Monterey Bay Aquarium

After our two days at Yosemite, we drove back to the coast to the unmissable Monterey Bay Aquarium. This was top of my sister’s list of things she wanted to do in California.

It didn’t look like much from the outside, especially for a well-renowned tourist attraction, I did wonder why it is said that this aquarium is the number one in the world.

We arrived just in time for the feeding in the living kelp forest. The children sat on the floor and watched divers feeding all the different fish, and talking about them as they all swam around the divers.

We moved on to a more interactive area, lots of displays for the children to learn and a touch pool which they LOVED. The children spent quite a while leaning over into the pool trying to touch a Bat Ray as it swam around. Max (5) wanted to touch it most of all but couldn’t quite reach. I helped him lean over and put his hand in as far as it would go, and as the Bat Ray swam past he quickly pulled it out! We did this 2 or 3 times! Then he was still upset he hadn’t touched it.

Further on, there is one room that has a glass wall with the ocean on the other side. It literally took my breath away. There were sea turtles, and many types of fish swimming together. The children were very excited and we stayed in this viewing area for the longest. We tried to round the children up for a photograph. Other people were standing around watching me and my sister try to get our 8 children to sit together for the photo, i think they were entertained by our efforts. We managed to get 7/8 kids to sit. Sarah says that the best shots are worth working for. Looking at the photo now, you would never know how hard they made us work!

Sam was getting a little bit fed up at this point of the holiday because of all the attention and squeezes he was getting from Max. I took Max off for a little 1:1 time, and we looked around the gift shop together. I bought him a shark which we named “Sammy Shark” so he could give it a squeeze anytime he wants, rather than squeezing his brother. Braden (9) said that “Fin” was a great name for a shark – and it is! Max liked the name so much, he said we should call HIM Fin. That lasted for about 5 minutes. But Sammy Shark stayed with Max for the rest of the holiday. He even let it lose in the ocean the next day but Brave Aunty Sarah rescued it from the waves.

-This is Max and Sammy at Hearst Castle the next day.

We loved Monterey Aquarium more than we thought we would (some people in the family are not a fan of aquariums), but there was something for everyone to enjoy.

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