Monterey Bay Aquarium

Instead of throwing a party for Emmy for her 4th birthday, we asked her if she wanted a special trip instead--zoo (not my favorite), Gilroy Gardens, or the Aquarium.

She chose wisely. The place is enormous. I haven't been since I was a grade schooler I think. Didn't remember a thing except that there were pools with starfish you can touch. 

Some of the highlights from our little midweek jaunt sans Odessa, who coincidentally is growing a molar, drooling, and all kinds of grumpy. She did not need a long day on the road and we didn't need a long day on the road with her. It was a revelation eating lunch with one kid, and a mostly self sufficient one at that.

Cheers to turning 4, Emmy. Good choice on the day trip!

These are all iPhone pics, no flash, and despite the slow-ish shutter, they are decent pics and it beats lugging around an SLR.

Sardines swimming in a baitball during the Open Sea feeding.

Jellyfish. There were two exhibit rooms dedicated to these translucent wonders.

And the majestic secret seahorse exhibit. #loved

Yes those are seahorses and not seaweed! Kray!

A special day for the most special kiddo. I love making that kid happy.