It’s been almost a full month since my last blog post, and as is always the case it seems with us, a lot has happened. We have been (or I have anyway) to all of the places listed in the title; Elijah, our youngest, turned 15 years old; we settled into a routine with raising our 5 year old granddaughter (she’ll actually be 6 in 2 weeks!); and I flew to NC to be there for the birth of our first grandSON!
How’s this for close? We met this couple who had two boys. We checked out their mid-bunk and they checked out ours. LOL. Their had an awesome patio that came down in the back, which was nice – but you lost some of the great living area to have that. It’s was a great floorplan, but ours still fit our needs better. You can see their patio with the big dog bed spread out over the rail (they were using the patio for their two German Shepherds). Look at the distance between the slides! Closest yet… too close!
#20 | Santa Cruz Ranch RV (Encore) in Santa Cruz, California • Site #20 • 1 week: 10/30-11/6/16
They had a nice, clean, warm pool that Saylor loved!
They also had a hot tub. BONUS!!!
Since Greg had to work and he and I had already been to
Monterey Bay Aquarium and the 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach, I took the kids to those place during the week while he was working. Here are some pictures from that fun-filled day.
Saylor standing in front of Cannery Row
The famous Kelp Forest (recognize this from Finding Dory?!?!)
They had a presentation about this Albatross. We could go up and see him up close and personal. He has a wing span of 6 feet. We learned that some types of Albatross can have a wing span of up to 12 feet!
They had just added 10,000 (yes, you heard that correctly) MORE sardines to their main “Open Sea” exhibit tank. That one tanke has over 30,000 sardines in it! They were amazing.
Saylor colored the fish on the screen – then it showed up in the tank… See the next picture.
Here is the fish she colored! (Along with fish colored by other kids doing the same thing.)
I love these cute little guys.
I can’t remember that they are called, but they look like seaworms, or little snakes. Maybe they are eels. If you know their real name, put it in the comment section!!!
Here she is actually looking into a pair of googles into an exhibit. They had some great interactive and educational exhibits for kids of all ages.
This baby penguin’s name is Saylor. LOL
Do you see that gorgeous red starfish? Red is my favorite color and this was the most beautiful starfish I had ever seen.
Petting the rays… or trying to anyway.
The staff was phenomenal. In additional to these touch type exhibits, we were stopped on three different occasion by staff showing us (mostly Saylor) something specific.
The decking and outside view of the pacific ocean is just as breathtaking as the inside!
This lady let Saylor touch sea otter fur. It was INCREDIBLY soft! She explained to her that they have the densest Fur of any animal on earth!
Here is a sign we saw later that also explained about the sea otter’s fur. Who knew?!?!?
They had several gluten free options on their menu, so we were pleasantly surprised to be able to eat there at all, much less to eat so well… and what a view!
Looking for gray whales and other sea life.
This is their Giant Pacific Octopus. Hank, the grouchy red octopus in Finding Dory was actually modeled after him!
Elijah in an epic photo-bomb
Speaking of Finding Dory, the research institute in the movie was modeled after the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
This was the Midwater Jelly (if my memory serves me correctly) which had God-given electric currents built right in!
They had tons and tons of these gorgeous sea nettles. I remember these from our first visit.
Check out the formations these sardines make.
Here you can have perspective with how big this school is when being compared to the shark that is just to the right of the school of sardines.
After we left the aquarium we took a drive on the famous “17 Mile Drive” through Peggie Beach. All the remaining pictures were taken during this drive.
This is a home nestled in the rolling hills of Pebble Beach and facing the Pacific Ocean.
You can’t easily see them in this picture, but there were several sea lions in the water here.
The very famous Lone Cypress, which I’ve read is the most photographed tree in North America.
Santa Cruz was a wonderful town in itself. We especially enjoyed the Wharf. Unfortunately the theme park on the Santa Cruz boardwalk was closed since we visited out of season. Here are some pictures from around Santa Cruz.
Roller Coaster on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
There were Sea Lions hanging out all under the wharf and they were barking up a storm!
He was begging me to take his picture.
Taken on the Wharf with the Boardwalk in the background.
More and more and more and more sea lions
A couple kayaking between the wharf and the boardwalk
We went to Lighthouse Field State Beach right there in Santa Cruz. There was no parking for our big dually available anywhere until I found this spot. This is just to show my parallel parking skill! Go, ME!
Lighthouse Field State Beach. Even with our spot we had to walk a ways to get down onto a beach area with sand.
The marine plant life is beautiful.
Elijah and Saylor at the beach area.
On Saturday, our only weekend day that we weren’t relocating, Greg joined us and we had a whirlwind day full of gorgeous sights. First we visited
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park which Greg found right there in Santa Cruz! When we told the park ranger there that we were heading to the Monterey area she insisted that we visit Point Lobos State Reserve. We wouldn’t have to pay another park fee (since we paid the state park fee there it includes all state parks for that day) and she said it was “the most beautiful place on earth.” Who can resist that? Not us, so we headed straight there. It was here that we spent the bulk of our day and it was gorgeous! We hiked over 4 miles in total and every step was met with yet another breathtaking view. Finally, we wrapped the day up with a sunset on the beach at Marina Dunes Beach. Check it all out…
Beautiful Redwood Trees
We were very not expecting this little relatively little know park right there in Santa Cruz to have such a large redwood forest!
I think of this park as.a hidden gem… that I’m so glad we found!
This is the entrance to Point Lobos State Reserve
When we first arrived it was super foggy, but the fog lifted as the day progressed.
Look at the shade of that water!
We hiked and hiked and hiked and hiked and hiked! Words do not even begin to do the beauty of this park justice.
Some of the pictures are foggy and others, like this one show the beautiful blue sky that we were increasingly blessed with the longer we stayed there.
4 miles later Saylor was getting downright TIRED! At this point she was “done”.LOL. She didn’t complain much though – she’s a trooper.
Papa finally carried her on his shoulders for just a little bit. That brief respite was all she needed to get her second wind.
Marina Dunes Beach – Sunset
This is what you find on the beach here. Beautiful in it’s own unique way.
Running to the dunes… We must climb them!
Climbing the dunes. They did anyway, I just cheered them on and took pictures.
Continue reading Santa Cruz, Monterey, LA Outskirts, & Winston-Salem… What?!?!