BIG SUR 2012

Our 2012 Summer family vacation was spent in the beautiful central California coastal town of Big Sur. Lee's parents were in Big Sur in the early 1960's for several folk music festivals so it has been a traditional family vacation spot. We stayed in the Big Sur Campground on two spaces right along the creek. The weather was beautiful with sunny 70F days & cool 50F nights. Our neighbors were Wyatt & Mylie from nearby Atascadero with their 5 year old son Dane, who was an excellent camp friend for Tessa. Jeffrey was our fire chief and enjoyed starting, maintaining, & dousing the camp fires. The kids enjoyed going down the creek on inner tubes even though the water was quite cold. We set-up the hammock which was a great quiet place to relax & take-in the creek & Redwood trees. And Tessa loved playing Crazy 8's, Fish, & War with Dane.

On our way north along Highway One we stopped in San Simeon to see the resident Elephant Seal colony. There were 100+ seals all lazing on the beach, covering themselves with sand, chortling & huffing, and jousting over territory. Then we continued north along the winding roads high above the ocean into Big Sur and dropped down into Carmel. The 17 Mile Drive was incredibly scenic and a fun place for everyone to explore the tide pools.

Tuesday we took two hikes in Big Sur. The first was a half-mile walk to McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer State Park. This freshwater waterfall flows into the Pacific Ocean, one of only two in the world. The second was a 3-mile strenuous hillclimb along Pfeiffer Falls Trail in Pfeiffer State Park. It was hot & steep but the kids did fine & Tessa got rides on Lee's shoulders several times when she got tired.

We drove into Carmel to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The jellyfish displays were amazing, the seahorse exhibit was fascinating, and watching the live fish feeding was fantastic. Tessa loved the touch-tanks and when the Giant Octopus swam right up to her face. The Sea Otters were fun to watch playing in the water. After the aquarium we had lunch at Bubba Gump's and Tessa got a special shrimp stuffed animal to add to her collection.