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Monterey Vacation

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We just got back from a quick weekend vacation to Monterey, CA. On our previous trip in April 2009, we got to spend less than 12 hours in Monterey and because it was so beautiful we definitely wanted to go back again someday. After we got pregnant with Ellie, we talked about taking her out there someday… well, it finally worked out.

About a month ago, Zach told me he had to take a work trip to San Jose and he wanted to take us with him. I had quite a few fears of taking a new baby on a trip – and eventually I realized that if we don’t just do it, I will always be afraid to take a trip with a baby. So we booked our trip – Zach would fly with us out there and then Ellie and I would come home by ourselves while Zach went to his meeting. This is how it went:

We flew out on Friday around noon. The flight went GREAT! Ellie fell asleep on the way out (she is definitely my daughter… I fall asleep while we’re taxiing!) and then nursed once during the flight. She was as happy as can be and didn’t show any signs of her ears hurting. We took a few bottles just in case she didn’t want to nurse – since we had some weird problems the prior week. Ellie’s first flight: a breeze!

We picked up our car and headed for Marina — a town just north of Monterey, which is where our hotel was. We stayed at the Sanctuary Beach Resort. They have little bungalows out near the beach. There were 4 hotel rooms in each bungalow. We parked our car at the main lodge, then took a golf cart to our room. We stayed in a suite – so we had a seating area and a place for a pack’n’play. The view from our room was fabulous!

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We had dinner in Monterey at Peppers Mexicali. We had fajitas that were really tasty and Zach had some corn chowder soup (I wish I could eat dairy… it looked and smelled so yummy). After dinner we found a Cold Stone (ice cream for Zach, sorbet for me) and then we headed home. It was a later night than normal for Ellie, but she ate and went to sleep just fine.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at First Awakenings. We ate there last time we were in Monterey and knew we needed to go back. I got the same apple cinnamon oatmeal pancakes that I had before… de-lish! We walked around the shopping area at Carmel By The Sea to kill some time before lunch time. We had lunch reservations at a restaurant in Pebble Beach so we headed toward 17 Mile Drive. When you have reservations at a restaurant on 17 Mile Drive, you don’t have to pay the entrance fee to drive the road. We had a great lunch at Roy’s at Spanish Bay with an amazing view! After lunch we drove around Pebble Beach and got some great pictures.

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Zach had read about a place called McWay Falls just south of Big Sur and wanted to go see the falls. Last time we were out that way, we got all the way to Big Sur and there was a mud-slide. We had to turn around and make a 4-hour detour to get to Monterey… which would have only been a 30 minute drive otherwise. So the drive between Monterey and Big Sur was new to us. We got to the park where McWay Falls is and laughed when we realized we had stopped at this park just after turning around last time for a quick pit-stop! We looked back at old pictures and our most favorite picture has McWay Falls in the picture. We thought that was pretty funny. We took the little hike over to the viewing area.

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Just before we left, the sun peeked through the clouds and we got some beautiful pictures! On our way home we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then went to Trader Joe’s so Zach could get some Mochi ice cream…  any time we’re near a Trader Joe’s, we have to go!

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Sunday morning we headed up to Santa Cruz and had breakfast at a place called Zachary’s and walked along the shops for a while before heading back to the hotel. We still hadn’t spent any real time on the beach yet – so we packed up some stuff to take to the beach for the afternoon.

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Zach was going to go for a run while Ellie and I hung out on the beach. It was about time for a nap and I figured she’d just fall asleep and we’d have a great afternoon laying on the beach. A new fussy time had other plans though…. shortly after Zach went running out of sight, Ellie went ballistic! Not sure what made her so upset, I couldn’t calm her down so I threw everything in our bags and headed back up to our room. By the time Zach got back she was still upset, but eventually she calmed down. At that point, we didn’t know it was a new fussy time…. we had no idea what the problem was. Does she hate the ocean? Did the waves scare her? Did she get sand in her eye? We had no idea – but were SO GLAD when she was no longer upset. We spent the rest of the evening just hanging out in the room.

Monday morning we ordered breakfast in our room and enjoyed the last few hours before Ellie and I had to get on the plane to come home. On the way out, we ate at In & Out Burger… that is a yummy burger! Ellie and I got through security just fine and eventually settled into our first-class seats on the plane. I got bumped to first-class which was such a blessing having a baby with me – the extra space was much needed! Ellie nursed on the way out and quickly fell asleep. She slept in my lap for 45 minutes and then woke up. About 10 minutes later she went ballistic… we were in the middle of the flight, probably at the highest altitude so I didn’t think it was her ears, but I tried to nurse her and give her a bottle and she wasn’t hungry. Nothing I could do would calm her down. I soon realized that the prior day on the beach and the time on the plane were about the same time…. putting two and two together I’m guessing she picked up a new fussy time. This is NOT what I wanted to bring home from vacation – a new fussy time! So there I was, trying to quiet my screaming baby, in first-class…. we were in the back corner of the cabin with basically a wall behind us. I just put her on my shoulder and she cried into the corner – I was hoping that was muffling the sound a little bit. By the time we were landing (about 30 minutes later) the jostling of the plane calmed her down a bit while she looked out the window and saw all the lights of the city (I think she thought it was a TV).

Zach’s parents came to pick us up so I didn’t have to try to get Ellie and all of our stuff on a bus to get to the car – that was very helpful! Once we got home, I started the bedtime routine and Ellie had the hardest time getting to sleep. Every time I put her down she burst into tears again. I don’t know what the problem was.

Fast forward to tonight… around the same time, she got fussy – complete with the purple face… and that lasted until I started to put her to bed. And the bed time routine took just as long tonight as it did last night — she’d start wailing any time I put her down. Boy, what a rough couple of nights. I’m not sure if I’m seeing some new patterns, but I hope they go away soon. Maybe her growth spurt has done something to get her off kilter and she needs a few nights to get back to normal. On vacation she went to bed so easily and woke every 3 hours to eat (which isn’t normal, but she went right back to bed so it wasn’t a big deal). This new fussy time and difficult bedtime is going to be a challenge! Just when I thought we had her figured out for a little bit!

Despite the last mentioned problems (I don’t think they were a result of our vacation at all) our vacation was fabulous! I wish we could have stayed longer, but the time we did have was great! It was fun to take Ellie on her first vacation and I discovered that she is a very portable baby. She is happy almost all of the time and can very easily adapt to what we’re doing. I’ve nursed Ellie in so many different places (the car, a park, the airport, etc.) and she just does so great. It’s wonderful to have such an easy baby – we are truly blessed. Her fussy periods are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the big picture of time spent with our sweet baby girl! Look how adorable she is:

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Here’s the link to some of our favorite Monterey pictures in our album:  Monterey Photo Album.