Saturday, March 23, 2013

coastal vacation highlights and one lowlight

Every year, the Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts several FREE Homeschool days.We had to sign up for the tickets back in the fall (they "sell" out the first day) and our free day was at the end of February. We decided to take 10 days of vacation and tour the coast! We met up with several of our homeschooling buddies in Monterey for the day.

Being silly with tails and flippers.

Having pizza and celebrating a friend's 9th birthday!

One thing I would love to do in my lifetime is learn how to scuba dive. I would love to swim with the fish! They are so beautiful.

We went on a long hike at Point Lobos (near Carmel, CA) and visited the whaling station. I highly recommend this state park! We learned a lot!

Next we traveled to Pismo Beach--about 3 hours from the Carmel/Monterey area. Here is where the "lowlight" comes into the picture. We brought all of our bikes on the trip. While in Carmel, Tim was able to go on two long rides on his road bike--it's beautiful scenery in Carmel. The kids and I hadn't ridden our bikes yet as there wasn't a great spot for the kids and we knew there was kid-friendly riding at Pismo Beach.

Upon arrival in Pismo, Tim found that his road bike was missing. Our very expensive bike rack had malfunctioned. And of course, the only bike that fell off was Tim's. The kids and I have "garage sale" bikes. Tim's bike is the price of a small, cheap car. Since coming home, he's been taking long walks at night for exercise after the kids are in bed. He'll replace his bike at some point I am sure, but it's not really in the budget right now. I have to say, Tim handled the loss really well, I was so proud of him. He didn't get upset at all and even taught the kids a lesson around the bike loss. And for those of you wondering, yes, we called Highway Patrol. It was reported in a lane and CHP immediately went to pick it up. By the time they got there someone had "taken" it and not called Highway Patrol. We also contacted the bike rack company and our insurance. We didn't get anywhere with either.

The picture above is a view from our campground.

Pismo Beach is the only stretch of beach in CA that you can drive on. It was worth the $5 we had to pay to enter. The kids thought this was SO cool!

At night when the days activities were done, we played games, read books and sometimes roasted marshmallows. The girls wanted to learn how to draw a face really well. Tim found some tutorials on YouTube and the girls learned how to draw the eyes, nose and mouth realistically. I love how much educational stuff you can find on the internet.

 We also spent a few days in Santa Cruz. Our highlight was the Henry Conwell State Park. They have an amazing visitor center and a 1-mile loop perfect for kids to explore! We followed the trail markers and read each fact along the way and got to go inside a tree!

We love traveling in our 5th wheel RV. Our dream is to be able to take a year and travel the country. I'd love to homeschool on the road and have our kids education come alive!

We are in the midst of planning our next 2-week trip! We leave in 5 weeks and are going to travel the Oregon coast. There are so many things to see. One of the reasons I love homeschooling is that we can take off and school on the road during the off season--campsites are quiet and we don't have to make reservations--allowing us to stay longer in places we want to further explore. And we LOVE to explore!

Have a great weekend!

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