Chris and I have both been to Moss Beach before, having been raised in the area. I think most of the schools do this as a fieldtrip at some point....the last time I had been was with my Marine Biology class in college.
The kids were pretty excited to get to touch starfish, and were stoked when we found some. The day we were there, there were some orange cones set up that we couldn't venture past. Turns out there were a bunch of seals and their pups on the rocks and they didn't want them getting spooked and abandoning their babes. It was a bit windy and cold but the kids weren't afraid to put their hands in the water and touch the sea urchins and anenomes. Sydney stayed in her backpack the whole time and was pretty content just watching the waves and all the people around her. Afterward we stopped at a little fruit stand that was selling artichokes. We didn't get any, however we did pick up some apricots, nectarines and grapes that came in handy as snacks on our road trip that day.
We then ventured to Great Basin Park, home of the Giant Redwoods. It was amazing to see 2000 year old trees and imagine all that has been happening their life span. The kids of course loved climbing on the fallen trees and standing in the middle of hollowed out ones....we got out with just a few splinters in all. Not too bad!
Once we were all pooped out we decided to take the scenic route back to the hotel through Santa Cruz. We drove along a windy road and ended up along the beach. We tried to find a place to park so the kids could play in the sand and waves, but not a spot to be found. Must've been one of the first nice weekends I guess - I'd never seen it that busy. We drove all the way to Capitola with no parking luck, then back on to the hotel....where we had a swim in the pool. In fact, we were in the pool all 3 days we spent with Dad. The kids were in heaven!