Knowing Monterey was on the agenda made me so excited about traveling down the coast of California. I love that place. It’s cool, quiet, and right on the ocean. What’s not to love?

My family has always had a bit of a *love affair* with Monterey; going back three generations, I might add. Growing up, we stayed in Monterey as a family almost every Christmas for two weeks in a little turn of the century cabin right on the ocean. Some of my earliest memories are of exploring the nooks and crannies in the rocks across the street from the cabin and tide pooling with my siblings, so it was a really cool full circle moment for me to take my kids to do the same.

The drive from San Francisco to Monterey is unbelievable. Completely gorgeous. It was foggy and grey when we left San Francisco but sunny and beautiful when we arrived in Monterey. May in northern California though, is like Utah in October. Pretty, deceitfully sunny, but fairly cold.


It takes a lot more than a little cold to stop my kids though. Especially C. He’s always interested in seeing justhowclose he can get to the edge of danger without actually dying.

And for some reason unbeknown to me, Victor thought it would be a great idea to dress C in what can only be called ‘tide pool camouflage’. I’m willing to bet if it weren’t for that tiny slice of C’s white shirt, you wouldn’t even know there was a preschooler in this photo, looking to harass a crab.

If you do end up in Monterey, you have to take your kids tide pooling. The kids saw/played with/harassed all sorts of sea life: sea stars, crabs, sea anemone, and sea urchins. There’s nothing quite like a hands-on biology lesson, especially if you’re interested in marine biology. Honestly though, you don’t have to be oceanologists to have a great time tide pooling with your kids. Just don’t let them turn their backs on the ocean. EVER. The waves in Monterey are wicked fast and strong.