Monterey 2014

Hey Everyone,

Hope you’re having a safe and fun rainy season.  Last weekend, we got a break in the weather and enjoyed a great time in Monterey.  We sorta forgot how long the drive was, having taken a bus the past couple years.  And the “storm day” off from school caused us to miss our meeting before the trip sending us into a bit more chaos.  But we had willing chaperones, and a nice group of 33 kids, and the day was a success.
We started off at the Monterey Bay Aquarium at the Open Sea feeding.  It’s really a spectacular show, if you haven’t seen it in the past few years. There’s the usual narrator, but lots of interaction, lots of video, and it’s really fun to see how the fish behave in the million gallon tank.  But it also was our first taste of the crowds.  As the day went on, we noticed how crowded the aquarium was becoming.  It turns out that we were there during a promotion where residents of the three counties around Monterey could all enjoy free admission.  Which is a great opportunity for the community.  But not a good day for us to visit!

Obviously, it was harder to move, and harder to keep track of kids.  But we did our best.  There was a really nice temporary exhibit on cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus, etc.)  Kids loved the touch pools, as usual, and the jellies are always a hit.  It was hard to get shots of kids actuallydoing things, compared to the last trip to Slide Ranch.  But still a great experience in a world-class aquarium.

In lieu of our usual afternoon trip to SLEWTHS, we decided instead to walk Fishermans Wharf in Monterey.  We sampled lots of clam chowder, and then found a guy willing to let us hold any of his many parrots and take photos.  We got to see a wild sea otter at the end of the wharf, who would dive down for mussels, come back up and bang the shells on a boat to help crack them, and then float around on his back to eat.  We watched him for about a half hour, and wandered back to our cars for a snack before leaving.

The slideshow/video of the trip can be viewed here:

January’s trip is back to Año Nuevo to see the elephant seals.  Hope you have a great holiday season, and thanks again for all of your love and support.