Visiting Steinbeck Country

The last couple of weeks have been quite exciting I am just now finally able to sit down and write a post for this blog. Two weekends ago, we went on a weekend trip to Monterey for Justin's first bike race. He and three of his friends went on a 100 mile bike ride while me and the little man stayed behind in the hotel on Saturday, the day of the ride. The annual Sea Otter Classic, the Grand Fondo century was meant to be "enjoyed with family and friends", according to the website. It was a grueling ride and not everyone got to the finish line.Justin finished about mid-way out of a group of 600 participants. From our group's description of the route, it was harder then they had anticipated. Everyone was cursing toward the end of the ride as they struggled uphill toward the finish line. Too bad I had to stay back in Salinas with the bambino.

We stayed in Salinas, about 30 minutes away from Monterey where the accomodations were more easier on the pocket. Salinas is a small town so it didn't take long to explore the old downtown area after a brief tour of the John Steinbeck museum. I intentionally took a bus with a much longer route to get back to the hotel to see what the rest of Salinas has to offer. There wasn't much to see but I was glad to have done it anyway.  The weather was scorching and we spent the rest of the afternoon holed up in our hotel room watching HGTV and PBS kids. 

Our two companions had to get back to the East Bay on Saturday night but we stayed because we had planned on some quality family time on Sunday. When we arrived at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Sunday morning, there was already a long line of families with small children waiting in the ticket line. We were so glad to have purchased tickets online the day before as we casually walked into the will call booth to pick up our tickets. It was early enough in the day where the exhibits weren't yet over run by people and there was room to move and breath. This was my second visit and don't think I will ever get tired of coming here. Their jellyfish exhibit is amazing and the giant fish tank is so otherworldly. Watching the different kinds of fish gliding through water and sea kelp swaying side to side have a hypnotic affect on me. 

On our drive back we made a stop at the Gilroy premium outlet mall and ate at our favorite road trip fast food chain, In N Out burgers. It was a really great weekend getaway and the weather was perfect! 

Downtown Salina
Mural outside of the Steinbeck Museum.
Watching ducks at a lake outside our hotel.
Look, fish!
Experiencing new textures at the aquarium.
Penguin exhibit.
Alien flower?
Surreal looking jellyfish.  
School of fish passing by. 
Bubbly little jellyfish. 
Didn't find out what these were, was too busy trying to take pictures of these alien looking things.

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