Thursday, September 4, 2014

California Adventures: Monterey Bay Aquarium

While we were in Santa Cruz, my parents mentioned that they really wanted to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I wasn't sure about putting Evan through the hour drive each way, since our trip was so car heavy to begin with, but we ultimately decided that it would be a fun outing. And it was. 

Evan loved staring at the glowing blue lights. Well, love might be overstating things just a little, but it did catch his attention when he was in the right mood. 

Truth is, it was crazy crowded, so he didn't stay in the stroller very long. We needed it to carry our stuff, but Evan was more in my arms than not :)

It had been a few years since I'd been, and it was very fun to have both my parents and Evan in tow, and to be bringing Evan to his first aquarium. 

It was a spectacular day in Monterey Bay. 

There was more than enough wildlife to keep us entertained inside and out.

Our favorites were the seals - there were some rocks that they kept jostling over for sunning rights. 

And of course, I loved eyeing the hills in the distance. One of my favorite California scenes. 

We took turns taking in the view and taking pictures of one another. 

After all, the backdrop couldn't be beat. 

I'm so thankful to  have gotten so much quality time with my parents this summer. It's probably the most time we've spent together in many, many years and was quite special, especially, I think, for Evan. 

After our outdoor fun, we headed back in for more exhibits. Not too long after, Mr. Evan let me know he was hungry, so we went and found a good bench with a beautiful view of the bay and camped out, while my parents hit another exhibit. After eating, he was obviously a very happy baby. 

And a tired one. Once in the sling, it wasn't long until he fell asleep. We on the other hand, were hungry and so we headed to the little known (at least to me) fancy restaurant hidden in the aquarium. We got a fantastic seat next to the full windows, gifting us a fantastic view of the playful seals while we ate some quite delicious food. 

After lunch, we hit a few more exhibits and then it was time to go. 

But, we couldn't leave without one last stop! Near the aquarium is a branch of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory  - my favorite dessert place hands down. I have so many fond memories visiting the real one in San Francisco when we would visit my Nana, growing up. 

Evan was a little young to have a taste, but the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed this special treat. 

What a lovely trip!

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