I spent the day down south at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carmel with Clara on Saturday. Although I've been to Monterey many times, it was my first time driving 17-mile drive! The views were pretty spectacular even though it was overcast and a bit foggy. Sometimes I couldn't decide whether to look at the nice houses to the left or at the coastal trees on the right. :) Also impressive were the super-luscious kelp forests, which from the surface were the nicest I had ever seen. I wish I could have seen them from below the surface.
The aquarium was fun, as usual. The new shark exhibit has a big tank with juvenile scalloped hammerheads in it. I hope they are successful at keeping them alive; the ones in the big tuna tank look skinny and unhealthy. But it was nice to see that the aquarium has a section addressing shark myths -- namely, that they are incorrectly viewed as mindless eating machines.
I also liked Carmel's state beach. It was sort of dream-like: a large area with waves crashing hard against a steep sandy shore, with fog thick enough that it was easy to become lost in your own little slice o' beach. Lots o' fog, but no wind nor chill. Pretty neat. [see some photos]