(Days 1 – 21) – We approached this destination differently than our prior stops, rather than our average 2-3 nights per location we booked a house for the entire month of September in Carmel Valley, California. With close proximity to beautiful hikes, amazing golf courses, Big Sur and Pinnacle National Park we were excited to get started.
We of course had to put the boys in their packs to enjoy some hiking and junior ranger activities at Pinnacle National Park! Also hiked at Los Cabos State Park and Garland Ranch where we appreciated the challenge and the views. It was quiet the experience being so high up and seeing firsthand the forest fire sweeping California. The fire resulted in Big Sur Park being closed limiting our hiking plans, but we definitely made the most of the area watching big waves. It was truly impressive the support across the region of the fire fighters, signs and posters lined the local businesses and homes expressing gratitude for their continuous hard work.
The first day of golfing included all of us at Pacific Grove, great views of the Pacific Ocean on the back nine and the boys had a great time! Aaron was very successful playing at Spyglass where he birded 2 of the first 7 holes and he also really enjoyed Spanish Bay. Aaron and I had been to Pebble Beach previously but this time he was fortunate to get out on the course and we joined him for dinner and the boys first outside concert – they had a blast!
The drive along the scenic 17-Mile Loop was great and Aaron also biked the route multiple times.
We explored Monterrey and enjoyed many kid activities like interactive youth exhibits at My Museum, playing at Dennis the Menace Park and even simply watching scuba divers start their journey into the water. We loved the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, the 6th largest aquarium in the world which impressively showcased lots of sharks and other marine life. Boys also had so much fun on a play date with their new friend Holden!
With all of these activities accompanied by the normal work and school routine you would think we would be settled in and really appreciate not being on the move. Not the case! Aaron and I we were ready to leave just a few weeks in…. ready for adventure in a new area, focusing on our objective to make our family journey a quest full of learning and experiencing new things. That said, we packed our bags 9 days early and got back on the road! Why enjoy 75-degree sunny weather in Carmel, when you could break out hats and gloves to hike mountains in Sequoia National Park or sweat it out in the hottest place in Earth – Death Valley?! The journey continues…
Favorite Kid Quotes:
• “Samuel – hurry up in the shower! Don’t you know we are having a drought?”
• “My boss went in a parachute off that mountain and he didn’t die. So it’s safe for me to do it!”
• “Do you know why our pasta tastes so good? Because it’s made from lion’s blood!”
• “Who would win?! A mountain lion, bear or tiger?” (daily fun game/inquiry while hiking or on the road)
• “We need rain so bad. We should maybe go to Ireland.”
Thank you for taking time to share in our family adventure – we look forward to continuing to share our experiences with you in the months ahead!