Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great place to spend a day while in Monterey. The have wonderful permanent exhibits and a number of great special exhibits. There is a variety of interactive displays, especially for kids. One of my favorite exhibits, "Jellies: Living Art" will be closing soon, but the aquarium still has plenty of jellies on display in the Jelly Gallery on the second floor.

However, my favorite exhibit of all and one of the best things about Monterey: sea otters! The aquarium has several sea otter residents that you can watch during their thrice daily feeding and training programs. You might want to get to the exhibit early as this is always very crowded. The other great thing about sea otters in Monterey is that you don't have to go to the aquarium to see them...they are visible throughout the day frolicking in the kelp beds. The sea otters are especially active in the early morning and the early evening, but can be seen at other times of the day as well, often floating asleep on their backs.

Currently the aquarium has the "Wild About Otters" exhibit that displays other otters from around the world and provides information about the various habitats and other animals that live in those regions. Definitely check this exhibit out.

Monterey Bay Inn

Okay, so the hotel website ( was fixed and I was able to make and confirm my reservations online for my October visit. I can't wait.

The Monterey Bay Inn is a fantastic hotel located at the end of Cannery Row. The rooms are comfortably appointed and have great views from either the Ocean View or Bay View sides. Other than my first visit during which I had a Bay View room, I've gotten the Ocean View...and this is what I booked for October.

The hotel is located at the beginning of Cannery Row, with the Monterey Bay Aquarium at the other end. The distance is an easy walk with lots of shops and restaurants in between. The Monterey Bay Inn doesn't have a restaurant, but they do have the option of having breakfast delivered to your door each morning. You breakfast choices generally consist of muffins, bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, tea, etc. You can also have room service provided by a local restaurant. The room service food is fantastic. I have had room service twice at this hotel and it was some of the best food on my trip. You can also have in room spa services. I have had an in-room massage on two of my trips. Talk about luxury!

The great thing about MBI is that it is quiet, conveniently located, well-appointed, has great views, and while a little pricey, is not the most expensive (or even close) option in Monterey. I definitely recommend a visit to the Monterey Bay Inn.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Still Monterey Dreaming

Okay, I tried to book my reservations at the Monterey Bay Inn the other night and kept getting errors when I tried to confirm. How frustrating! I was so excited to actually be making concrete plans for my stay, only to have them shot down by a website not functioning correctly. Why can't technology work when I need it to?

Anyway, I sent an e-mail and saw the response today. They will be happy to help me if I call...don't they understand that I prefer to not deal with people and actually want to use their website? Also, they didn't provide any explanation of the error or say that it would be fixed. Maybe I will try to book online again tonight. I have booked on their website three times previously and never had a problem.

Regardless, I still plan to stay there in October. I love looking off the balcony and seeing the sea otters and other marine life. I can't wait...but I have to.