Meet the Sullivans: Quick Trip: Monterrey & Carmel

July 14, 2014

Quick Trip: Monterrey & Carmel

Last weekend after all the fourth of July fun, we were feeling a little spontaneous, so we decided to take off to Monterrey on Sunday morning to visit the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and then spend the night in Carmel! Here's a quick little recap, for memory's sake.

First stop, the candy store that's conveniently located inside the parking garage. Happy as a kid in a salty water taffy candy shop! Luckily he was easily convinced when I told him that this candy wasn't for us -- whatever that's supposed to mean, I do not know, but it worked!

The volunteers at the aquarium are so nice (I suspect this is because the intern spots at the aquarium are a hot job to get for all the college kids in town, so they get top pick!), and one of the spotted him fumbling with my camera to get a shot of Owen in front of the sign and offered to take out picture! I hate asking for the favor, so I really appreciated it being offered.

We had a nice time letting Owen lead us around the aquarium without trying to force him to any exhibits in particular. My favorite are the jelly fish! They're so graceful and beautiful, and the light in there is really interesting. Owen wanted to (of couse!) touch them!

There is a puffin (that's what's in the picture to the left) in one of Owen's books, and he likes to be silly and always tells us the bird is called an Owen. He's got a silly sense of humor! He loved getting to touch the starfish, and was pretty good at remembering to use "two finger touch". He did NOT want to leave the area when it was time to move on.

Possibly the neatest part of our visit was getting to see the new Tentacles exhibit. The promise of a real live octopus was actually how we got Owen in the car that morning. All of the octopuses, squid and cuttlefishes were neat, but the Giant Pacific Octopus really stole the show! This one seemed huge to me, but is actually just average in size (6ft across if you extended it's arms). The largest one on record weighted 600lbs and was 30ft tentacle to tentacle.

We had a nice lunch at The Fish Hopper after finishing up at the aquarium -- it's just beyond Bubba Gump's. The view of the bay is beautiful from the restaurant, which provided us all with some lunch time entertainment. We had clam chowders, Owen had a hot dog, Keith liked the IPA they had and I had the harvest mule (like a moscow mule) and it was fantastic. Overall a good spot for lunch!

After lunch we played on the beach in the little cove outside the restaurant. There was live music being played and the weather was gorgeous!

After we were done in Monterrey we drove the short drive to Carmel and checked into our hotel. There are so many nice places to stay in Carmel, and we actually had a few to chose from even though out reservations were last minute. We decided to stay at The Normandy Inn, right on Ocean Avenue, since it was the shortest walk to the beach. Overall we liked the hotel, and it served it's purpose for us, even though it wasn't the most up to date room.

We had a really hard time deciding where to go to dinner that night. I was really set on wanting Italian and we both just wanted to kind somewhere that was appropriate for toddlers. The last time Keith and I spent the night in Carmel was when I was pregnant with Owen and we remember thinking that it wasn't exactly a vacation spot for children since there aren't a lot of restaurants that are meant for them. Anyway, we ended up at La Bicyclette, which wasn't really a place for kids, but they said they'd take us, and it was getting late so we took what we could get! It was a nice place and would be great for a quiet little dinner. Next time we'll do more restaurant research before going.

It was a lovely little getaway, and just enough time down there to make us happy to head home in the afternoon! In the morning we got coffee and a quick breakfast, and walked down to the beach. It was the perfect morning!


Whitney said...

This looks like so much fun!! Don't you just love taking a toddler out to eat?! Sometimes it's just not worth it to us. :) But it's nice when they surprise you and act like an angel, too.

Nina Robinson said...

I love Monterey! Looks like you guys had a fun little getaway. I'm gonna have to try that line once my son is old enough to start asking for stuff, "that candy's not for us..." Lol, good one!

The Joni Journey

Courtney [Sweet Turtle Soup] said...

What a beautiful quick trip! So cool to see the Giant Octopus, such smart creatures! One of my faves. too funny that 'the candy isn't for us' worked. Keeping that one in mind!

Chrissy@SimpleJoysBlog said...

That aquarium looks awesome!!! So does the candy store!

Sara McCarty said...

What a nice little weekend! So jealous of all the aquariums and beach time. That octopus exhibit is amazing! My husband is obsessed with them and would love that! Great photos, as always!

Vanessa said...

What a great little spontaneous trip! You guys always do the most fun things...I love it!

Happily Ever Parker said...

I love Monterey and Carmel. Next time you are there you MUSt eat at Casanova and you MUST order the gnocchi. I promise you will love me for those two suggestions!

hello erin said...

the monterey bay aquarium is seriously the BEST PLACE EVER!! i remember it from my childhood and want to go back SO BAD!!! i love all the aquarium pictures of owen. so so so fun!!

Laura Marie Keenan said...

What a fun little getaway weekend! We have a pretty awesome aquarium close to our house but no octopus! Little jealous of that! ;-)

Sarita @ it's my girls' world said...

I love these little spontaneous weekends--- few and far between with kids but worth it.

Elizabeth [Chasin' Mason] said...

What a fun little getaway! I seriously LOVE the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Even before we had Mason, I loved going there. Seeing how much fun you all had makes me want to take Mason too!

Unknown said...

Such a great little getaway! This type of trip is perfect because it's kid friendly, but still fun for the adults too! I love when the kids get a bit older and traveling becomes easier. I'm considering renting a beach house for a week this summer, but it will mostly be just me with the kids, since my husband will still have to go to work each day, and I'm not sure if it sounds better in my head than it would be in reality, lol! I know the girls would be fine, but Walker is still sooo much work, even at home!
Anyway, loved reading about your fun trip!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

I am new to your blog and look forward to following along! We loved in Monterey for two years (moved back to the east coast last summer) and loved it. If you ever head back down I have a ton of kid friendly suggestions in Carmel!