Monday, August 16, 2010

Onto Carmel/Monterey Weekend! (Warning - LONG post)

From Yosemite, we continued south onto Monterey. Nothing like having piggy-backed family trips planned, eh? We know how to squeeze in the fun!
FIRST STOP: The Carmel Concours d'Elegance
 Ethan got into the nitty-gritty in noticing everything about the cars this year.
 This one was one of his favorites though. It reminds me of our Buzz Light Year car.
 This one was my favorite though. An entire car chromed! How amazing is that?!
 Of course, Daddy liked to look a little longer than the attention span of our not-quite-three-year-old.
 So we had a few other tricks up our sleeves.
 If you look very carefully, though, you can actually see John two times in the broadcasted version of the Mecum Auction. My husband is totally famous.
 NEXT STOP: The Beach House and a walk to Dennis the Menace Park:
 We had to lay out our tent to dry out (we left Yosemite at like 5 in the morning, so the dew didn't have any time to dry) on the garage floor. We were already exhausted and didn't even make it up the stairs before we had a little rest.
Shortly after though, the rest of the fam showed up and we decided to get a little exercise and walk to our favorite park. If you check out the far left of the photo, you can see my sister and mom waving frantically at the camera.
 We are quite the stroller brigade.
 Ethan isn't scared. He was so thirsty he was willing to drink out of the lion's mouth.
 Of course, the big black train is the first thing Ethan climbs on.
 Checking out all the parts to make sure they are functioning as designed.
 Lincoln is happy as ever just to hang out and have a little camera time to himself.
 Grammie Pammie got in on the fun on the big red slide.
 So did Mommy. I just convince the kids to go down with me, so no one gives me dirty looks as I push the other kids aside so I can take a turn.
 I guess we all take our turns taking advantage of the activities at the park.
 Maddie enjoyed playing babysitter to all the younger grandkids and quickly named them her students and she was the teacher telling them what they needed to do. I think she did amazingly well corralling the troops into a circle.
 We are taking great advantage of our borrowed Bumbo, it makes yet another appearance!
 Ethan has moved on to being the little poser for pictures now.
 I don't know who taught him that he looks cuter with his head cocked way to the side.
 So we made several trips to the park and here are additional shots of the boys.
 I love how Ethan is looking at his cousin with the most excited expression, like he's thinking, "isn't this the most exciting thing in the world?" And his cousin only looks mildly amused.
Maybe Timmy just needed a few more people on the slide to get it moving just a bit faster.
There we go, NOW it's looking like a good time to everyone.
Of course, we spent some time elsewhere in the park.
We explore a little of everything, but that's what's so wonderful about this park -- there's just so much to do!
Love these cuties!
When you are with your siblings, do you sometimes decide to do things that you then can't explain afterwards? This is one of those situations. For some reason, we decided that it was a good idea to flat-iron my brother's hair.
We couldn't get over the result.
Can you say one-hundred percent sex-offender? I guess he has his next halloween outfit nailed.
This is my sister's reaction upon first frontal view of her fine work.
And then my sister-in-laws reaction.
We packed everyone, and I mean everyone, in my sister's van to head to the aquarium.
I love the jellyfish exhibit. I could stand there for hours watching this magic.
Sea dragons were also pretty sweet.
This would be a really cool scherenschnitte or however you spell that, where you make a cut out on paper, or even a freezer-paper stencil. Of course, I wouldn't want to cut out all those pieces, but if you do, could you make me one too?
I think sea horse are pretty amazing too.
I love this one of my nephew.
My boys were worn out from the weekend though, and unfortunately missed some of the aquarium. But can I tell you how much I love my Phil and Ted's? 
How hard is it to take care of sea turtles? I could take this handsome fellow home in an instant.
I am kissing the penguin, but what is John doing exactly?
Please take note of Ethan's super-SWEET face in the picture. I was crying, I was laughing so hard. Talk about a forced smile. He almost looks in pain.
Take two, a little more in the normal range.
Ethan really enjoyed the hands on experience. This is also where we learned that they now call them "Sea stars" instead of "starfish." I guess it makes sense, but it was a little irritating to hear the girl say, "Sea stars" ad nausea. Okay, they changed the name, get over it. It's going to take a minimum of 10 years before that word gets out, so quit correcting everyone.
To be honest, I'm just so happy I don't have a double chin in this one, so I thought I should publicize this grand event.
We had such a great experience.

Then we packed back in the van to head back to make our way to the beach house.
The following day we needed a little more exercise (maybe because we spend the majority of our time eating when we are at the beach house). We decided to try out the historical walk you can take in the old downtown area of Monterey. Any walk that begins with a fish pond is going to be a hit with our brood.
Evidently, California's first theater was only interesting to the children.
I loved this idea of using recycled glass bottles upside down and buried in the sand to make a pathway. I want to have this (Liz Lemon, anyone?).
Thankfully, we found a great place to keep the kids when they weren't listening.
All the grandkids all on one bear.
Wrestle the little bears.
That afternoon, we went down to the beach for a little weanie-roast.
Thank you for the cute pose, Ethan. Now can you try for a normal smile?
Is it really that hard?
I guess so.
At least Lincoln just ignores the camera, maybe a natural setting is going to be the way to go with my kids.
The whole crew (minus me I suppose, I need to get a tripod, so I can start being in some of these group shots).
This one is a favorite.
I love how many pictures I have of Ethan running through the waves with a giant jacket on. Remember what I said about the extreme temperature tolerance? Case and point.
We love the beach house.
Of course, the s'mores couldn't be missed. I think we even had leftovers from Yosemite.
Cuddled up on surfboards with towels. That's how we roll in Norcal.
Grammie Pammie sure knows how to cuddle the kids.
And this little one learned how to roll over while we were here!
While this one just picked up some bad habits. Snort, Snort, Ralphie.
He sure does love messes. But I guess that's what makes the memories, right?
Did you actually read through all of that? I should give you a prize. I was too lazy to separate it into different posts. Sorry. I will assume though that you are either my mother or John's. Nope, just John's, Hi Jane!