Carmel, CA / 2016-06-30

I woke early to take a work call (scheduled for 9 AM EST, for 6 AM for me) and then headed out for a jog along the Dunes and Beach trail.

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Well, this is a nice place for jog!

However, the rest of our morning started out in a frustrating way.  First, the weather had not improved (still cold, cloudy and windy).  Second, our breakfast intentions failed (McDonald’s did not have half of the things we were attempting to order).  Third, finding the start of the 17 Mile Drive in Carmel, CA was a challenge (directions online were vague at best; here is the best one).  Fourth, the first few stops on the 17 Mile Drive was disappointing for lack of visibility (see complaint #1 prior).  But, once we found our way to Pebble Beach Lodge and parked to explore, things began improving.

The views were great from the Lodge’s coastal access, and we used our recently purchased selfie stick to get one of our best (and one of few) family pictures of the trip.

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The six of us at Pebble Beach

We headed back into the car and the next few stops were much improved for the views and the animal life.  We came across some tide pools and Emily even found a Bat Star!

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Emily found a bat star (and placed it back)!

We were able to see Seals and Otters, and at one stop, some very friendly California Ground Squirrels, who happened to love our peanuts.  We spent quite a long time here feeding and playing with the squirrels, as they would even sit in your lap!

We made our way out of the 17 Mile Drive into Pacific Grove, CA, which was a cute little town with 1940’s style small houses lining the streets.  We made our way to Lover’s Point to explore the park and ocean.

While I held a sleeping Weston, the girls made their way down to the ocean to explore more tide pools.  They spent over an hour looking through the tide pools and finding sea life like hermit crabs, snails and limpets.  We then rented a Surrey bike to ride down the Beach trail and happened across at least 50 Seals.  We spent some good time here watching the Seals and then back on the bike, which we rode for almost a full hour.

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Seals on the beach!

We returned the bike, loaded in to the car and headed out for dinner.

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Our Surrey bike in Pacific Grove

Because it was still fairly early, we decided to take advantage of Happy Hour somewhere, and landed on Cannery Row Brewing Company yelp_icon. This did not work out because we could not take the kids into the bar area, into which we were required to sit to place in order for Happy Hour.  The menu was also considerably smaller than what was advertised online.  Calling it quits, we decided instead to have a full dinner somewhere else and knowing that we hadn’t had much luck picking out places and everywhere in Monterey was overpriced, we decided to head somewhere with which we were familiar – Dickie’s BBQ.  The meal was good and consistent, and we watched college competitive BattleFrog on TV.  Nice, relaxing family time.  We then headed back to the hotel and even though the weather was still cold, we decided to make our way to the hot tub.  This was a really cool (but warm still) area where the kids loved their time in the water.  Emily and Caitlyn also got into the pool.  We wrapped up in towels and robes and headed back, wet and cold to our rooms.  A quick shower for everyone and then off to bed to prepare for our next road trip; down the coast to San Simeon for one night.

This is day 10 on our California Road Trip Summer 2016.  Make sure to check out the entire trip!

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