Thursday, April 15, 2010

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Day 2 in Santa Cruz dawned a lot less cloudy but still a little chilly. We ate our breakfast on the deck as we watched pelicans soar by at eye level. Then we threw the rest of the cookies from the night before down to the beach below for the seagulls until they got wise to where the cookies were coming from and attempted to intercept them at the source.

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.

Lauren and I finished off the night with milk and cookies and home pedicures. Lauren did my blue nails with silver stars. Love, love, love that girl!


  1. We lived in Monterey for 2 years when we were first married. Man, do I miss it. I keep telling W to take a post there, but he keeps wanting to do something "good for his career." Stupid career.

  2. Looks like a ton of fun! Glad you had a great time. Your deserve it.

  3. Aww- I love that place. If I were a millionaire I'd have a room just like the jellyfish room- dark with giant blue lit tanks with floating jellyfish.

  4. I want to go to Monterrey Aquarium! Look back at the "soothing" wave picture...Jacob looks ready to jump in!

    Love all the pix.

  5. I forgot you lived there Yen... was he at the Language Institute? LUCKY post...

    I want a jellyfish room too MAK.... Your pictures are so good Cyn