Unlike our previous road trip to Monterey, this one was going to be a three day, two night stay. That gave us extra time to do a little more around the area than just the aquarium, although we did manage to fit in a visit there as well.
We left relatively early in the morning, traveling with some friends, and met up at Sea Harvest in Moss Landing for lunch.
After lunch, it was a short drive down to Pacific Grove to visit the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary and see all the monarch butterflies stopping there for the winter season.
While most of the butterflies were high up in the trees, requiring long lens cameras to get good photos (and there were quite a few photographers there with the right equipment), we were able to get some good close ups with an iPhone camera.
While we were in Pacific Grove, we stopped by the coast too and took a walk on the beach. Not a lot to be seen in the rock pools, but we did see a few moon jellies, and plenty of hermit crabs.
Normally when we stay in Monterey we stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. This time, since our friends had already booked at the Hyatt Regency, we thought we try a new hotel and book at the same place. As an added bonus, the Hyatt also boasted EV charging points (one J1772 AC charger and a Tesla destination charger in the main hotel parking lot, and four more Tesla destination chargers at the conference center).
The Hyatt is a much larger hotel, more resort-like, with an attached conference center, and a large ‘play area’ for kids including table tennis, bocce ball pits and other games alongside a large heated pool & hot tub. They also have a fire pit and s’mores tools, though unlike the Hilton they include only limited kits per room (you can buy more).
Restaurant-wise though, the options were less appealing for kids, so for the first night we used Uber Eats to get pizza from Blaze delivered and we ate around one of the smaller fires near the bar area. One of the advantages of staying at a hotel is that I can also enjoy a cocktail. The bar at the Hyatt made some excellent cocktails!
Day 2: Dennis the Menace and Monterey Bay Aquarium
After a quick breakfast, we stopped by the Dennis the Menace park (just around the corner from the hotel really), a firm favorite with all the kids, although I think they are starting to outgrow it.
We did not stay long however as we had tickets for the aquarium for just after noon (part of the COVID pandemic restrictions is the addition of timed entry windows, even for members). After a quick lunch at Archie’s American Diner, we spent a few hours in the aquarium, ending with a behind the scenes video in the theatre and a trip to gift store.
Didn’t take so many photos in the aquarium this time, but I did get a few video clips that I put together in a quick montage too:
Day 3: Carmel-by-the-Sea
After spending the morning playing at the hotel, making sure we had used all the game options available, we checked out just before noon and hit the road south to Carmel-by-the-Sea for lunch at the Treehouse Café.
Not the cheapest restaurant for sure, but the menu is an unusual mix of Thai and Mediterranean. The food is excellent too, and we were able to secure a private room for our group, so even though we were indoors, we felt comfortable with the three younger kids who were not fully vaccinated eating there.
After a good lunch, we drove down the hill to the beach and spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach. Until it became too cold to stay.
Before heading home, we stopped off at the bakery in town, and took a brief stroll around just as the sun set, before a long drive home with more traffic than we had expected, especially leaving Carmel and heading into Monterey.
On the way down to Monterey we averaged 2,9 miles/kWh, and on the way back, with traffic in a number of places, only 2.8 miles/kWh. However, the total trip was around 260 miles, and with the combination of free charging at Electrify America and the free overnight charge from the hotel on the first night, we did not spend a penny for the fuel.
Additionally, the car has proven to be very accurate when it comes to estimating both its range and the state of charge at the destination.