Monterey was our secret Christmas vacation location. We went to the aquarium, one of the things we've been meaning to do since we moved to this area over a year ago. Then we took a nice long walk along the water. On December 24, the town was nearly devoid of tourists; it felt like we had the whole waterfront to ourselves. We saw seals, sea lions, and sea otters in the water and on the beach. It was so exciting to see them in their natural living spaces rather than in a zoo or aquarium enclosure.
Our hotel room had a view of the water and all night long we could hear sea lions barking. In the morning we could hear birds and once we opened the blinds we saw hundreds of birds flying around past the windows.
It was a great two days. It was chilly, but sunny and with bright blue sky. We brought our presents for each other along to open on Christmas morning in the hotel. We opened the rest of our presents when we got home, then spent the rest of the night playing with our new toys and reading our new books.