Monday, July 14, 2014

Stay-cation: Day 1 Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea

Samantha on the fireman's pole
We did it, we did our first stay-cation and survived. The kids loved it and we loved it. We got to sleep in our own beds, made a picnic lunch every day. We even spoiled the kids with Capri Suns and chips and they were content, which is the most important thing.

Day 1 started with a trip to Monterey and Carmel. We actually didn't know what we might do, but as both Al and I lived there in our college years, we knew that nothing was lacking as far as natural entertainment.

Alyssa on the rock wall
We started with a picnic at Dennis the Menace park. The girls love this place and I loved it as a child too. It's got just about everything from an amazing roller slide (which is a killer on adult tailbones) to a large rock climbing wall.

Sometimes I find myself missing Monterey, but then I remember the fog. And truthfully, we live only 50 minutes away, and now get warmer weather and fog only in the morning.

After the kids were hot, sweaty, and sandy, we drove down into Carmel-by-the-sea and headed to the Carmel Mission.

In fourth grade, the Catholic school students in our area study the California missions. So this coming school year Samantha will have a report about a mission along with a replica of said mission. We thought we'd get a head start.

We could not have asked for a more stunning day. If we were millionaires we'd have bought a house there on the spot. It was about 68 degrees and clear! Not to mention that the mission gardens were overflowing with color (The dahlias were as big as my head!), and then there were the most wonderful smells.

I must admit that I had a hard time controlling my emotions when I walked through the doorway of the old adobe. The history, the culture, the church, all of it caught me off guard. I haven't been there since I was in fourth grade.

Alyssa wanted to go into the church and sit in the pews. She was hoping we were there to hear Mass. She was very disappointed when she found out we were there just to explore.

Samantha and I were dreaming about sitting in the old "sala", which was full of 200-year-old books.

All in all, a fantastic day, beautiful and peaceful.

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