Otters, seahorses, jellyfish - where are we?

Trip Start Sep 21, 2009
Trip End Oct 23, 2009

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Super 8 Monterey/Carmel

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The answer, of course, is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, located in historic Cannery Row, Monterey ... but more about that later!

We left Big Sur to continue our journey along Highway 1 and we encountered (you guessed it!) more fog! It really is the strangest thing - one minute it's sunny and warm; the next you are surrounded by fog. Today's leg took us up and down more mountains and across some stunning historic bridges built in the 1930s. They were so high, you wonder how on earth they built them.

On the way to Monterey, we tried to drive through Carmel, but couldn't find it (and we had GPS!) and then decided on the spur of the moment to do the "17 Mile Drive" around Pebble Beach. This costs $9 per car, and some may have philosophical objections to paying to drive on what in Australia would be a public road, but we were glad we did it. There are about 20 signposted "vista points", some of which are quite beautiful. One was called "The Restless Sea", and it was certainly churning and wild. It would have all been even nicer without the fog, but we can't seem to escape it! The golfers on the many courses didn't seem to mind though.

A short drive later we were in Monterey. The motel manager wouldn't allow us to drop off our luggage (thanks for nothing mate), so we went across the road to the Del Monte centre to find some lunch (that old standby, Subway) and then drove a few minutes downtown to find the aquarium.

It has a great reputation, which is well deserved. The exhibits are well-presented and interesting for young and old! Their special exhibit at the moment is seahorses, with many tanks showing various types - the leafy dragons were particularly beautiful. The jellyfish were my favourites, and T2 loved the otters (we even bought a stuffed otter at a nearby shop for half price - yes, I am still hunting for bargains on the other side of the world!) They had so many types of fish and even a juvenile great white shark.

The hotel was comfortable, with two king-sized beds (at least the treasures wouldn't kick each other all night!) and enough space for a sofa as well. We foraged for dinner in the organic market across the road - highly recommended! We bought fabulous organic peaches, organic chicken nuggets for T1 (who would have thought?) and organic macaroni and cheese for T2. I could have spent another hour in there looking at all the unusual foods
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