This has mainly been because Mark's job: it used to be that he had flexiblity during the week to occasionally do house projects or other chores, so we would often have our weekends completely free to do fun things together as a family. But in the past year or so, his job has changed so that he doesn't have time to do those things during the week, and we end up doing them on the weekend. Therefore, we have less free weekend time as a family to do fun day trips.
Mark has been encouraging me for quite sometime to get out of the house with the kids to do day trips, but I've always disliked the thought of going somewhere fun without him. Not to mention that an extra pair of hands is always a good thing with a pair of energetic boys.
Finally this week I summed up the courage to do a day trip by myself, so we went to Monterey. We visited the aquarium first and explored eels, penguins, puffins, and kelp. Then we got some lunch and hit the beach. We had a good time for the most part, but the day was not without its challenges: Tommy's attitude was very disagreeable and he was just all-around difficult most of the day. But he mellowed out once he was released onto the open sand. Then Ben cut his foot open at the beach and, being without a first aid kit, we had to scour downtown Monterey for a pharmacy to buy some Band-Aids and neosporin. An hour and $20 later, we were all patched up and had our hot cocoas* in hand and were headed in the general direction of Home, so the day ended on a pleasant note. On the way home Tommy remarked, "Mommy, this day has been really big." I couldn't agree more.
*Getting hot cocoa after visiting the beach is another tradition. Northern California beaches are so cold and overcast that we're usually chilled to the core after spending a few hours there. A hot cocoa really hits the spot.
Breakfast at our favorite pre-adventure bagel shop. We usually come here right before we set off on a road trip, even if it's just an hour long.
Huge Sunfish. I think it was about the size of my car.
The kids love this water tank. It's a tunnel about ten feet tall. Every few seconds there's a huge wave that crashes down and startles the kids. Every single time.
Drawing at the beach with some burnt wood.
Obligatory beach kids-on-log photo