The B&B we stayed in gave a massive, home cooked breakfast each morning so we had a leisurely but big breakfast before heading out into the Monterey sunshine.
Our main activity for the day was Monterey Aquarium right on Monterey Bay. The aquarium is absolutely massive and is the most extensive, well stocked aquarium I have been in. Below is one of the viewing tanks with sea kelp reaching 28 feet tall! The picture below only shows a portion of it but the people give in an idea of scale.
When we were at the Aquarium there was also a Great White Shark in one of the tanks so we spent quite some time watching it. Apparently they keep it for a few weeks then let it back into the ocean.
There’s also a fantastic jellyfish display and a great penguin pen. I love penguins so I probably made the Fiance stay there for ever so slightly longer than was necessary but they’re just so cute! Ditto for the sea otters…there are binoculars along the viewing platform so you get really good views of the sea otters playing.
I’m not a huge fan of birds but the bird section was really good and the people working in there are really knowledgeable. We ended up talking to one guy who had emigrated from the UK 20-odd years previously and he was really eager to show us around and tell us about the local area. He also told me what the birds were we’d been seeing all through our trip: turkey vultures.
After the extended stay with the penguins the Fiance got his own back when we visited the touching pools. He loves anything to do with sea life so I spent quite a while watching him playing and holding all the animals! Aww bless!
We spent a good four hours at the aquarium and could easily have spent a lot more but we wanted to see round Monterey too. It’s a shame we couldn’t stay longer though as there was just so much to see.
After the Aquarium we headed along Cannery Row and took a walk round the area, viewed the sea lions again and had a bite to eat at the other end of Cannery Row from the Aquarium. The rest of the day was a lazy amble around Monterey and a cheeky wee afternoon beer.
For dinner we took the advice of the B&B owners and headed down to another fish restaurant called the Sea Harvest. It was brilliant. You walk in and there is a big fish counter with every type of fish imaginable and further round if the restaurant area. It’s a no frills restaurant with plastic table clothed tables but don’t let that put you off. I had (for just six tiny pounds) a HUGE dish of scallops with rice. Normally (well, in Scotland) when you order scallops you’re lucky to get over four but not at the Sea Harvest, I had about 15 massive ones on the plate – I was in heaven!
The Fiance and I aren’t ones for big nights out as we like our daytimes to be hangover free but we decided that while we were in Monteray we’d make use of some of the bars. The first (and only) one we went to was Sly Mcfly’s on Cannery Row. Turns out we’d got there in time for the live jazz night. We got talking to a guy who started telling us about living in Monterey which was really good to hear and added ot the atmosphere. Eventually his friends turned up and when the music started they all started doing ‘West Coast Swing’ which was fascinating to watch. Very energetic dancing style and one I’m quite keen to learn at home – looked a lot more fun than any other dancing I’ve seen!