Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Travel: Pacific Coast Highway Weekend Road Trip - Central California Coast - Day 3 (Monterey, Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Day 1, Day 2 - Part 1, Day 2 - Part 2

Monterey
Monterey Bay #1 - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Window Flowers - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Monochrome Flower - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Monterey Bay #2 - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Red Buoy - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill. I used a viewing telescope to zoom and give it a "toy camera" look. I gave it a "vintage" look in post-processing. If you look at Monterey Bay #1, the tiny buoy in the distance is the same buoy as this photo.
Our overnight stay in Monterey was much better than the previous night in Santa Maria. It rained most of the night, but we awoke to mostly sunny skies. Those turned to partly cloudy skies, then mostly cloudy, then overcast by early afternoon.

Monterey is an interesting town. Touristy, for sure. I really wish we could have spent more time there. But our agenda was singular: the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Three Fish - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Jelly Dive - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Jelly Fish - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Sea Flower - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Star Fish - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Kelp Fish - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Nemo Found - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
The Reef - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Fish Home - Monterey, California
I captured this using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium, or "the sea mall" as my four-year-old calls it, is a huge aquarium. We spent four hours there and didn't see everything there is to see!

Inside the aquarium is a great area for young children to play and explore that is specifically designed for kids. They also loved the wave crash exhibit.

Aquariums are great for underwater photography. You don't have to get wet or own special gear to capture ocean life. You could scuba dive at some reef halfway around the world, or you could stroll into the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

My only complaints would be the cost and the crowd. Between the tickets, parking, and lunch we spent close to $200. That's a lot of money to see some fish! When we arrived it wasn't that busy, but after two hours the crowds got thick. Now this was a Monday and not a holiday weekend. I can only imagine what it's like on a weekend or holiday.

My kids did not want to leave after four hours, but we had to go. This was my son's favorite stop of the entire trip and over a week later he is still talking about it.

The Drive Home
Light Over Orange Grove - Bakersfield, California
I captured this using a Samsung NX200.
It rained almost the whole drive home. It poured, in fact. The sky began to break as we approached Bakersfield, and the sun peeked through here and there.

The trip was good, but it felt rushed. I think if we could have spent another day or two along the coast it would have really been great. Even so, I got to see some truly great beauty that I'd never experienced before, and I have some interesting photographs to remember it by.

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