nice break, and everyone appreciated the time to sit and rest. We decided to see the flamingos.

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

Which for some reason included a cow.

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

In the flamingo exhibit, there were live sea turtles and live penguins. I wanted to make sure we at least tried to see everything, so we went over to the Monterey habitats area. The giant octopus was all curled up. There was a diver in the Kelp Forest answering questions. But Jack was very keyed up tired. We took him to the gift shop – actually, there are several gift shops in the Aquarium. He wanted a stuffed animal. Of course. The Hammerhead Shark was $40. He didn’t think the otters were fluffy enough. We finally found a “blue whale” (which looks more like a gray whale, but whatever) for $20. Done.

From June 2011 Santa Cruz Monterey

I tried to use Yelp to find a place to eat. I wanted breakfast, so I looked for diners. I found Archie’s American Diner, 3 miles away… well, really .3 miles away. So we drove when we didn’t have to. And the place didn’t serve breakfast. What kind of diner doesn’t serve breakfast? I have decided that I hate Yelp as a finding places to eat app. I must find a new one. The diner’s bathrooms were some of the ickiest I have seen outside of gas stations, so I didn’t use them.

Jack fell asleep within 30 minutes of getting in the car. He used his new whale as a pillow. He slept the entire way home, including a gas stop at which I ran into a Target to use the toilet. He stayed asleep after we got him in his bed, and didn’t wake up until the usual time the next morning.

All in all, a successful trip with lots of good memories!

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2 thoughts on “Monterey Bay on Sunday

  1. Pingback: Happy Holidays from the Chittister Family! « The Chittister Family

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