The last half of our California trip was spent along the coast where we made a visit to The Monterey Bay Aquarium. It's my favorite aquarium since we first visited it in the 90s.
I was mesmerized by the jellyfish . . .
. . . and the baby sea turtles.
We then drove south on Highway 1 beyond Big Sur . . .
to a beach where Elephant Seals use---during their molting period. This photo was taken from about 100 feet away. The seals have this great beach to themselves because it's fenced to keep out tourists.
An older seal cools off in the water. He has the large "trunk-like" nose giving the seals their name.
These two young seals didn't get the memo about lying on the beach!
I was surprised at how undeveloped most of the coast was--thankfully the state has set aside much of the coastline for public access.
On our way back to San Francisco for the return flight, we stopped by Big Basin State Park at Boulder Creek. The giant majestic redwoods remind me of what our Appalachian forests might have looked like centuries ago. Back then, American chestnut and oak trees reached these heights (200-300 ft).
No matter how good the trip, I am always happy to get back home.