Sunday, June 5, 2016

Down In Monterey

We started our Saturday California adventure with breakfast at Brian and Nicole's apartment, then packed some snacks and piled in the car.  They've only lived in the area for 18 months and still have a lot of things on their bucket list, so they used our visit as an excuse to cross off some of them.  Today's destination was the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is located in the Cannery Row section of the city on the site of a former sardine cannery.

Many of the aquarium's displays can be seen from multiple levels, and it was interesting to compare the view from the top and the bottom.  The aquarium pulls in 2,000 gallons of fresh ocean water from the bay per minute, circulates it through the more than 100 exhibit tanks, then pumps it back out into the ocean. We saw all of the major displays:
  •  Each of the six habitat areas.  
  • The kelp forest, one of the tallest aquarium exhibits in the world.  
  • The octopus and squids. where the Giant Pacific Octopus climbed its way along the display glass using its tentacles. 
  • The sea otters, penguins, and areas where you could touch plants and animals.
In the jellyfish exhibit I took a photo with my phone that made a great wallpaper and free souvenir:

I see these jellyfish every time I use my phone
Halfway through our aquarium visit, we left and went to a nearby Mexican restaurant, then stopped in a few shops on our way back to see more.  Cannery Row was the setting of a couple of John Steinbeck's novels, and it's now a tourist attraction.  Many of the former cannery buildings have been turned into restaurants, hotels, and stores.

When we were finished at the aquarium we got back in the car and drove to Seventeen Mile Drive, a scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove.  For a while the road was adjacent to the coast and had several scenic turnouts. Even though it was jacket weather, at the first beach Hubby Tony and I took off our shoes and walked into the ocean long enough to get our feet wet.  At many of the stops there was no beach.  Instead, the rocky shores met up with the ocean.

The Lone Cypress at Pebble Beach
Eventually the road left the coastline and wound through the Del Monte Forest, where we could see glimpses of huge houses on either side.  We did about half of the 17 mile drive, then left the area to drive back for dinner at the apartment.


  1. It is a lovely area, we did the aquarium and 17 mile drive over twenty years ago. At the time the AAA had a very good tour book of the area outlining every stop.

    1. We used to get AAA information for every trip. Now we just use the Internet :-)

  2. I love Steinbecks books. I'm reading Grapes of Wrath currently, but my favorites are TEquila Flats, Cannery Row, East of Eden. I went to college in the Napa valley briefly and dove a few times south of Monterey Bay at a place called Jade Cove. There was a north and south cove, one more dangerous than the other. But it was so long ago, I can't recall much, was in the mid 70's.

    1. I bet things have changed quite a bit in that area since you were last there.