Carmel, California (September 2016)

(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.

Los Cabos Point Hiking Adventure
Los Cabos State Park Hiking Adventure
Great views along Los Cabos Point hike
Great views along Los Cabos Point hike
Beautiful coastal views along Los Cabos Point
Beautiful coastal views along Los Cabos Point
Boys sometimes like to see if daddy is strong enough to carry both of them!
Boys sometimes like to see if daddy is strong enough to carry both of them!

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.

Fun hiking picnic stop within Pinnacle National Park
Fun hiking picnic stop within Pinnacle National Park
Waves crashing taller than Austin at Carmel Beach
Waves crashing taller than Austin at Carmel Beach
Boys checking out the beach caves for scary animals hiding out!
Boys checking out the beach caves for scary animals hiding out!
Fantastic views once reaching mountain top - Garland Ranch
Fantastic views once reaching mountain top – Garland Ranch
Notably steep terrain, close to 2,000 feet incline on hike selected - Garland Ranch
Notably steep terrain, close to 2,000 feet incline on hike selected – Garland Ranch
See the X? Boys found treasure location at the top of the mountain within Garland Ranch!
See the X? Boys found treasure location at the top of the mountain within Garland Ranch!

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!

Family Golf Day at Pacific Grove
Family Golf Day at Pacific Grove
Austin focused and enjoying first ocean side golf course experience
Austin focused and enjoying first ocean side golf course experience
Aaron's view at Pebble Beach
Aaron’s view at Pebble Beach
View of Pebble Beach Golf Course
View of Pebble Beach Golf Course
Boys at Pebble Beach
Boys at Pebble Beach

The drive along the scenic 17-Mile Loop was great and Aaron also biked the route multiple times.

17-Mile Loop Bike Ride View
17-Mile Loop Bike Ride View

 

 

 

 

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!

Boys constructing a new house at Monterrey County Youth Center
Boys constructing a new house at Monterrey County Youth Center – “My Museum”
Monterey Bay Aquarium gorgeous fish
Monterrey Bay Aquarium gorgeous fish
Monterey Bay Aquarium sharks and thousands of little fish
Monterrey Bay Aquarium sharks and thousands of little fish
As much as you never want to touch one - the beauty and size of jellyfish was impressive
As much as you never want to touch one – the beauty and size of jellyfish was impressive
Shark is coming for Austin!
Shark is coming for Austin!
The boys had such a blast playing with Holden. Thank you Wendy for hosting such a fun afternoon!!
The boys had such a blast playing with Holden. Thank you Wendy for hosting such a fun afternoon!!
Best play date on the road ever!!
Best play date on the road ever!!
Boys self-made hideout at the house
Boys self-made hideout at the house
Best idea ever - a tub outside at the house!
Best idea ever – a tub outside at the house!

 

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!

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