We had a few days to take advantage of a weekend getaway to Monterey. Since it was a long drive, we made our first stop at the Dennis the Menace Playground so they could expel some energy. We spent a couple hours there before heading to the lake next door to do the paddle boat. It was a chilly day which was quite the opposite weather back home. We went from shorts and shirts to jackets and pants.
Once our 45 min. on the paddle boat was done, we went searching for restaurant who served the best clam chowder. I couldn't remember if it was at Fisherman's Wharf or at Cannery Row. We drove to Fisherman's Wharf and it wasn't there. Then we got on a trolley to go to Cannery Row. Well we got on the trolley that was going the opposite direction, so we quickly got off. We realized we were very far from where we needed to be. At this point we are getting hungry and cranky. We walked back to the car and drove to the correct destination. I finally found the Fish Hopper to get my delicious clam chowder in a bread bowl! They have a clam chowder station outside the restaurant to get your food to go. My bowl was $8. Hubby and the girls wanted nothing to do with clam chowder; so they got to pizza to go from a nearby restaurant. We all ate outside the Fish Hopper and enjoyed our dinner overlooking the water. The chowder was very creamy and is one of the best clam chowders I've eaten. We took a walk around Cannery Row and browsed the shops before heading to the hotel.
The next day, we went tide pooling at Asilomar beach. We found some tide pools and also spotted some seals climbing a rock near us. That was a fun treat. After tide pooling, we went back to Cannery Row to rent a surrey. It was pretty packed when we got there. Luckily we got there when we did before everyone took everything. We rode for about an hour along the beach bike path before heading back.
We were definitely ready for lunch. So we headed down toward the 17 mile drive to grab a picnic lunch to eat while on the drive. We stopped at Bruno's Market in Carmel to get our lunch. We ordered Tri-Tip sandwiches and a turkey sandwich for one of the girls. We then headed out for the 17 mile drive. It cost $9 to enter the pretty drive overlooking mansions, beaches, and golf courses. We even saw some deer walking on the side of the road! We found some picnic benches off one of the stops along the beach. That's where we stopped to eat our delicious sandwiches. We finished up the drive and headed back to Cannery Row to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I found a couple tickets on ebay for a good price and just had to pay for the kids. I was planning to use my AAA card for a discount; but apparently you have to buy them before hand at AAA. So much for saving $4. All throughout the morning while we were there, it had a huge line; but when we got there around 4:00 there was a very small line. The girls loved the aquarium enough to stay until it closing time which was 8:00. Our lunches were so filling, we didn't need dinner. We just grabbed a small snack and headed back to the hotel.
On our last day in Monterey, we headed out to Moss Landing to go on the Elkhorn Slough boat tour. This was a really fun tour of getting to see hundreds of wildlife up close and personal. Me and my girls love otters. We saw hundreds of them swimming next to us along with many seals and birds and other wildlife. It was about a 2 hour tour and the guides were friendly and informative. The girls got to be otter and seal spotters and the adults help keep track of how many of each animal they see. A very fun trip.
After the boat ride, we stopped at a restaurant nearby for a must have fish and chip lunch. To conclude our trip, we made our last stop at John Steinbeck's house in Salinas for a short tour. It was $5 per person to take this tour. Hubby is a big fan, so we squeezed it in for him. It was an interesting tour.