Friday, July 15, 2011

Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay

Last month Ryan had a speaking engagement in Santa Cruz and as "payment" they were going to give him free tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. So we made it a family day. We left the house at 6 in the morning which was rough, but we made it to Santa Cruz in plenty of time. We dropped off Ryan at his thing and swung by a nearby Safeway to pick up donuts and chocolate milk. Then we were off to the beach. It took awhile because first we decided to drive around and scope out the best place to play. We decided the boardwalk area was best, but every parking lot was $12!! I could not force myself to pay such a price for only 1 or 2 hrs. After getting lost here and there (lots of one way roads!) I finally found a change machine on the side of the road, and got a prime parking spot in front of a parking meter and we saved a lot of moolah! It was very cloudy and cool, but since we were dressed appropriately, it actually felt really good. Conner was recovering from the stomach flu, and it appeared as if Braden was coming down with it, but we managed to have a really fun day. Sienna "accidentally" fell in the water. I brought extra clothes for Conner but no one else. Bad planning on my part. She was completely drenched with no sun to dry her out. Have you ever tried to peel of wet skinny jeans? It's not easy. Once Ryan was done, we headed off to the aquarium. This is a bad picture, but Conner loved these penguins and he discovered that if he used his finger on the glass like an ipad, the penguins followed his finger perfectly. It was really funny. He led them up and down over and over, and they followed his finger every time! Here is a simulated wave that crashes over your head. Conner loved this too. Here are the boys waiting expectantly for the wave... How exciting! The wave is here! Conner LOVED the sting rays because you were allowed to touch them. We stayed here for a really long time. R.J. loved it too. Until Conner thought it was a good idea to start tasting the water, then it was time to move on. Everywhere we went, this lady showed up (she was an employee). It was weird. Braden was so interested in everything, and really talked her ear off. He had a million questions, but he also felt inclined to teach her about everything, very funny. (so weird, the picture disappeared and I don't know how to get it back, oh well.) Sienna posing at the aquarium. As you can see, she's had a wardrobe change. Her jeans were unwearable so we had to stop at an Old Navy and buy an emergency outfit. We scored this skirt in the clearance section for 6 bucks. The jelly fish were awesome and Sienna took a million pictures. Most turned out awful, but this one was okay.