Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Learning about Nor Cal Part I- Monterey

I've been wanting to write about the trip my family took to Northern California for a while now.  Hurricane Irene caused this post to be delayed as we just got internet service back recently.

*This is the first post in a series of three posts covering the places we visited on this trip.


Wednesday Night, August 10th we arrived in Monterey and stayed in a wonderful hotel called The Clement Monterey from InterContinental Hotels and Resorts Click here to be linked to this hotel!
This hotel had the most comfortable bed to relieve my jet lagged body with down everything (featherbed, pillows, and comforter)!  My DH and I put our DD down after a day of exhausting flying and ordered room service from The C Restaurant, which we later learned is known as a top notch place to eat in the area.  I ordered the dungeness crab salad and this became the first of many crab dishes I experienced on this trip.

Thursday, August 11th we went sightseeing all day starting with a walk through the Red Wood Forests of Big Sur.

Look at how small the stroller looks compared to the base of this redwood!
The DH was getting creative with his camera shots- he wanted to show just how tall these trees are.

Next, we took the 17 mile drive along the Pacific Coast line.  We stopped at many interesting sight seeing attractions like:
The Lone Cypress recognized among “10 Most Magnificent Trees in the World” by World Amazing February 2009.
Pebble Beach Golf Course- rated #1 Public Course in the U.S. by Golf Digest
I most enjoyed gazing out the window as baby A (a.k.a. my DD) soundly slept in her carseat.  It is amazing  (and a little scary) how close the road is to the coastline, however it makes for breathtaking views from the car.  The only way that this day could have been any better is if the sun were out!

Friday Morning, August 12 we visited the well known Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I had heard about this aquarium from other people that had visited this region and was told that it is amazing (I use this word a lot when I get excited about something) and a must-see!                IT IS!
My two favorite people!  This attraction produced the most smiles :)
The best part parts of this aquarium are:

*  the "Open Sea" exhibit-which is a tank that reaches from the floor to the very top of the ceiling and when you stand in front of it, you feel as if you are standing on the bottom of the ocean in the deep blue sea.
*  adorable sea otters floating around on their backs and silly penguins up for a photo op.
*  multiple touch tanks all over the place= never crowded and always room to pet a sea cucumber!
*  live shows outside with the ocean as the backdrop- cast members dressed as jellyfish, penguins and other sea animals dancing and singing in an effort to communicate with children the need to preserve sea life and help keep oceans clean- the DD LOVED this and clapped throughout the whole performance.
*  WHAT I REALLY LIKED is that they had a special section just for toddlers to explore!
Abby experiencing the motion of the ocean in the toddler only section- I couldn't get her off of this thing! 
If this aquarium weren't on the other side of the country and I would definitely purchase a season pass to this AMAZING aquarium!

What I learned about Monterey:

*  It can be very chilly and was in the 50's when we were there.
*  Dungeness Crab is native to the west coast and DELICIOUS- much meatier and fulfilling than crab from the east coast.
*  Sea lions and sea otters are swimming around all over the place- keep your eyes peeled!
*  Cannery Row (where we stayed) is famous for canning and producing sardines- there is an exhibit on this at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
*  John Steinbeck was inspired to write about this local.
*  this is SHOCKING but, I thought chowder from Fisherman's Wharf was better than New England Clam Chowder (I feel like such a traitor)!

Next Up...Napa a.k.a. Wine Country!

1 comment:

  1. ooh you're making me hungry and I don't even like seafood! :) I want to visit that aquarium now - the toddler section sounds great!!! Glad you're posting on this, I have wanted to hear all about your adventures!!