November 15 2016

Our First Family Road Trip, Destination: Monterey

A few weekends ago, Sam and I took a few days off. We scooped up the kids and decided to embark on a road trip to Monterey. It was our first road trip as a family, the farthest we had ever traveled with the kids, before that was to Santa Barbara. Loaded with snacks and drinks, we hit the road. Why Monterey? The boys love aquariums (like the one in Long Beach) so we thought we’d show them one of the best we’d ever experienced. On a side note, Monterey was the first trip Sam and I went on as an official couple, back in college. Going in, I knew it would stir up some good memories we had shared there.

Now, let me show how we experienced the trip in pictures.

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Parker and Logan seemed content with their chips and movies on the long ride up.

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On our way up, we decided to take a break and explore the Santa Barbara Zoo. It’s not too big (like the San Diego Zoo) and not too small. The best thing about it is that you can get up pretty close to the animals. (I like the way Logan is adoringly looking at his older brother.)

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We decided to stay at the Intercontinental, The Clement Monterey. It’s walking distance to the aquarium and all the shops and restaurants. I wanted something contemporary and clean. I literally had no complaints. We joined the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) Rewards Club, for free, which gave us a good discount on the room. (Here the boys are cozied up together playing with their iPads.)

After we checked in, we walked around the city and picked up a few toys for the kids which included a small, soft ball. When we got back to the room, the boys threw it around and played catch with it. It was the best three bucks we had ever spent.

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We started off the next morning with breakfast at the C restaurant, which is located inside the hotel. It’s a family friendly place with good food and excellent service. After breakfast, we headed right outside our hotel to a walkway where you can see the ocean. Here, Parker is giving me his biggest smile.

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Logan thought the sound of the crashing waves was much too loud.

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We walked over to the aquarium the next morning and took this sign at the entrance. Clearly Parker was excited. (Cue sarcastic tone.)

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We got inside the aquarium and immediately came face to face with scuba divers who were cleaning the inside of a tank. Parker and Logan were fascinated.

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Sammy is pointing out all the sardines swimming round and round in this tank.

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Each exhibition was mesmerizing. Just watching fish and other sea creatures going about their day is fascinating.

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Of course, the boys liked touching the sea animals like the starfish and sea urchins. I was proud of my Logan that he was so brave.

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Parker was, of course, ecstatic to touch sea creatures. He loved learning about them.

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Of course, what’s a family trip without a total meltdown. After the aquarium, Parker was tired. He wasn’t listening to us and instead wanted to do his own thing. We had to give him a moment to compose himself.

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On our way back down from the trip, we hit up this very modern park called Uptown Family Park. The kids loved it! It had this cool climbing wall that Parker enjoyed.

In conclusion, we had a great time though we don’t think we’ll drive THAT far next time. Because we took the pretty coastal drive on the way up, it took us about 10 hours to get there. (This includes time at the zoo, lunch, dinner and a fill up at a gas station). Perhaps we’ll do Palm Springs next or maybe even Vegas. At least we survived this one!

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