Summer Road Trip 2017 – Day 6

Today is the day we we take our Princess Monterey Whale Watching trip. We are all so excited about this! Why are all dying to see some humpback whales. I’ve been on several of these tours elsewhere, including Maui and have never seen humpback whales. Those that really know me know these are one of my most favorite creatures of all time. The humpback whales are gigantic, magnificent, graceful 79,000 pound beasts. Their unique shape have always drawn me to them. I was so hopeful to see them in person today because they have been seen off the decks of the Monterey Bay Aquarium all week.

We arrived at Old Fisherman’s Wharf at about 8:35 AM for our 9:00 AM departure. The view of the marina was spectacular. It wasn’t going to be sunny and warm but it wasn’t windy and the water wasn’t choppy either. The kids were anxious to take their picture with Morton at the entrance to the pier and to go get on to the boat.

We bought our tickets online with a $3/per ticket discount coupon we got from our hotel, Hampton Inn Monterey, so we just had to pick up our tickets and get in line to board the Princess Monterey.

As we left the harbor we immediately saw sea lions and otters. Yay!

This one even waved good-bye as we left the harbor.

One sea lion waves as we leave the harbor

Finally, we left the harbor and headed across Monterey Bay to Santa Cruz.

As we approached Santa Cruz we started to see more sea otters, birds and sea lions. And then…

I took nearly 300 photos during this three-hour tour. There were so many wonderful photos of the whales but I tried to limit what I posted here. This photo sequence was my favorite from the day and I just had to share the whole sequence.

Ironically, as we were ready to depart and return to Monterey one whale seemingly waved good-bye.

With that, we headed back to Old Fisherman’s Wharf. It was a a lifetime of waiting for me. And, it was well worth the wait. I’m so glad I got to see this later in life so I could absorb the beauty and majesty of this graceful giants. Until next time, Monterey Bay.

The journey back to Monterey

Once we got back to Old Fisherman’s Wharf, we cruised up and down the pier as we searched for places to have lunch. I’ve been here many times over the years but never noticed all the places that had signs up saying, “No strollers. No highchairs. No booster seats.” And it got more gnarly than that. These were nice restaurants that my well-behaved kids would do great at (I mean, they are used to Mastro’s in Beverly Hills) but, after seeing those signs I opted not to give them my business. If that was there attitude, they could take their high-priced steak and seafood and eat it themselves. So, we went to Domenico’s on the Wharf instead and we all loved it.

After lunch, we all headed back to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We wanted to get one last look at the otters, see them get fed, and check out the last area we didn’t get to yesterday – The Splash Zone.

After a quick nap for the kids while we charged up Stitch at the Tesla Monterey Supercharger, and since it was our last day, we had to cram one last thing in – dinner. Brian had bookmarked a tiki restaurant awhile back for us to try when we were here but we totally forgot to check our bookmarks. Luckily, our dear friend Sophie commented on one of my FB posts and suggested we try the very same place – Hula’s Island Grill. We are so grateful that she said something. Brian was in absolute tiki heaven!

Sadly, tomorrow we head home. Poor planning on our part, we will likely be stuck in LA’s Friday afternoon traffic too. Lame. I think it’s safe to say it was well worth it.

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