Upon arrival in Monterey, we stopped at the bay and took some pictures before heading to the boardwalk.
The boardwalk had a bit of an old time feeling to it. There are lots of chowder restaurants, all offering sample tastes to entice you to eat there. If we had taken every taste offer, we probably would have consumed a whole cup of chowder. We even saw a couple pelicans hanging out. I can't recall ever seeing a pelican in the wild. They were so much bigger than I thought.
There were a couple of cute candy shops with taffy, truffles and elaborate caramel apples, among other sweets.
Here, we have the turning point of the trip for Michelle. We decided against chowder and thought we should go back to the crepe shop we saw when we first walked onto the boardwalk, Crepes of Brittany. We decided to split one, the caramelba. In hindsight, splitting it was the worst idea we had all trip, as I'm sure Michelle would agree. It was easily the best crepe I've ever had - one of those times where you savor every bite, saddened by the fact that each bite brings you closer to the end of the goodness. The man who made it (and I'm guessing concocted the flavor combo) is from France. After you taste one of his crepes you will agree, he is a genius.
We nearly ordered another one and for whatever reason that seems absurd now, we decided not to (second worst decision of the trip) and headed to the aquarium.
Located right on Cannery Row (Steinbeck anyone?), the Monterey Bay Aquarium is absolutely beautiful.
From what I understand, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has been recently remodeled and I definitely applaud the design. The exhibits were well organized and very informative. I really enjoyed The Jellies Experience. Did you know jellyfish don't have bones, brains, blood, teeth or fins? The seahorse exhibit was also pretty rad. Oh, and it was my first time touching a Bat Ray. See him on the bottom left corner of the collage? I'd describe the skin on his back as velvet-y with a hint of slime.
As beautiful as it was, admission was expensive at $35, which I suppose is the going rate for adult admission to aquariums these days. I've been to Sea World and to the Oregon Coast Aquarium numerous times, including when Keiko (Free Willy) was there. The exhibits at aquariums tend to be fairly similar and so I feel like I probably won't return to one any time soon, unless it's free. If you have the money and have not been to an aquarium ever or for a while, the Monterey Bay one is a wonderful one to go to, otherwise, you aren't missing too much if you know what they are about.
Against Michelle's will, we drove past Crepes of Brittany without stopping. I'm guessing if she was driving, we would have stopped. Alas, we headed back toward San Francisco, stopping at In-N-Out Burger for early dinner since Michelle was an In-N-Out virgin. The three of us split a chocolate shake, animal style fries and each ate our own burger.
|Photo credit: Michelle Waters|
You can't do California without a little greasy food from the iconic burger joint, right?
Have you been to Monterey? What did I miss? What do you think of the aquarium? What about In-N-Out, are you a purist, or do you order off the "secret" menu?