Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Monterey, Part 2

Day 2

Night before day 2: Lincoln was teething and had a cold and was in a new place. He slept terribly and screamed lots...which gave me lots of anxiety about thin hotel walls and exhaustion and whatnot. Anyway, we survived. Bryan was a champ. Also, thanks to Elmo and a king sized bed that helped us

After a lovely (?) continental breakfast at our hotel, we started our morning back at the Aquarium!

Touching a sea star

Touching a sea cucumber. Not pictured: Lincoln grabbing the giant strands of kelp-- the one protecting all the creatures-- and trying to pull them out of the tank. That's Lincoln for you. :) 

This was one of my favorite things! Lincoln was not being a patient child, however, so we didn't get to watch the giant octopus for long.

These fish were so cool. They were just kind of floating there in the kelp forest, rising and falling as the water and kelp rose and fell.  

That school of fish was mesmerizing.

Lincoln chasing the birds. We have lots of crows at our house so he's perfected his "caw!" that he uses to call them. 

At this point we were getting hungry and Lincoln was tired. We headed back to the hotel, ate lunch, and got Lincoln to take a nap.

After all that we took a bike ride up the coast to some awesome beaches and views. I don't know that I've ever seen such magnificent views before... if you are going to retire somewhere that costs a bajillion dollars to live, the houses with the following beaches as their front yards are the place to be.

Click on the picture to make it bigger.

Cute boys.

Lincoln LOVED exploring the tide pools, especially finding the hermit crabs. 
 This video captured Bryan's favorite moment of the vacation.


Lincoln chasing a seagull...the poor guy still managed to get away even though he had a bum wing and couldn't fly.

Cushy ride

How we got around all week.

Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University

After we got tired of the really cold wind, we headed back toward the hotel we spent a few minutes back at the aquarium.

I could have watched these for a long time. 

Lincoln is obsessed with buttons. Doesn't matter what they do. If something cool happens after he pushes them, all the better, but not necessary. :) 

These were like the creepy earthworms of the sea. My irrational fear of snakes was on alert. 

This was a sign with a video of some kids playing on a beach... I don't know if Lincoln thought they were real kids, or what, but he loved this sign. We frequented it. 

After Lincoln was tired of being in public, we left and decided to hurry to a little restaurant near the pier for dinner.

As we got near the restaurant and parked our bikes, we looked down and saw a huge seal on the dock. It was barking super loud and sunning itself. We ran down and got a few yards from it and watched it! Don't mind the GIANT CARPET OF BIRD POOP we were standing in. Eww. After we left the restaurant there were no fewer than 6 seals on the nearby dock, and DOZENS in those little dark areas under the dock across that little part of the water. It was loud and amazing. I have absolutely no idea how they get themselves up on such high docks and platforms.

This was about 15 seconds before Lincoln had HAD it, threw a giant tantrum, and motivated us to get take out boxes and eat our cold food back at the hotel. 

We got a slightly cheaper hotel room because we took the unbooked room with the shower with wheelchair access...meaning no tub. Lincoln had all sorts of fun anyway.

The end (of day 2).

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Monterey, Part 1

We went to Monterey for a few days during Bryan's spring break.

Lincoln was chasing after my finger as I wrote the letters, saying the letter names. 

In the past, we were terrible; we would run ourselves into the ground for months and years at a time without taking very many breaks or vacations. So, we've resolved to be better at that. What a great resolution ha ha.

Day 1

We left around 9 am to drive down to Monterey!

Lincoln loves to read to himself, and I'm hoping that trend continues... it gets us through at least short parts of our car rides painlessly. :) 
We took stuff to make lunches, and ate our first lunch on the patio of the hotel before we were even allowed to check in...lol. If you act like you belong somewhere typically people don't ask questions...but I asked Bryan to go tell people why we were there anyway. I'm paranoid about breaking rules. :) 
Sidenote. Lesson learned from mom from trips to Disneyland: If you pack your own lunches you save lots of money and time. The end. It actually turned out to be a brilliant thing for this trip because a) food is expensive in Monterey, b) Lincoln only likes to eat when he's at home in his high chair not being distracted by FUN, so I had to carry his food around with me at all times, and c) we were able to eat our lunches when Lincoln was napping and didn't have to worry about finding food somewhere else.

After lunch we got out our bikes and the bike trailer and bike down to the aquarium!

Lincoln could not understand why we would stop him from running around and having fun to take pictures. This was a theme our whole trip. :)
Other sidenote: Our primary method of transportation was bikes and the bike trailer once we parked our car upon arrival in Monterey. It worked so well because it is most definitely a tourist town-- there is very little parking, it's all SUPER expensive, and the roads are all tiny one-way things. Biking is the way to go. There was a bike trail that went all along the coast and hit all the major sites.

I was glad that Bryan was willing to pull the trailer (trailer+Lincoln > 50lbs). I'm happy to pull Lincoln all around Stanford but with the trailer dragging him back, Bryan and I were more evenly matched. :)

The Aquarium

Lincoln LOVED the aquarium.


This was in front of a GIANT tank of sharks, giant tuna, huge sea turtles, and all sorts of awesome things. Lincoln loved it. When a shark would pass by he would say, "na na na na CHOMP". It never gets old.

Looking at the eels.

Kid tunnel

PENGUINS! Definitely in Lincoln's top five list of animals. 

Can we all just take a moment and appreciate that eels are perhaps the CREEPIEST looking ocean animals that exist?! At least other frightening creatures like sharks look cool.... these are terrifying.


After the aquarium

After we left the aquarium for the day we went back to the hotel, checked in, and tried to get Lincoln to take a nap. Fail.

So, we decided to hop on our bikes and head to dinner.

Turns out Lincoln would have had a great vacation regardless of what else we did if we would have just let him splash in the puddles in the greasy parking lot. :)


Only problem: It was raining. We figured that the place we'd picked was close, Lincoln was totally protected from the rain, and traffic and parking was bound to be impossible. So, we waited for the least-heavy downpour we could, and took off.

Turns out, the place we'd picked (a non-touristy Mexican food place) would have been the one place we went all week that was easy to drive to and had plenty of parking. Figures. So, Bryan and I were soaked. And, of course, Lincoln fell asleep in the trailer. Oh well. Dinner was delicious. :)

Bryan said we should take pictures of each other taking pictures of our food. :) Bryan got a yummy burrito and I got pastor enchiladas for Lincoln and me. Turns out that they were too spicy for him so I ate the other half for lunch the next day. 

Crashed on the booth in a Mexican Restaurant. There are worse places to nap. His normal naps don't usually include the same delicious smells.  Sweet dreams!
On the way back from dinner Lincoln was really upset for some reason so we ended up at a couple beaches. Turns out this kid could live at the beach forever and be a happy buddy. He likes the tide-pool-y, rocky beaches best.

I actually don't remember at what point in our day we stopped at this beach, and Lincoln's in different clothes than the "on the way home from dinner clothes"... hm. Oh well. 

This boy thought hermit crabs were the coolest things ever. Don't mind the runny nose.
We headed back to the hotel for the night.