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January 8: Kayaking and John Steinbeck

This morning we had an early start. We awoke and ate breakfast at the hotel before boarding the bus to go to a kayaking center. Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication, we ended up at the wrong location, but we were pleasantly surprised with the time this allowed us to play a few games during a morning meeting.

Soon enough we re-boarded the bus and drove to the correct kayaking location and enjoyed a beautiful two-hour kayaking tour of Monterey Bay. We saw dozens of local marine animals, including otters, sea lions, pelicans, and seals. Our guides provided lots of information on the importance of keystone species and the history of marine life conservation in the area.

After kayaking, we made our way back to our hotel, and we were allotted time to explore the surrounding area and grab some lunch. We then regrouped and drove to the National John Steinbeck Center. Here we learned about John Steinbeck’s life and the impact that the Californian landscape and farming industry had on his writing. We then drove to the small coastal city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, where we visited the beach just as dusk was approaching. We ended the day with dinner from local restaurants and sweets from a local candy shop.

-Amelia, Emme, and Sarah Martin

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