Back from Monterey! It was a pretty awesome weekend. As usual, the Monterey Bay Aquarium was incredible. The exhibits were breathtaking and educational and the girls loved every moment. The camping, contrary to my initial opinion, turned out to be peaceful and pleasant. We met some new people and even ran into an old camping acquaintance! Overall, it was an excellent voyage, but it was way too short.
Sunset Beach is one of many great camping spots along the California Coastline. We tend to come to the coast in the spring. It’s a nice time to visit. You can catch a lot of wildlife and wild flowers. Our flower viewing was nice, but nothing spectacular. There were all sorts of campsite critters, including a mouse! At night, we got a treat when the bats started flying about. We don’t see too many of them in our area, so the girls were excited.
As the name would imply, the sunset was spectacular out on the beach. The area wasn’t empty, but it was by no means crowded. The walk was steep, but pretty easy. The girls were able to manage fairly well, albeit with some complaining. There were plenty of kids around and Goose and Bunny were their usual social selves and made some new friends. As it turned out, one new friend was actually an old acquaintance from a prior trip!
The whole purpose of this trip was a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Be warned, it is a pricey museum trip. The Aquarium is not publicly funded so admission costs are steep. The cost for our family was pretty close to the cost of a family membership and if we had any intention of returning this year, we would have purchased the membership. When we are full-time on the road, I hope to spend some time here and have the girls do some unit studies on marine life. We will certainly take advantage of the membership prices then.
The Aquarium has a few permanent exhibits and some changing ones. The temporary exhibits are Tentacles and ¡Viva Baja!, which are both amazing. Tentacles takes you through all sorts of squid, octopus, and cuttlefish.
There were some fun educational displays, including how squids propel themselves through water and ‘make your own’ video of cuttlefish camouflage on your face!
Goose and Bunny’s favorite is the Open Sea. That’s a really fun area because the tank is enormous and all the big fish are here. The best part of this room is listening to the kids freak out over every giant fish that passes directly in front of them. I will admit to oohing and ahhing myself. It’s a great sight.
After the Aquarium, we took some lunch and went over to the Dennis the Menace Park. If you travel to Monterey with kids, take them here. It’s a sprawling play area with a rock climbing area, several play structures, a hedge maze, and a suspension bridge. This is a park with something for any child to play on. It is also in a prime location. The park over looks a lake and the coast!
It was a fast-paced and fun trip, and we can’t wait to come back. Thanks for a great weekend Monterey!