day 2: food, fish and family

I feel like I need to start this post off with a warning. 
So here goes... 
WARNING! Lots of picture overload. 
Before starting this post, 
understand your eyes will be sore when its over. 
So sorry. 

Our time here has been so amazing. Lots of good weather, fun with my parents, fun with our friends, looking forward to J's family arriving and glad that even though my Mom and the girls don't feel 100%, its not stopped us from enjoying our time here and they've all kept from getting worse. 

Rachel is our lovey and our cuddler. 
She says "I love you" to each family member at
random times throughout the day. 
Its very sweet and sadly, I think we've all become 
so used to it, 
we don't appreciate it as much as we should. 

We had super yummy food at our favorite spot, 
First Awakenings. 

and it helps that breakfast is our favorite meal of the day. 

& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & 

~ The Aquarium ~
Jason and I haven't been to the Monterey Aquarium years 
{more than 10} and so this was a treat for us as much 
as it was for our kids! 
Our friends let us use their guest passes {thanks Josh and Steph!} and Kara is still free, so we ended up only having to pay for Ethan and Rachel's admission. 
we don't know the lady in white, next to us :) 

Kara was completely shocking with her brave personality! 
I think enough time has gone by since our visit to our Seattle Aquarium and now that
she's a bit older, she's willing to try new things. 
She loved the hands on part and was no longer scared at the full length tanks. Progress

the starfish were beautiful. 
I loved the variation in color and sizes. 
We actually saw some that were purple and grey, 
which is a first for me! 

facts about sting rays I never knew until this day: 
*the stinger is at the base of the tail and not at the tip 
{which a lady at the aquarium falsely told me several years ago}.
*the stingers are clipped before kids are allowed to pet it. 
*the tail feels exactly like a rat's tail... and essentially freaks me out. 
*I strangely love the feel of sting rays 

Ethan wanted me take a picture, looking through this :) 

lately getting all three of them to smile is... impossible. 
But hey, they're all standing in one place :) 

this made Rachel's day :) 

she loves to play dress-up of any kind. 

taking advantage of having people with us to take our picture :) 

she loves Nana's earrings! 

... and we love each other. 

ok... I was using potty talk to get the kids to smile 
{we have sad senses of humor, I know} 
and I got a kick out of how much my parents laughed at it :) 

heading "home" after a fun day exploring the Aquarium! 

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