We left Santa Cruz for the day and traveled to Monterey to the Aquarium there. It had been years (pre-Lauren) since I had been there and it was as amazing as I remembered. Junior and I had been prepping for weeks for this visit by watching the video of the Giant Pacific Octopus they have there as well as playing all the interactive games. The Octopus did not disappoint us and made a show of crawling along the front of his tank, but what excited Junior far more than that were the planktons he saw in the jellyfish exhibit. Planktons. Boring. You can't even really see them. They look like small bubbles, but my little Spongebob Squarepants fan was seriously excited to finally see them for real.
The trusty Binghams :-) Some of my favorite people in the world!
I'll say it first! I need a tan. I had thought the California sun would oblige me better.
Sis loved the hands-on baby exhibit. This section was like crawling on a waterbed. It was supposed to feel like being in the waves and Sis loved it. Normally she comes to me like a little puppy when I hold out my hands, but this time she knew that meant going and crawled to the far side. She is no dummy :-)
This may be my favorite picture of the entire trip.
Bubba would not even consider touching the starfish, but Junior got a kick out of it.
Resisting a much needed nap. She never did give in, stubborn girl...
Jacob, Bubba and Junior in the wave room. Clear glass walls let you feel what it is like to be under a wave without getting wet. It was oddly soothing. If I were a billionaire, I would seriously consider getting one of these rooms installed.
Lauren and Junior trying to coax the Rays (who were tired of being manhandled) over
The jellyfish room - my favorite!
After the Aquarium, we walked down Cannery Row and had dinner at an oceanside restaurant. We all ate pizza and pasta but Sis preferred a lemon. Anyone in the family remember Junior and the lemon at this age? She did the same thing. She wasn't particularly enjoying it, but kept right on going.
After dinner, we walked down to explore under the pier and watched a little girl and her brother get soaked by a unusually large wave. Our kids thought it was hilarious. The wet kids were not nearly as amused.