Aquarium Trip


Aquarium Trip

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

So how does a trip to the Monterey Bay aquarium fit with an Italian theme? I guess that I really need to stretch a little to make it fit. It could be that I and the sweetie stayed at an AirBNB location (as I did a year ago in Italy) – a tale in itself. It could also be that I was doing comparative research since I visited the aquarium in Genova last year. The aquarium there is supposed to be a major attractions but I was so underwhelmed that I barely mentioned it when I made the blog post about Genova. I had heard about a new exhibit in Monterey – cephalopods. Those are those cute and tasty critters with tentacles such as octopus and squid. There are also cuttlefish and the wildly primitive nautilus. So the lovely K and I went for a jaunt down the coast to see the best aquarium that I’ve ever seen. I made an AirBNB reservation. There weren’t too many places available so I settled on a place in Salinas. Hey, if it was good enough for John Steinbeck it’s good enough for me. I thought that it came with a private bath but no, it did not. Not only that but there was another couple staying in a third bedroom (the owner had one with his own bathroom) and that couple was deaf. So if someone was in the bathroom they could not hear you knock. Just let your imagination go on this one and consider how this could complicate things. Besides that, they seemed to insist on keeping the bathroom door closed whether one of them was in there or not. Then there was the breakfast supplied. Three types of cereal, the best of which was cheerios, coffee weak enough to see the bottom of the cup, strawberries that were growing white mold, no 1/2 and 1/2 for Ms. K although it didn’t matter too much since the coffee was virtually undrinkable. Not so much undrinkable as much as a waste of time. I’m sure this is going to be one of these stories we will retell endlessly. So, yes, I think that I’ve learned my AirBNB lesson since I also found that it costs more than motels (admittedly cheap ones) in Monterey proper.

I also learned that there seem to be very few decent restaurants anywhere in that part of California. We asked at a good restaurant where we stopped for lunch in Santa Cruz and they recommended Carmel. That’s the WAY to cute and expensive little town just a few miles south of Monterey where people with more money than taste seem to dress like used car salesmen and the restaurants all seem to be too expensive with low levels of quality. Actually the best meal that we had I think was at the aquarium restaurant – and it had a spectacular bay view complete with sea otters and seals.

The aquarium itself is really phenomenal. Huge tanks of a mix of marine creatures from giant sea bass to hammerhead sharks to sea turtles – all in the same tank. The cephalopods were indeed fascinating although the octopi were generally just kind of curled up lumps. The real hit for me was the special (and now permanent) exhibit of jellyfish. They were so majestically beautiful and come in many colors and sizes. I took a bunch of photos and a few little videos with my phone but this one I found on Youtube really shows things best.

 

Egg cases for skates (or rays)

Egg cases for skates (or rays)

Another beautiful little critter

Another beautiful little critter

A tidepool exhibit

A tidepool exhibit

An amazing cuttlefish

An amazing cuttlefish

Pacific Grove coastline - a nice place to walk

Pacific Grove coastline – a nice place to walk

 

The lovely Ms K at lunch

The lovely Ms K at lunch

Point Joe photo op

Point Joe photo op

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2 Responses to “Aquarium Trip”

  1. Doak Says:

    Joe, I’m sure the day in Pacific Grove with the walk and the tour of the Aquarium over shadowed the airbnb experience. Be sure to leave an appropriate review to help other airbnb travelers. I haven’t yet had a bad experience at four locations in Italy and one here in the States. Ciao, Doak

  2. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the comment Doak. I’ve had generally good experiences with AirBNB in Italy. This was my first one here. Of course in Italy most of the AirBNB stays were actually B and B’s so I can’t generalize too much. It really is a good way to find inexpensive accommodations so I’ll be using the site for some lodging on the upcoming trip.

    Joe

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