We had a WONDERFUL time on our mini family vacation. The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers free admittance to homeschool families four or five days of the year and we jumped at the opportunity. It took seven hours to get there, but we got an early start that afforded a trip to Dennis the Menace Park, pizza dinner and a couple of hours to swim before bed. Not bad for our first day.
The park was an unexpected treat for me. My dad used to take me there when I was a kid and I just loved the place. I didn’t know that it was in Monterey, just a mile from our hotel, no less. I love sharing my childhood memories with my now-family, so I was thrilled.
The next day we spent at the Aquarium. While waiting for it to open, we learned a little about the history of that area. The kids got a chance to pack sardines as quickly as possible to get a taste of life on Cannery Row.
Then the main aquarium door opened and we were on our way! Octopus, rays and seahorses, oh my!! We watched feedings, touched starfish and made friends with penguins. It was a lot of fun.
We lunched at Bubba Gumps, a seafood place inspired and devoted to Forrest Gump. Our waiter was a terrific sport, friendly and helpful. When the day out ended, we all hit the pool. To contrast Bubba Gumps’ waiter, we next went to a popular diner for dinner, where it took an hour to get our food and the waitress stood over Brian demanding he write the tip on the receipt before she processed his payment. Nice.
Our Bay excursion ended with a drive to my sister’s in the foothills, by way of the Jelly Belly Factory. Minus the ticket for not having enough cash at the toll booth, that was also a fun trip.
We spent one night at my sister’s before heading home to our beloved pets and home sweet home!