The Monterey Bay Aquarium

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After a day in Santa Cruz and one in the Big Sur area, we spent the night in Monterey so that we could get up and see the Monterey Bay Aquarium the next morning.  My dad swears that I've been there before, but I didn't remember it at all, so I wanted to go again.

For a few days before, we talked up the sea otters to the Kid.  When we finally went to see them--at feeding time--he was interested, but not overly excited.  I, on the other hand, loved them.  (One is named "Gidget"--I swoon at the cuteness.)  

Also incredible?  The sea dragons in the sea horse exhibit.  They look like something straight from Harry Potter, don't they?  Sweet Husband and my dad were jokingly researching whether they could get one at home, but, alas, these amazing critters are endangered.  Isn't it a funny thought?  A week ago, I didn't know they existed, but now I don't want the world to be without them.  I call that aquarium success!

And, of course, having a toddler in tow, we had to go see the touch pools and the penguins.

The sea otters weren't the only critters who ate last week.  These two photos don't really go with anything, but I love them.  Cracking into crab with a baby in your lap is quite a balancing act, and something about coastal breakfasts means quaint outdoor cafes and mandatory hollandaise.  My jeans were a bit tighter on the ride home, but it was a treat.

Monterey