Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day Tripper

California's public schools may be a mess of budgetary angst and well-intentioned fundraising-induced inequality, but they got at least one thing right---teacher's professional development days are scheduled to bookend federal holidays, turning a 3-day weekend into a 4-day weekend.  Sweet!

So on Thursday morning, while we sat in the small-town traffic jam that happens daily at school drop-off time, Ethan and I planned our great weekend get-away.   Still having rooms full of unpacked boxes, I felt a little guilty heading off for an adventure that involved no unpacking, organizing or cleaning whatsoever.  And given the number of boxes I have unpacked in the past couple of weeks, I had neither the energy or motivation to plan an extravagant trip to some far-flung Sunset-Magazine styled fancy-pants weekend excursion.  So we stuck with what we know.  Monterey.

Friday morning Ethan and I packed our iPads and iPad mini and computers and cameras and iPhones (can you say "time for a technology diet?!!!!") and a change of clothes into an overnight bag, left out extra food for the cats & drove down the coast an hour to the land of Steinbeck (and also tourist shops hawking t-shirts of sea otters wearing round glasses and holding wands, emblazoned with the words "Harry Otter" on them.  Dignified).

First stop was the aquarium:

we made it to the kelp forest just in time to see the scuba diver feeding the fish.

hello, ladies. 

In the "at the shore" exhibit, giant waves crash down outside the glass every 15 seconds.  


Ethan "using the force" to make all the fish go in one direction....I didn't have the heart to tell him....

cranky old man turtle gave us a wave as he swam by....

And we got a lesson in symmetry in the psychedelic jelly fish exhibit.  If you look closely, that's me & Ethan.

And some of my favorite sea creatures--sand dollars.  I have no idea what they do except stay half buried on the sea floor, but I think they are fabulous and magical.  (and Ethan has already told me that I'm weird for that).

And what does one do after three hours in the aquarium but walk down the block to Ghirardelli?

Strawberry ice cream & chocolate-dipped waffle cones with sprinkles!

Seriously, look at the size of that thing.  Absurd.  And delicious. 

He had to contemplate exactly how to go about eating this ice cream cone the size of a Renaissance Fair(e) turkey leg. 

After we gorged on ice cream, we rolled ourselves back to the hotel, where Ethan spent the next TWO hours in the hotel tub (I will not think of the germs. I will not think of the germs. I will not think of....), reveling in the joy that was his aquarium gift-shop purchase---a shark rescue set, complete with boat, two rescue divers and a gaping-mouthed shark, apparently in need of rescue.   So Ethan spent time getting good and prune-y in the tub, draining the cold water & refilling it with hot when he'd been in there too long, rescuing the same shark over & over again, blissfully unaware of how icky it is to sit in a hotel bathtub.  Ah, to be a 6 year old boy).

After I pried Ethan Cousteau out of the oceany depths of room 2107, we headed down to the beach to watch sunset.  One of my favorite places in Monterey is Lover's Point.  Crazy jagged rocks, stubborn, fearless seagulls,  wildly reaching cypress trees, crashing waves--its all pretty awesome and begging to be explored.

Dinner was sushi, because naturally after a day of admiring the ocean and all the mysteries and beauty it contains, of course you go out and eat some raw fish (sorry, Nemo!).

And then?  Ethan got up at 4am and started puking.  Because really, what makes a stay at a hotel more special than your kid alternately watching the Disney channel and vomiting into a trash basket until 6am?  No fever, no other symptoms--just random vomiting for 2 hours.

The next morning was a little rough....

nothing a little Starbucks won't cure....


Sarah said...

Oh nooooo-- random vomit!

But the rest of the trip sounds awesome. And some terrific pictures, too.

Eeeeew-- hotel bathtub-- 6 year old boys are gross.

Chiconky said...

What a fun weekend! I love the "at the shore" exhibit, but both times we've gone it's freaked my kids the freak out. Sorry for the puke-fest! Eli does the same thing when we've had an especially "big" day. Nothing better than being sick in a hotel. Blech.

Becca said...

What a nice little getaway! Well except for the puking part. Love that aquarium.

SnarkyMommy said...

The puking is going around here -- just like that. Ick. But a fun trip!