Susan, Larkin, Muir, and wurzel visit Monterey!

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For $34 each, we could afford four seats! We took five bags (one for each of us, plus the laptop) and got to carry it all on. On the trip back, we actually decided it was easier to check two of them than to try to lug two babies and five bags through SJC security.
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Having babies has its advantages... namely preboarding! For both legs, we got the rows that face each other, which meant we didn't have to fight over who got to sit next to whom.
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wurzel sees his niece Maddy for the first time.
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Sgt Keir graduates along with only five other Russian students from the DLI. Way to go, Mikey!
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This cat, Schmulik, takes friendliness to the extreme. I petted him for 10 seconds before going into Mike's place, and when I came out, the cat had parked himself on my hood. I took this picture as I was backing out of the driveway with the cat still loafing peacefully. Crazy cat!
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Susan and Muir anxiously await their breakfast at Baker's Square in Carmel.
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Maddy gets a little bouncy from her daddy Mikey. What fun!
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Grandma and Grandpa also made it up for Mike's graduation. Well, not quite in time for the graduation, but at least long enough for two good meals and a walk along the beach.
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In true Marilyn style, mom hauled Mike's favorite cake all the way from Utah to Monterey. Not only that, but she brought it up in a Bud Light 24-pack box.
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Grandma and Maddy... There might be a bit of family resemblance here...
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Grandpa knows the safest way to hold a baby right after a feeding; direct the sputum away from the clothing.
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Muir happily colors anything *but* the placemat while Susan restrings the necklace he just finished breaking, and Mom kind of fades away thinking about how she just barely survived her childraising years.
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Susan puts Muir on a leash to take him out to the scene of the crime... the Gazebo in the upper left where Susan and wurzel got married. Awww...
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wurzel straps on Larkin and lets Muir the guide toddler pull him along the path.
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Sometimes it's easier not to give them a choice about where to go or how quickly to get there. Besides, the view is much better from up there, and he acts as a seagull-poop shield. Babies are so versatile!
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When last we were here, we were two. Now we are four. My appointment for the snip-snip is September 27th. Still time to change our minds....
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If there's anything more delightful than a giggling toddler, I can't imagine what it would be.
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Someone with a bit of extra time on their hands and a sense of the artistic had beaten us to this particular spot. Very cool, but not quite as cool as our next rock-oriented experience. This shot is full 1024x768, just right for a peaceful Windows wallpaper.
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It was a beautiful day.
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Trying to get 9 people, three of them babies, to all be ready for a picture at the same time is about as likely as getting a thousand aces and a family in the same hand.
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Musical babies. Four laps, three babies. Everybody pass the babies to the left. Once the music stops, whoever doesn't have a baby is out!
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So, Mom and Dad always wanted a convertible, and what better place to try one out than Monterey? Here they are breaking it in....
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...and laughing about it afterwards.
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For our second artistic rock experience, we drove just south of Carmel on Hwy 1 and found a bunch of rocks doing unnatural things.
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This is what it looks like when rocks are at peace.
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These rocks got scared and jumped up into a tree. This image is full size, just right for Windows wallpaper.
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Rocks at attention.
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175,000 fish in 120 different exhibits, and Muir's favorite part is pushing the button on the drinking fountain and splashing the water.
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Muir stands at the side and thinks about walking onto the water mattress in the toddler's section....
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... but then decided to hunker down and take the thing apart instead. Cool... a zipper! (splootsch!)
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Muir kisses a fish.
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Susan and Larkin take in the aquarium.
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Muir tries out the slide all by himself. He loved it so much he went back ten times.
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Muir and daddy dress up as clownfish to ride the bouncy seahorse. Oh, wait... Daddy was dressed up almost like a clownfish to begin with. Bizarre.
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Muir gets buzzed by a penguin. The keepers in the tank were wearing shirts that said "One by one, the penguins are stealing my sanity" but the shirts were staff-only. Bummer.
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Aha, another Muir favorite -- a real working typewriter.
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Larkin and Maddy have a relaxing afternoon on the couch together, just talkin' about baby stuff.
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For more Lark and Maddy funniness, click here
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Muir prepares to engage the toddler warp drive and escape Daddy's tractor beam.
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Muir tries (for the 20th time) to get close enough to Schmulik to pet him without screaming in anticipation and scaring the cat off anyway.
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This'll be one of those pictures we save to show to Larkin's first boyfriend before they go on a date. Mommy and Daddy think the hat's the cutest thing in the world. Lark just doesn't like it much more than she likes any other hat.
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It's a great hat for a sunny day -- keeps the sun off her shoulders as well as her head!
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Nature makes babies chubby so they can act as life preservers in the case of a nautical mishap. On this day, the waters were still, wind was calm, and Mike, Megan and Maddy had a great ride.
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As expected, Muir's much more interested in how to steer the boat than in the view.
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... but we did get him to look up for a moment...
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After boating, we went to Dennis the Menace park, not so much because Muir wanted to as because Daddy did. However, once we got there, Muir headed immediately for the ladders and started going vertical.
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Head-first belly slide -- 10.0!
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This is what a box of cereal must feel like riding on the rollers at the Kellogs plant. It's pretty spine-jarring and quite noisy, but Muir just kept climbing back up the stairs and wanting to roll again and again.
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wurzel and Muir wave down to Mommy in the Sand.
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Hmmm... any resemblance between the attendee and the park's namesake?
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Awww, do we have to go home already? asks Muir.
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Ahhh, there's nothing like getting away from the rental cars and the hotels and driving your own Prius back to your own bed and settling in for a good night's sleep. Travel with two babies is exhausting!
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