Ever since my step-sister and her husband visited, Evan’s been really wanting to go to Monterey. (Jenn and Jeff went to Monterey when they visited us with a friend of Jeff’s and came back raving about the awesome aquarium there.) As per Evan’s birthday request, we loaded up the car and headed out to Monterey the Saturday before last.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium did not disappoint. We got there early enough that there weren’t huge crowds, so we had front row seats for watching the divers feed the fish (including some sharks) in the kelp forest.
I got to see lots of two of my favorite sea creatures, jellies and sea anemones.
After a leisurely lunch and a walk around old town (including through the very cute Rip Squeak gallery), we completed 17 mile drive. I’d heard people complain that the drive got old quickly, but I never get tired of beautiful coastlines (or checking out fancy-schmancy houses for that matter). By the time we got home at the end of the day, the tranquility of Monterey had rubbed off on me and I honestly felt like I’d been on vacation.
In stark contrast to the lovely day in Monterey was our day battling the crowds at the Half Moon Bay Harvest Festival. I’ve been wanting to go to this festival since we drove through Half Moon Bay over a year ago, when I was visiting the area in anticipation of accepting a job offer here. I had visions of strolling through quaint pumpkin farms, waiting for The Great Pumpkin to appear. I’m always hoping for those slightly cheesey, but ever so endearing small-townesque experiences (that is why I am a total sucker for parades, the smaller the better). Unfortunately, about fifty bazillion people had the same idea I did, so it took two hours to drive there (rather than the twenty minutes it usually takes) and two hours to get back. Once at the festival, it was CROWDED. Luckily, the parade made the whole trip worthwhile with its dressed-up kids, Kool-aid Man, and the giant pumpkin. Despite the crowds, my longing for small town goodness was met.