This is one of my favorite shots from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The color in the jellyfish was simply electric.


Road trip to Monterey Bay

Last Monday, May 21st, Jake and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary. Actually, we didn’t really get the chance for a proper celebration because we were both swamped with work. So what to do in such a situation? Follow up with a romantic getaway, of course! So after our crazy week of work, we dropped the kids off at puppy camp (Two Rock Dog Ranch, quite possibly the happiest place on earth for the kids while we’re out of town!), hopped in the jeep, and drove a few hours south to Monterey.

Our drive down Hwy 1 to Monterey was quite beautiful. It is such a beautiful part of the country! Monterey is a fun coastal town, with plenty of attractions for visitors to enjoy. Parts of Monterey, such as Cannery Row, are a bit touristy, but it is a lovely place to visit and great for a weekend getaway from the bay area. Just south of Cannery Row, along the water, you can easily get to Lover’s Point, which is a beautiful little spot. Further down the coast (literally just a few minutes walking distance) is Pacific Grove, which is a beautiful town full of coastal character and beautiful B&Bs. Next time, we may try to stay somewhere in PG right along the water.

When we got to Monterey on Saturday, we went straight to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. What an amazing place! There were so many exhibits to see in such a short time. Touch pools. Jellyfish. Sea otters. Birds. Sea turtles. We could have spent the entire weekend there and still had more to enjoy.

I think my favorite exhibit in the whole aquarium was the upstairs jellyfish exhibit. It is amazing to see so many different kinds of jellies. Being 95% made of water and lacking respiratory, central nervous and digestive systems, ¬†they certainly are such odd-looking creatures. They range in size from a millimeter to around two meters in bell height, and are thought to be one of the oldest multi-organ animals at over 500 million years old.¬†There were moon jellies, upside-down jellies, spotted jellies, blubber jellies, lion’s mane jellies.

But the fun didn’t stop there. We saw penguins. And then we saw sea horses. And sharks! Of course, the sharks were in a huge tank, and the lighting was terrible for taking pictures. But there was something magical about sitting in a 2-story room in the dark and staring at a giant tank. It almost seemed like you were getting a peak at life in the ocean, which I suppose is exactly what they try to simulate for the visitors. I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance.

We finished the day with a walk around Cannery Row and then a visit to the 1st annual Clam Chowder and Calamari festival. The calamari wasn’t that great, but the festival was a blast. Music, dancing, wine. A great end to a great day!