From the Mountains to the Beach
We spent the afternoon taking much-needed showers and doing laundry in Yosemite Valley. Bailin and others enjoyed marveling at famous rock giants such as El Capitan and Half Dome. The general store provided us with delicious snacks as we reminisced about our Yosemite adventures and discussed the fun activities to come. For dinner Albert , Eva, and Soren cooked up a delicious dumpling stew which was a definite crowd pleaser.
After Yosemite, we drove towards Monterey Bay. Along the way we stopped to buy groceries for the rest of the trip. Charlie, Zoe, and Bailin won the prize for “best snack food” with their choice of mangos, avocados, and two other exotic fruits. For their prize, they were able to choose the group a special dessert treat. At our Sunset Beach campsite we enjoyed ice cream and cookies after a dinner of grilled paninis prepared by Sarrah, James, Libby, and Josh.
Our next day was filled with fun activities. In the morning we headed into Monterey to first explore the aquarium. We marveled at exhibits of jellyfish, seahorses, penguins, and otters. Albert enjoyed watching the penguin feeding, while Eva was stunned by the size of the bluefin tuna. From the deck of the aquarium, we were able to spot humpback whales breaching in the bay. So cool!
After the aquarium and lunch by the beach, we headed to Monterey Bay Kayaks to embark on our sea kayaking adventure. We ventured out into the bay led by our very knowledgeable guides. Along the way we saw sea life such as sea otters playing in the kelp, sea lions barking on the rocks, and curious harbor seals following our boats. We also saw numerous jellyfish and seabirds. It was cool to be able to see the wildlife we learned about at the aquarium in its natural habitat.
Along the way, we stopped at a beach to swim. Bailin and James volunteered for a lesson in what to do if a kayak capsizes. They flipped their boats into the chilly pacific waters. Libby enjoyed swimming in the water. After we swam, the guides showed us a creature called a “sea hare”, which is a type of sea slug. Everyone was able to gently hold the green slimy guy, being extra careful not to scare it lest they be sprayed with a brilliant purple ink! We returned to the beach tired and satisfied. These endlessly energetic kids still had the strength to bury Sarrah in the sand, a comic sight. For dinner we feasted on the overall crowd favorite of dinners on the trip, bacon cheeseburgers, expertly prepared and grilled by Zoe, Bailin, and Charlie.
This morning we woke up to the smell of sizzling bacon. Albert and Soren had woken up early to make us a filling bacon and egg breakfast. We then drove to Half Moon Bay and are very excited to begin our surf lessons this afternoon. Tomorrow we will be surfing some more, then exploring San Francisco and going out to dinner for our banquet. Time has flown and we are looking forward to enjoying our last couple of days together.