Travel Post: Monterey Bay Aquarium

"The sea is as close as we can come to entering another world"
- Quote seen on entering Monterey Bay Aquarium's sardine room 

Monterey Bay

I found some pictures from a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and thought I would share them here even though these were taken about a year ago on my point and shoot camera. The monkey (seen here with his Ammama who was visiting us then) is now a very opinionated pint sized little man, no longer the baby in these photos! 

You should definitely make a trip to the aquarium if you find these angelic beings as fascinating as I do. (I could stare at them for hours. Or days.)

Monterey Bay

...and If your bucket list includes high fiving a star fish

Get friendly with a starfish!- Monterey Bay

And especially if you have little monkeys who would like to have conversations with fish...

Monterey Bay

....or look for Nemo 

Monterey Bay

...or just make silly faces with grandmothers from behind the fish tanks :)

Monterey Bay

If you are visiting the Bay area and especially if you are planning a trip to beautiful Carmel or Big Sur, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is close and is definitely worth seeing. There are special events at the aquarium during the day including wine tasting and even celebrity chef visits so check out the website before you plan your trip. Cannery row where the aquarium is located, where there used to be sardine canning companies which are all shut down now,  is also interesting to stroll through. There are many quaint little shops and restaurants.

If you are driving down from San Jose it is only about a two hour drive and you must make a pit stop at Morgan Hill at the delicious Trail Dust  BBQ. The Gilroy outlet malls are also enroute if you want to stop for some deep discount and factory store shopping  and in July, Gilroy is the destination for all garlic lovers during their annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. 

Thanksgiving Macaron Centerpiece: Pumpkin Spice Macarons



Hey all! How are your thanksgiving preparations going? did you plan your menus, finish the grocery shopping and shine the silver already or are you more of a last minute type (like me?) I have been seeing posts and tweets about turkey thawing, and pie-crust rolling and I can't help getting caught up in the excitement. I always miss my large family during holiday season and wish there were more of us on the West Coast. But I can't complain too much since I was blessed to see my awesome cousins recently and had my mom-in-law visiting us until last week. So this year Thanksgiving looks to be a small affair with my little family and plans to meet a couple of friends after which we three are heading off for a short trip. It didn't seem natural to not do any cooking or baking though, so here is a thanks giving center piece idea: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Macarons! 

Making these and piling them into glass jars or stacking them on cake stands along with little pumpkins, squash, pine cones and autumn leaves seemed like a good idea to add some festive cheer to your table. They would make great hostess gifts too I'm thinking :)

I haven't made macarons in a while and recently a couple of friends were discussing them and I felt that familiar itch to bake them all over again. Looks like my macobsession is back eeeeeks! These pint sized treats are perfect to nibble on while waiting for the caramel cardamom pumpkin pie or swirly pumpkin-ginger  cheesecake to be served. Another interesting fall macaron idea is this Ginger Spice Macaron

Oh and I discovered that you don't need cream to make ganache. Ok so I forgot to buy cream. But the important thing  is- you don't need it! Make ganache with chocolate and ...milk! You can thank me now and Nigella who apparently knew too. 

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