Sunday, February 16, 2014


Aubrey has this next week off school but Jared couldn't get the whole week off but could get this weekend off. Friday after school we drove down to Pismo Beach where we stay the night. Yesterday we explored the area. We stopped at this Monarch butterfly grove.

 Do you see any butterflies? They look like leaves.

 Here's the same photo zoomed in a bit. They had telescopes set up so you could see them close up.

 This one had a damaged wing and stayed on the ground for a long time.

 They had a plant with netting around it housing some caterpillars and this little cocoon.

Then we stopped at Pismo beach and played for a bit.

Next we headed north up the coast and stopped at the Madonna Inn.
I remember when I was 8 we stopped here on our way to Disney Land and took a photo in the front entrance. I never really understood why we did that as I didn't remember going inside or seeing the massive inn behind this building before!
 This is the dining room inside. it was all decorated for Valentine's Day. 
Aubrey thought it was awesome!

Next, we kept driving up the coast and stopped just north of Hearst Castle where these Elephant seals are mating and having babies. When we first arrived I looked over the fence and saw this one and thought it was neat. But then we walked along the boardwalk and saw...
 ...the beach full of mom's and their pups.

 ...and fighting fathers.

 A lot of the babies were huddled together as far up on shore as they could. Probably to stay out the way of those fighting males. There were lots of trampled dead babies all over the beach.
After we asked Aubrey if she thought this was a cool thing to see and she said: yes! and a little sad.

 As we were heading home, not to far from the seals, we saw zebras roaming on the side of the Hwy 1 on the Hearst Castle property. I really want to take a tour and see the castle some day. You have to book tickets far in advance as they sell out quickly.
It was a good quick trip but we saw a lot of neat things without having to go too far from home.
Pismo is about 3 hours from San Jose. We had dinner in Cambria and then started for home near Aubrey's bed time and she slept the whole way.

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