My sister decided that for her birthday this year, she would gift herself scuba diving lessons. She spent a couple weekends in a classroom setting and in a swimming pool all geared up before she was ready for her big certification test down in Monterey. Never skipping a beat to plan another weekend trip, we all packed our bags and trotted down to Monterey with her. 🙂
She booked a room for us at the Intercontinental The Clement Monterey hotel, conveniently located right in the middle of Cannery Row, just doors away from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We arrived in the late afternoon, got settled into our room, and found a nice seaside restaurant nearby name The Fish Hopper to enjoy a wonderful dinner together.
The food portions were huge, but the quality was mediocre. The view made up for it though!
The next morning, while Mimi was deep in the ocean getting scuba certified, Alan and I took the girls for a lovely brunch at the C restaurant inside our hotel. I officially declared that I ate the BEST crab benedict that I’ve ever had in my life!
It was Brianne’s birthday, and she got to set the itinerary for the day. After brunch, we strolled along Cannery Row and stopped in front of Bubba Gump to hula hoop. That’s right, we were hula hooping for tourists at the center of Monterey, and it was quite a funny scene.
After that, we came across a magic shop and spent over an hour in there in awe as the magician inside kept showing trick after trick for us. We eventually left the shop with a few tricks up our sleeves too, which Alan was excited to demonstrate.
Mimi rejoined us after lunch, and we spent the remainder of our afternoon at the aquarium, where the girls watched a penguin feeding, touched manta rays, and saw way more fishes than we could identify.
That night, we dined at a super low-key place–the Sea Harvest Fish Market, and were delightfully surprise at the high quality seafood we were served. In fact, the fried oysters were the best that we’ve ever had, with a very light batter. It was so delicious that we went back for a second meal the next day. 🙂
Mimi was off to the ocean again in the wee hours of the next morning. Alan and I enjoyed another brunch at the C Restaurant with the girls and walked around Cannery Row some more.
Mimi was scheduled to be done around lunch time, so Brianne and I decided to welcome her on the beach. We had no idea which part of the beach she’d come up from, so we just took our chances and waited….
We saw a bunch of heads bobbling in the water and thought it must be Mimi’s scuba diving group, so we excitedly waited for them to get on shore…
As it turned out, that was a different group. Disappointed, we started walking back to Cannery Row to meet up with Alan and Bridgette, but ended up running into Mimi after all! She was out of the water by then, and officially a certified scuba diver! 🙂
Congratulations to Mimi, for toughing out some of the worse conditions in the open water (according to her instructor). I was very proud of her, though I wasn’t surprised at all. My sis has always been a mentally strong person, with amazing endurance. Though several of her classmates gave up due to the freezing weather and awful conditions of the open water that weekend, she chose to pull through, just as she always does.
We now have the perfect excuse to plan a trip to the Cayman Islands, one of the top ten places to dive in the world…. 🙂 After all, we have to celebrate my sister’s certification right?