I could tell that my dad felt guilty about spending the whole vacation week at home. Over breakfast on Friday, he proposed taking the family to the beach. My mom countered with shopping at the Gilroy Premium Outlets. (She really wanted to buy fancy pots from Le Creuset.) Personally, I was happy that our family was finally going out together and agreed with either.

Fast forward several hours; my mom was feeling too tired and bailed out on the Gilroy shopping. ’Twas frustrating, but her fatigue was understandable considering that she had been awake since 4am. My dad still offered to take me to the beach and the two of us left the house at 1pm. We picked up two 42.3oz bottles of sparkling water from Trader Joe’s before making the 1.5 hour drive to Monterey.

The first thing we did at Monterey was to rent a two-person bike from Adventures by the Sea. Dad confessed that he had always wanted to try these things, but that Mom was never on board. Our 42-minute bike ride took place on the section of the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail between Lover’s Point and Fisherman’s Wharf and cost us $30/hour. Thanks to the gear setup of the two-person bike, some uphill parts of the trail were actually pretty tough; often, my dad and I found ourselves huffing and puffing.

Next, we walked over to San Carlos Beach. At first I was slightly hesitant about removing my shoes and walking into the waves, but I’m very glad I did. Standing on the beach with the water gently lapping at your feet is a super calming experience. The interesting sights and sounds around us (i.e. a young man swimming in a wetsuit he fashioned to look like a mermaid) were also fun.

Our final destination in Monterey was the Fisherman’s Wharf. Due to my lack of hunger (the curry chicken I had eaten for lunch had filled my belly), we skipped out on the food and did nothing more than make a loop around the dock. On the way back to our parked car, we almost got lost, but my backup solution (aka taking a picture of the parking spot and then using the Location feature of Google Photos) saved the day.

PS: my aunt Ling Ling’s CD of Asian pop songs (aka something she forgot to take out of our Lexus RX350) made our 6pm drive home merry & enjoyable