We are back from our vacation and we had such a great time that I'm going to share our itinerary, one day at a time. If you are looking for a great family vacation in California, this is definitely one to consider. Jared & I actually honeymooned in Carmel-by-the-Sea and San Francisco, but this was our first time back to the Central Coast since then.
We got up and got out the door as quickly as we could. I was impressed that we were on the road before 9 am, considering we slept until 7:30 (it had been a late night getting ready)--Jared couldn't understand what took so long! I guess I just wanted to do unnecessary things like wash my hair and feed the baby before we left;)!
First Stop: Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz
Jared had heard about this tourist destination that appears to be a gravitational anomaly. In this picture, Kimball is holding the level we brought (OK, so we're total science nerds) so that the level is, er, level. Yet it appears that it is at an extreme angle. Another bizarre demonstration that they do there is to have two people of equal height stand on level ground, yet on one side the person looks significantly taller than the other. Our picture below shows Kimball and Henry, who are actually about six inches apart in height, and they are standing on level ground.
Here's a shot of Jared standing up straight (although I was afraid that he might drop the baby.)
OK, so we left the Mystery spot $25 poorer--they charge $5 to park and $5 for each visitor over 3. It was kinda cool, but worth the money????
Next Stop: Carmel Inn & Suites
We looked long and hard for a place we could stay with four kids. This charming little inn had a suite with a living room with a somewhat shabby day bed and a separate bedroom with a king size bed. Although it was a far cry from Embassy Suites, they did have a continental breakfast that was good enough to satisfy kids, a chilly pool, and the price was significantly better than the Monterey EB--by almost 50%. Plus, we got to stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is MUCH more charming than anything else around. We checked in and Jared crashed for a power nap while I took the kids swimming (only Henry did anything more than get his toes wet, since the outside temperature was about 60 degrees and the pool wasn't more than 75.)
Next Stop: Point Lobos
After the power nap, we headed over to Point Lobos, just south of Carmel for a little hiking. (Entrance Fee $9) The views were breathtaking and the boys loved both the hike over rocks to the water's edge, the hike over the cliffs, and the hike through the woods. I kept snapping pictures. Here are a few highlights:
After the hikes, we dashed back to the hotel to change into something less grubby and then headed off to Lugano for dinner. It was a charming little Swiss bistro. They seated us in a back corner of the restaurant where we could enjoy the accordion music and not be too irritating to the other guests with our brood. The food was yummy--especially Jared's shnitzel and spaetzli. We made a deal with our boys that if they used their best restaurant manners and ate their dinners, we'd get dessert, so we shared a chocolate fondue at the end. How do you say yummy in German?