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august 2021

FUTURE OLYMPIAN IN THE FAMILY?

We have answers to Parents’ Questions about Sports Last Chance Summer Fun Road Trip Advice A Weekend in Sausalito plus Back to School Advice Don’t miss the Back to School Bash at Del Monte Center on August 14! MONTEREY BAY PARENT • august 2021

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Contents august 2021

in each issue:

16

Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay: A weekend visit to Sausalito. A weekend spent in this sweet little town is the perfect end of summer refresher.

18

Camping in Mexico. Our “Grandma Says” columnist took her new camper for a week’s visit to Mexico. She shares everything she learned in case you’re considering doing the same. by Tricia Vlasak

20

What to Do? What to Do? Last minute summer fun for your family. by Ni Sun-Suslow

22

All-Star Answers to Parents’ Sports Questions. If you’re dreaming of sports stardom (or a college scholarship) for your child, we talked to a few experts to get advice. by Lissa Carlson

27

Back to School Tips. Help your kids manage their emotions with these three quick tips.

28

Out and About. Our top picks for August fun.

14 Father’s Day Local dad, Rob Weisskirch covers parenting topics from a dad’s point of view. 24 Dear Teacher Two long time teachers answer your questions about education.

Notice the “smart links” throughout this issue? You can use them to explore extra content. Position your phone camera over the code and a tappable link will pop up. Test it out with the newsletter “subscribe” link below.

on the cover

Dominic (13) and Anthony (11) Esquivel are athletes that have benefitted from the opportunity to participate in local youth sports programs. They currently play for the Monterey Bay Pirates travel baseball league and have been involved in youth baseball leagues since the age of 4. Their mom Milda, is a local financial advisor with Edward Jones. Their father Enos is the General Manager at Asilomar Conference Grounds. Enos has had the pleasure of coaching the boys through a large part of their baseball years. Photo by Albert Hoffman 831-402-6204 • Hoffman-photo.com

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Season-long access to California’s Great America, including special events Season-long access to the new South Bay Shores waterpark FREE Parking at Great America Exclusive ride times and discounts Bring-a-Friend discounts on select dates 10% off select food and merchandise

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from the publisher…

Monterey Bay

Back to school! It’s hard to believe that we’re entering another school year with the cloud of COVID-19 hanging over us. The vaccines certainly have been great news. Monterey County has vaccinated over 70% of the population 12 and above. Unfortunately, the vaccine approval for children under 12 is still not expected until winter/early 2022. That means kids (and teachers even if vaccinated) are going back to school wearing masks. But the good news is that they ARE going back to school. To help parents get ready, we are hosting the Back to School Bash on August 14 from 10 am to 3 pm at Del Monte Center in Monterey. This special event is sponsored by Stanford Children’s Health, Del Monte Center, and Poptopia Balloons. The first 300 children will receive a lunch tote, plus there will be giveaways and goodies galore. Plus, Poptopia will have an awesome balloon backdrop perfect for your back-to-school photos. Please join us for a fun, informative day at Del Monte Center. One thing you’ll notice about this issue are the QR codes sprinkled throughout. All you need to do is hover over the code with your phone, and you’ll get a pop-up link that will take you where you need to be for additional info. Whether you’re using a code to register your child for our Cover Kids contest (page 11), to sign up for our newsletters (page 27), or to get additional events (page 28), we’re hoping they will make things a little easier for you. Happy back to school – enjoy your August!

PARENT

P.O. Box 806 Pacific Grove, CA 93950 MontereyBayParent.com

831-582-1373 Publisher Andrea Breznay abreznay@montereybayparent.com 831-582-1373 Sales Executive Danika Mallobox dmallobox@montereybayparent.com 831-582-1770 Cover Photographer Michelle Findlay ALBERT HOFFMAN Contributing Writers andrea breznay lissa carlson ni sun-suslow tricia vlasak rob weisskirch Editorial Submissions are welcome. We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all material contributed. We cannot be responsible for return of any unsolicited materials. Articles and advertisements in Monterey Bay Parent do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher nor does the publisher assume responsibility for statements made by our advertisers or editorial contributors. Acceptance of advertising by Monterey Bay Parent does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. Monterey Bay Parent is available free of charge at over 250 distribution points throughout Monterey and Santa Cruz counties as well as digitally at www.MontereyBayParent.com. Monterey Bay Parent is ©2021 by Monterey Bay Parent, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

Andrea Breznay/Publisher

Serendipity Pre-School LLC We open the eyes and hearts of children to the wonder and discovery of learning. y mily am F Fa

Favorites

2020-21

✯Finalist✯ Monterey Bay

PARENT

• A quality educational program for children ages 3 to 5 • Full and part-time preschool & Pre-K classes • Serving Peninsula families since 1981

1231 Seventh Street, Monterey, 93940 www.serendipitypreschoolllc.com 6

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831-375-9743 MONTEREY BAY PARENT • august 2021

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TO

BASH

Saturday, August 14 10:00 am to 3:00 pm All the info you need for a successful 2021-22 school year.

Del Monte Center, Monterey

Vendors from local businesses and organizations Free Lunch Tote for first 300 children!

Amazing Balloon Backdrop from

Call 831-582-1373 or log onto MontereyBayParent.com for info

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STUDIO OWNERS:

REGISTRATION OPEN FALL CLASSES BEGIN AUGUST 9TH! y ly miily m am F Fa

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FIVE-TIME MONTEREY HERALD READER’S CHOICE WINNER THREE-TIME CARMEL CHAMBER AWARD OF EXCELLENCE WINNER

26135 Carmel Rancho Shopping Center Suite B-6 Carmel, CA 93923

Please welcome our newest care team member, Amy Winter, M.D. Dr. Winter was born and raised in Monterey. After finishing her residency at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she has started a family of her own and returned to serve the families in our local community. Amy Winter, MD

Dr. Winter is now accepting new patients.

All of our physicians provide pediatric outpatient care at the office and inpatient care at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Call us today to schedule an appointment!

831-757-8124

260 San Jose Street, Salinas

PacificCoastPediatrics.com 8

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EMPOWERING STUDENTS TO SHAPE THEIR FUTURES WITH CONFIDENCE. Discover the opportunities awaiting your student at Kirby School. Contact our Admissions team to learn more about our test-free application process and to schedule a tour. Visit kirby.org for details.

425 Encinal St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 | 831-423-0658

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montereybayparent.com

Monterey Bay Parent Magazine July 2021 1/2 page - 7.25 x 4.5 4-color

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7

Tips for a Winning Cover Kids Entry

taken during the “golden hour,” which is the hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset, offer the best lighting. If you’re indoors, bounce light off walls or put your child near a window. Be sure to avoid backlighting, which results in a photo where the child is darker than the background.

4.

Watch the background. A simple beach, open grass at the park, a hiking trail – all offer simple but beautiful backdrops for a good photo. Avoid busy street scenes, signs, or crowded street scenes. And, definitely avoid a bunch of distracting people in the photo with your child.

5.

Your child’s personality should shine. A twinkle in the eye, a little bit of a smirk, missing front teeth, or a huge grin – little extras make one cute kid stand out from all the other cute kids.

Each year when our staff looks over the hundred-plus photos we receive in our Cover Kids contest, there are always a few standouts. The ones that catch our eye usually have a few things in common: casual styling, great lighting, natural smiles, and simple backgrounds. If you’re planning on entering your child in this year’s contest (see details to the right), here are seven tips that will help you choose the best photo to enter. Best of luck to all entrants!

1. 2.

Face front. Be sure your child is looking directly at the camera. Eye contact is essential, and we want to see your child’s entire face in the frame.

Keep it casual. Catch your child playing or when they’re quiet and involved in an activity. Don’t try to dress them up, style their clothing, and expect a relaxed photo.

3.

Lighting is the key. Photos with dark shadows or with your child squinting into the sun won’t portray them in the best light (pun intended!). Photos

6.

In focus, please. Blurry and low-resolution photos are pretty much the worst offenders. We print photos out to 5 x 7 to choose the finalists. If we print your photo and everything is fuzzy, we’ll have a hard time telling what your child looks like.

7.

Don’t take it personally. Every year we have to make a choice, and there are always kids we wish we could choose. If your child isn’t chosen, it’s not because they aren’t adorable, it may be because we have enough sibling groups or we need a child of a different age. We try to vary the models by gender, age, ethnicity, city, and sibling groups that will work for specific cover themes. We promise that your child is cover material; we simply don’t have room for all of the kids who enter.

EDUCATING CHILDREN IN MONTEREY COUNTY SINCE 1967 • WE MAKE LEARNING CHILD’S PLAY! • Offering Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten • Open to ages 2-5 • We work on developing reading readiness, introducing number concepts, and creating social adjustment using a theme-based curriculum • Science, language, social studies, and nature curriculum • Open 7:30 am to 6 pm • Call for rates

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Now enro lli for 2021-2 ng school ye 2 ar.

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www.missbarbaras.com MONTEREY BAY PARENT • august 2021

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Monterey Bay

PARENT

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Would you like to see your children on the cover of Monterey Bay Parent?

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Happy Mother’s Day!

WIM IN THE S a dip Where to

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SPONSORED BY

It’s time for our annual Cover Kids Contest to find some of the cutest kids in the area! Enter a photo of your child, children, or family before September 15.

A panel including Monterey Bay Parent employees, our cover photographers, and representatives of our sponsors will choose nine favorites from all of the entries.

• Each finalist will have a professional photo shoot and appear on a cover during the coming year. • Each of the nine chosen entries will receive a $50 Del Monte Shopping Center gift card. • All entrants will receive a children’s ticket to MY Museum. • All entrants receive a free Kona Ice coupon. Thank you to our prize sponsors

• Solo children, siblings, or a family group including parents and/or grandparents can all be entered. • Click on QR code for complete entry info.

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Adventures With Archie Meet our new Instagram Bloggers, Beau and Archie Jackson Q: Tell us about your family A: I am a full time at-home dad. I have a BFA in Studio Art and am a professional watercolor artist. My wife, Archie’s mom, Danielle, is a Labor & Delivery RN in the CHOMP family Birth Center. I grew up in Alaska and Danielle grew up in Southern California. We met at college on the east coast. After exploring the country together while Danielle was a travel nurse, we found Monterey and felt an instant connection to the peninsula. It had everything we were looking for in a home and we moved here permanently two weeks after visiting for the very first time in 2017. We decided that this was where we wanted to start a family and Archie was born in August of 2018. Q: Tell us about Archie, what does he enjoy doing? A: Archie loves playing outside, helping cook in the kitchen, and reading books. He can quote long passages from his favorite books and likes pretending to be different characters. He’s a big fan of tractors, trucks, trains, and fire engines. His current favorite color is purple and he says he wants to be a fire fighter when he grows up. Another long term goal he is looking forward to is turning 5 years old so he can have chewing gum. He’s very friendly and outgoing, saying hello to everyone when we’re around town. He likes to go tide pooling and look for starfish. He always thoughtfully reminds me to be careful not to step on the sea anemones! Q: how do you choosE your activities? A: I choose some activities based on what’s happening seasonally, like trips

Each thursday, Beau and archie post about a new activity to inspire your family to farms for picking fruit or harvesting vegetables. I choose other activities based on Archie’s interests. One week he said, “I want to ride a boat,” so we headed down to El Estero and rode a duck pedal boat. He’s been really into trains for a while so we took him to ride a steam engine at Roaring Camp. I’m always trying to feed his curiosity. Q. Where does your inspiration come from when selecting activities? I follow a lot of local businesses on social media to stay tuned in to what’s happening on the peninsula. I like to engage in as many local events as possible. Fostering a sense of community for my son is important to me. I follow a few child craft accounts on Instagram like kidscrafts101 to spark activity ideas, and I’m a member of a couple of Facebook parenting groups like 1000 Hours Outside that are also helpful for adventure ideas.

Follow us on Instagram to see each week’s edition of Adventures With Archie. New posts on Thursdays! Use #adventureswitharchie to catch up on past posts

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Q: What are some of your favorite “family day” activities with your son? A: On my wife’s days off we like family hikes at Point Lobos, Garland Ranch, Soberanes Point, and Garrapata State Park. We also enjoy beach picnics at Asilomar and Lover’s Point. Q: What do you hope to teach your son by having these adventures with him? A: We provide him opportunities for a broad range of experiences to help him grow into a well-rounded person. We front-load him with adventures to feed his curious mind, and I think so many more brain connections are made with experiences involving all the senses. A lot of our adventures take place outside because I believe nature is crucial for children’s physical development and emotional wellbeing. Creativity is something I really value. Exposing our son to as much handson learning as possible in a wide array of activities will help cultivate his imagination and encourage out-ofthe-box thinking. Our goal is to help him discover what he’s good at and find his passion.

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Summer whale watching

Whales and dolphins in their natural habitat • Fun and educational for the entire family

Join us in August to see Humpbacks and Blue Whales

• Tours led by experienced Biologists • Following CDC guidelines • Dog friendly

Trip details and pricing at www.gowhales.com or call 831-375-4658

The world changed. Our commitment to our students did not.

Where boys of promise become men of character. NEW IN 2021 Palma School now includes sixth grade

919 Iverson Street, Salinas | 422.6391 | palmaschool.org Palma is a private, Catholic college-preparatory school for boys grades 6 through 12.

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Father’s day by Rob Weisskirch

Kids and Road Trips

With summer in full swing, there is still time for a family road trip. For me, road trips are both nostalgic and opportunities for new experiences with my family. Recently, we headed south to Los Angeles to visit relatives we have not seen since before the pandemic. I have learned lots of tips to have a successful family road trip. In preparing for the trip, it is easy to cede the packing to mom. As a dad, if you are not doing the packing, I suggest you take charge of the incar snacks. I have become responsible for the snack bag (with consultation, of course) and ensure a good mix of healthy and less healthy treats, salty and sweet ones, and novel snacks. To make the long car ride less tiresome,

special, car-trip-only snacks help, even if they are junk. This time, it was special gummy candy, which was doled out in intervals for all to enjoy. I also loaded up the tablet with movies and kid-appropriate TV shows. I am not a fan of the electronic babysitter, but on a long car trip, I don’t see much harm in providing my daughter with entertainment that she doesn’t usually watch. We also limited the amount of time watching the screen to after lunch so that there was an incentive for expected behavior. It worked, and there was far less whining as a result. Headphones are essential for happy parents, and I have found that the over-the-ear type is more comfortable for most kids.

I want my daughter to see the expanse of what California looks like outside of our area. My wife and I are veterans of long car trips with our parents and recall many hours spent staring out the window. We talked about how the landscape of dry, yellow hills, oak trees, and stray cows was more of what California looks like than the beachy coastline where we live. As we drove, I pointed out the neat rows of almond trees and the oil rigs in the middle of the state so that she would learn more about California. I showed her the California aqueduct and explained how the water travels south to supply the residents. We also talked about the range of temperature, given the summer heat.

reasons to partner with Trinity Christian 1. Love for Christ and each other. 2. Transformation of student lives. 3. Outstanding education, arts, and athletics. 4. Relationship-based school. Teachers treat each student with respect and concern, available to help students individually along the way, giving them the support they need to succeed. ENROLLING NOW GRADES 6-12 visit trinityhigh.org (831) 656-5434 | 680 Belden, St. Monterey

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As a kid, I remember being told to wait to use the bathroom until another exit or two (or more). I now do the opposite. We take advantage of the expected rest stops, stretch our legs, and feel the difference in the climate. I especially like this part of the road trip. On our coastline, summer often seems like a mythical creature. The intensity of the heat is a novelty (for a limited time). My wife and I both grew up in hot places, so it is reminiscent of our pasts. It is a new experience of hunting for the shady spot, keeping a drink handy, and being wary of metal playground equipment for our daughter. We also read the signs about the region’s history, learning how the Native Americans shaped the land and the animals seen in the area (including warnings of rattlesnakes). In the past, I would have focused just on getting to the destinations. This time, we stayed in a reasonably-priced Santa Barbara hotel on the way home for two days. With the last year of being at home, we felt like the benefits of exploring somewhere new and mitigating risks by wearing masks were worth the detour. My family would

accompany my father on sales trips he would take to the cities and towns up and down California as a child. While he was out drumming up business, my mother would take my sister and me to see what the town had to offer.

“As we drove, I pointed out the neat rows of almond trees and the oil rigs in the middle of the state so that she would learn more about California.” We saw lots of historical sites, local museums, playgrounds, or just enjoyed the hotel pool. For my daughter, I want her to know the diversity of places and see the uniqueness of towns on the way. Knowing we were going to travel to Santa Barbara, I looked at what kidfriendly activities were there. I planned one major kid activity (the Zoo) and then left the other time open to figure out something else to do. We ended up finding a great science museum that offered fun for all of us. Once we returned to the hotel, we joined our daughter in the small pool to be her playmates. As a family,

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we rarely are in a pool together. Fun was had as we chased each other underwater, had splash fights, and I threw my daughter up in the air to land with cannonballs in the water. As a dad, I would hope my daughter would learn lots from the Zoo and science museum, but it is these activities that my daughter will remember--the playful, relaxed activities as a family. For a successful road trip, you need to set aside the expectations of a rigid schedule and adopt the right attitude of exploring what you see along the way. Take the time to read the posted information, try new foods, and explore what is unique about your destination. We don’t usually have to watch carefully for rattlesnakes at home, but we did on this trip. Robert (Rob) S. Weisskirch, MSW, Ph.D., CFLE is a Professor of Human Development at California State University, Monterey Bay and is a Certified Family Life Educator. He and his wife are parents to a chatty, elementary school aged daughter and reside in Marina.

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A weekend visit to Sausalito

Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay “The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding is arguably one of the greatest pop songs ever written. The song is filled with emotion: peace, awe, and a little loneliness. In the summer of 1967, Redding was on a houseboat at Waldo Point in Sausalito, California, when he first began penning the lyrics to “Dock of the Bay.” The first line he wrote down was, “Watching the ships come in and then I watch ‘em roll away again,” after being inspired by the sights and sounds of the San Francisco Bay. Sausalito will do that to you. Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge or step off the ferry from San Francisco into Sausalito, and you’ll swear you’ve landed in a quaint European city. The boutiques, art galleries, scenic waterfront walks, homes perched on the sides of the hills, and boat-filled marinas give off Italian coast vibes. It’s the perfect destination for a short family vacation or a romantic adults-only getaway (in which case you have permission to skip the Discovery Museum!). WHERE TO STAY There are a variety of options for lodging in Sausalito. The familyfriendly Cavallo Point is within walking distance of the Bay Area Discovery Museum and offers grand views of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Casa Madrona

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Hotel & Spa is a gorgeous landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Most Sausalito hotels are of the boutique variety, so if it’s a national chain you’re looking for, you’ll have better luck in Corte Madera (10-minute drive) or San Rafael (20-minute drive). WHAT TO DO While you can easily enjoy a couple of days in Sausalito without anything more pressing on your schedule than strolling the town and sitting by the bay, here are a few places you may want to explore: Bay Area Discovery Museum. Located at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on 7.5 acres of National Parkland, BADM features exhibition spaces and daily programs for children six months to 10 years. A long, wide pathway is centered between the two rows of exhibition rooms so kids can roam from one space to another. There are outdoor play spaces, including BADM Beach, which is surrounded by comfy Adirondack chairs. Parents can relax and take in the gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge while the kids play with the sand toys. Our family favorite was the bubble garden. Giant tubs of bubbles and various wands, including shovels with dozens of holes, are available for kids

to fill the air with bubbles. Advanced ticket reservations are required due to limited capacity. San Francisco Bay Model. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model is a working hydraulic scale model of the San Francisco Bay and SacramentoSan Joaquin River Delta System. While the Bay Model is still operational, it is no longer used for scientific research but is instead open to the public alongside educational exhibits.

The Bay Area Discovery Museum is one of the best children’s museums in the state and is suitable for children six months to about ten years of age.

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The Army Corps of Engineers built the Bay Model in 1956-57 to demonstrate what would happen if the South Bay were dammed (as had been proposed). Using simulated tidal action, the Corps proved that the results would be disastrous for the bay environment, and the plan was shelved. The model is approximately 320 by 400 feet long. It is constructed out of 286 five-ton concrete slabs joined together like a jigsaw puzzle. Features that affect the water flow of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are reproduced, including ship channels, rivers, creeks, sloughs, the canals in the Delta, fills, major wharves, piers, slips, dikes, bridges, and breakwaters. The model is located in the Bay Model Visitor Center at 2100 Bridgeway Blvd. in Sausalito. Sausalito Boardwalk. Sausalito is a town made for walking, and there’s no better place for a stroll than the Sausalito Boardwalk. The term “Sausalito Boardwalk” is generally used to refer to three different places in the town (only two of which have wooden sidewalks.) The Bridgeway Promenade is not specifically a boardwalk but a road that runs through town. You’ll use Bridgeway to get almost anywhere in Sausalito by car, but it’s nice to take a walk or bike ride to check out the many locally-owned boutiques and art galleries. The Southern Boardwalk is near Sausalito’s Old Town. This is the spot where you’ll have spectacular views across the bay to San Francisco that will be the backdrop for a gorgeous photo or ten. You’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and galleries to explore. The Northern Boardwalk stretches along the yacht harbors near downtown. Schoonmaker Beach. This tiny beach is tucked away from the tourist part of Sausalito and is perfect for safe wading and fun sand play. You can even launch a paddleboard–it’s a great, protected spot for learning! This little hidden beach has a bathroom and easy, free parking. Pick up takeout and have a beach picnic or step across the parking lot to Le Garage, a French bistro housed in a renovated garage for lunch. Open Tuesday through Friday at 11:30 am, you’ll find indoor-outdoor seating and tables overlooking the water. The food is delicious, the wine list expansive, and they have a children’s menu. Vista Point. Each year the Golden Gate Bridge attracts more than 10 million visitors to its 746-foot tall towers, sweeping main cables, and signature orange color. There isn’t a more Instagram-worthy photo than one of the bridge with the San Francisco skyline behind it, fog swirling around the base. The perfect place to take that photo is Vista Point. Right after you exit the bridge from San Francisco into Marin, you’ll find the turn-off. Parking is usually readily available even if you have to circle once or twice. Time your stop for late morning, and you may be able to catch the fog burning off against blue skies. Later in the afternoon, you may luck into spectacular sunset skies. While we can’t promise Sausalito will inspire you to write a legendary song, we can promise that you’ll fall in love with this lovely little city by the bay. Whether it’s your first visit, or one of many, it’s a great choice for a laid-back weekend visit –hopefully soon. MONTEREY BAY PARENT • august 2021

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Monte vista christian school

Grades 6-12 100 acre campus Day/Boarding Transportation Equestrian program Accepting applications

mvcs.org montereybayparent.com

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Camping in Mexico

There is a requirement for insurance on your vehicle and anything you may be towing. I ended up purchasing a policy through the “MexPro” website. The policy was fairly expensive–about $310 for five days.

Planning is key for this vacation!

With COVID still a concern, many families have chosen to choose vacations that keep them off crowded airplanes, out of busy hotels, and a little more in control of their environment. My husband and I are part of that group! I have had a travel trailer since my early twenties and have been camping my whole life. Until this summer, I never had difficulty finding places to camp, and usually without much planning. When my kids were young, we would hook up the trailer and take out the Rand McNally Atlas (how is that for a throwback!) and pick a place on the map and take off for the weekend. I discovered this past Spring that those days are long gone. I began planning a summer vacation for my husband and me and could not find any camping spots. I remembered that several friends had told me they started camping in Mexico, and I set out to plan a camping trip to Mexico. This being my first time driving into Mexico, I learned some things along the way that may help you if you are interested in a Mexican camping vacation (or even driving your vehicle to a Mexican vacation destination).

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RESEARCH IS KEY When I began planning this trip, I thought it would be an inexpensive way to camp at the beach. I had met people who talked about camping in Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco), Mexico. Rocky Point is located 210 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona, on the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). There is a stretch of beach with highrise condominiums on it and, although they would be considered inexpensive on the California coast, they are pricey for Mexico. I joined a Facebook group for Rocky Point and started reading all of the information shared there. I chose a campground called The Reef RV Park. The Reef is located at the very end of a popular beach area called Sandy Beach. Ocean-front camping spots were just $40 per night, with full hook-ups. The sites are roomy, and the location is quiet and away from the resorts further down the beach. There is a restaurant/bar at the campground with good food and lots of outdoor seating covered by a thatched roof. There is live music on weekends. Making reservations was easy, and you can pay by mail with a check or through your bank’s bill pay system.

MAKING THE DRIVE As for crossing the border, technically, you should have a passport to get into Mexico and get back into the U.S. However, this particular border crossing (Lukeville on the Arizona side, Sonoyta on the Mexico side) seems fine with just a driver’s license. We also had our expired passports and birth certificates. However, I advise erring on the side of caution and getting at least a passport card. When we crossed into Mexico, a Mexican officer requested to look inside the truck, including the glove compartment and inside the trailer. They just did a visual search, opening only a couple of cabinets. After that, they sent us on our way. Just a reminder: firearms or ammunition are not legal to bring into Mexico. If you are planning a trip to Mexico, be sure to review the U.S. Department of State guidelines online. I had already been warned to be careful not to speed in Mexico and that while travel between Arizona and Rocky Point is safe, it is best to make the drive during the day. PLANNING YOUR MEALS You cannot take most meat, some types of dog food, or fruits and vegetables into Mexico. As a result, we traveled with nothing other than bottles of water and soda. There are local groceries stores, including a Sam’s Club. Rather than figuring out what was okay and what wasn’t, we chose to stop in Puerto Peñasco and buy groceries and dog food. TRAVELING WITH PETS We did take our two dogs with us. Animals should be up-to-date on their vaccinations and be sure they have been treated with flea and tick preventative. To avoid any issues about ownership, have a dated photo of your animal on your phone that shows proof of ownership.

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WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR CAMPGROUND We found the campground easily. Our campsite was huge, with way more than enough room for a 30-foot trailer and a crew cab truck. We arrived just in time for a stunning sunset. Our vacation was at the beginning of July, the onset of the hot and humid weather for the area. It was about 90 degrees during the day with 70 and 80 percent humidity every day we were there, in other words, very hot and humid. After talking to other travelers and locals, we learned that the prime season to go to Rocky Point is during the Fall and Spring. ACTIVITIES During our five-day stay, we spent a lot of time swimming. You can drive your vehicle right onto the beach at Choya Bay, and it seems to be a popular spot for locals. The water at Rocky Point is quite warm, almost to the point of not being refreshing. We spent time fishing and chartered a private fishing boat. It was inexpensive compared to the U.S. They provide poles, bait, and even filet your fish for you. Parasailing, zip-lining, and jet ski rentals abound. There are several places to rent off-

road vehicles, with plenty of places to ride them. There are also boat tours to “Bird Island” where you can snorkel and kayak. A WARNING Our trip ended with a bit of trouble. We had been warned about speeding, so I was careful. However, heading back into the border town of Sonoyta, the speed limit changed quickly from 60 KPH to 40 KPH. I was pulling a trailer and slowed down as quickly as I could – but not quickly enough! I was pulled over for going just under 50 KPH. The officer took my license and issued me a ticket, stating the cost for speeding was 2000 pesos ($100). However, I only had about $10 cash. We followed the officer to several ATMs, all of which were out of order. We finally ended up losing the officer in traffic. The officer still had my license. So, not knowing what else to do, we located the police station. I went inside and told them what had happened. Long story short, the Police Chief was called to the station. In the meantime, the officer dropped by the station and left my license there. He ended up telling me to drive safely and gave my license back to me. That whole scenario

added a couple of hours to our trip home and was pretty nerve-wracking. However, I never felt in danger at all. It was an interesting way to end the trip and gave us yet another story to tell! A LEARNING EXPERIENCE Overall, I would say the trip was enjoyable as well as a learning experience. I would go back again during better weather. And, unless I had more time, I would not pull my trailer again. I would love to try camping on the Pacific Ocean side of Mexico, maybe Rosarito Beach. As more things open up and travel returns to normal, I’m hoping that camping will become just a little less popular again. In the meantime, stay safe, enjoy your time with family, and use the tools available to make whatever trip you take amazing. tricia vlasAK is a mother, grandparent, and wife. She works in law enforcement when she isn’t writing about parenting, hiking with her dogs, or going on adventures.

PEBBLE BEACH GRADES 9–12 DAY & B OA R D I N G

A SELECTIVE SCHOOL FOR COLLEGE-BOUND B O A R D I N G A N D D AY S T U D E N T S

CARMEL G R A D E S P R E -K – 8

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What to do? What to do? Last chance summer fun! A

s summer winds down, parents in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties might be on the lookout for ways to engage in last minute summer activities with their children. Here is a list of choices for kids of all ages: In Santa Cruz, check out the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at 100 McAllister Way. Here kids can have fun with the interactive displays, aquarium, family tour and arts and crafts. For more information, visit https://seymourcenter.ucsc.edu/. Also in Santa Cruz is Santa Cruz Main Beach at 399 Beach Street. This beach boasts the best coastline in Santa Cruz. There’s paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing and beach volleyball for older kids, and plenty of sugary white sand for toddlers to build sandcastles on or throw a ball around or bury each other in the sand. In San Lorenzo Park at 137 Dakota Avenue in Santa Cruz, kids can play on the playground, visit the duck pond and feed the ducks, throw a ball and play games on the grassy lawn. The Santa Cruz Mystery Spot is a cool place to check out, although school aged kids would get the most out of it. It sits within the Redwood Forest. Take your family to the Mystery Spot for some cheap family fun as you look through its gravity-defying displays. After exploring the facility, you can head outdoors and enjoy a scenic hike through the tall trees. The Monterey Zoo is a fun place to visit at 400 River Road in Salinas. Marina resident Anna Munoz likes to take her 8-yearold son there as it is handicap accessible. They like seeing the zedonk (a cross between a zebra and a donkey). She says there are a variety of species at the zoo such as bald eagles, birds of prey and primates such as lions, tigers and bears. MY Museum at 425 Washington Street in Monterey is now

open with summer hours from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 12pm or 1 to 3pm. Reservations and masks are required. Admission for children and adults is $10. Kids under 24 months are free. My Museum provides an environment where curiosity and creativity flourish, while both children and adults discover the thrill of lifelong learning. Munoz also likes to take her son for picnics on the grass in front of Colton Hall Museum at 570 Pacific Street in Monterey. Across the street is Monterey Museum of Art boasting outdoor metal sculptures. Pacific Grove Library Youth Services offers many programs for kids of all ages. The library is located at 550 Central Avenue in Pacific Grove. Check their online calendar for events and dates. For a fun water activity, kids and their parents could go kayaking at Elkhorn Slough at 2390 Ca-1 in Moss Landing. Since golf is more of a grownup game, there is an alternative for kids: disc golf. There is a course at CSUMB. For more outdoor fun, one does not have to go far for a fun camping experience. Locals can camp at Monterey Pines RV Campground on Higuera Lane and also at Monterey Veterans Memorial Park at 1200 Veterans Drive in Monterey. Also, picking up supplies to make S’mores are a great treat and fun for kids to make while camping. Hiking is a great choice for kids and adults, given the variety of parks in Monterey County. Here are a few choices for getting your hike on: •

Toro Park is located at 501 Monterey-Salinas Highway 68 in Salinas.

Beaches, parks, hiking, attractions and more! we have great ideas for the rest of your summer!

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Jacks Peak Park is located at 25020 Jacks Peak Park Road in Monterey. There is a cost of $5 per vehicle

Fort Ord National Monument is located at Toro Creek Road in Marina.

Pinnacles National Park is located in San Benito and Monterey Counties. Camping is also offered here.

Garland Ranch Regional Park is located at 700 West Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley. Garland Ranch offers several different hiking trails, with both beginner and more advanced trails. The park also has a Visitor Center with maps and a park model.

Garrapata State Park is located at 34500 CA-1 in Carmel.

Hover your phone’s camera on image to get contact info for all of our suggestions.

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All-Star Answers to Parents’ Sports Questions

What’s the best age to start a sport? This answer varies depending on the sport and what you hope your child will gain. Most experts suggest anything before age 6 should be focused on physical activity and fun, with no score keeping. By age 7 and 8, kids have the skills necessary to try team sports, while competitive sports are best reserved for ages 9 and older.

By Lissa Carlson The benefits of sports to a child’s development are many: motor skills, teamwork, physical activity, and even improved vision. We asked experts at the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) as well as an award-winning college coach/recruiter to answer some of the best questions parents have about kids and sports. NAYS provides training and guidance to youth sports programs across the U.S. Any guidance in choosing a sport? Consider a child’s personality when deciding on the right fit. You’ll want to ensure your child has the abilities to be successful and confident. Some kids may welcome an aggressive outlet, which sports can provide, while others may not want the pressure of being part of a team, Engh says. In his experience with parents over nearly 30 years, parents typically want their kids to gain socialization or learn about winning and losing. “Generally, the last thing parents say is they want them to be a great baseball player,” he says. Once you choose the sport, review your options. “If you want your child to

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learn and have fun,” Engh says, “make sure the team you’re joining is about learning and fun and not creating an all-star team.” For greater challenge, travel teams and club leagues offer an elite level of competitive play. These teams require a commitment to travel, time, and expenses beyond those found in school or park and rec programs. Some families find themselves working around other family members and duties to honor the team expectations. Parents must review whether that commitment works for their family and if the benefits outweigh the considerable investment. Additionally, Engh cautions parents to consider whether the added expenses and commitments guarantee their child any more playing time. Make sure you look at the “fine print” in any program, no matter how innocent it may seem, Engh says. Each program should have printed guidelines for parents, including expenses you can anticipate. Consider “hidden” costs beyond program fees, such as uniforms, shoes, competition travel (gas, meals, hotels), etc.

Is it ever “too late” for kids to start playing a new sport? No, according to Hannah Dave, head field hockey coach for the Wolves at Newberry College in South Carolina. Dave, who was named 2019 Field Hockey Coach of the Year by Synapse Sports, started playing field hockey her freshman year of high school. “I went to college with kids who’d been playing since 6 years old, and I started in high school,” Dave says. “Starting early is going to be the best for someone who really wants to go to the next level, but I would say no, it’s never too late. There will always be different levels of participation available.” For the late bloomer, you might consider a personal coach. John Engh, executive director of NAYS, says the use of private training is one of the biggest changes he’s seen in the last decade. It was discouraged prior to that, but as kids have become involved in sports at increasingly earlier ages, private training can provide an older child new to the sport a chance to get up to speed. “The only caveat is know who that person is because there’s absolutely no one overseeing their work,” Engh warns.

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Should we specialize in a single sport? Most medical advice encourages parents to delay sports specialization for as long as possible. The risk of overuse injuries, not to mention burnout and performance pressure, outweighs any advantages a young person might have in focusing all their effort on one sport. In fact, versatile, multi-sport athletes tend to be viewed advantageously by recruiters. Are there guidelines for how much a child should practice and play? NAYS (nays.org ) makes the following recommendations: • Ages 6 and younger: Limit practice and games to a maximum of one hour per day, twice weekly. • Ages 7 to 10: Limit time to one hour per day, three times weekly. • Ages 11 and older: Limited to 1.5 hours per day, three times weekly. Why do kids quit sports? NAYS has studied this since the 1980s. The top reason kids quit a sport is because it’s just not fun anymore. What makes a sport no longer fun? Time and parent pressures, Engh says, as well as greater self-awareness. The kid who thought baseball was fun may see top kids on the team excelling and become aware that they are not as good a player. What’s a parent to do? You can try taking a break or playing at a less competitive level, but ultimately, Engh says, “there comes a time when you just have to let it go.” We have a star athlete. What’s the likelihood of an athletic scholarship? The odds are slim – about 2 in 100 athletes – and most aren’t a free ride. Check out ScholarshipStats.com for current information on playing college sports and athletic scholarships based on individual sports, from baseball to water polo. Engh advises parents to wait until high school before deciding their child is surely destined for the pros. It’s premature to base a child’s talent on play before then (although he admits that recruiters for certain sports consider those early successes). “Keep a clear head and evaluate where they’re at in high school, when age gaps tend to level out,” he says. Should we invest in an agent? That depends on the sport, head coach Dave says. It’s alright if you don’t want to join a club league, yet it may require you to be a bit more proactive in reaching out to colleges. Finding someone who knows the college recruiting process can be advantageous. Engh agrees. “If your child is older than 15 and they’re getting letters from colleges,” he says, “an agent is probably not a bad idea.” What’s always a big advantage in a recruiter’s eyes? Supportive families, Dave says. “I do think it makes or breaks how you coach, how you play,” she says. “I always want my players to play for themselves first, but I also tell them they need to play for those who are supporting them.” Lissa Carlson, a writer of parenting topics for more than 20 years, sees the great benefits of sport participation and admires families who commit to it. MONTEREY BAY PARENT • august 2021

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65 Bay Area locations. 66 if we count your couch. In-person or virtual visits at Pediatric Group of Monterey Pediatric Group of Monterey 1900 Garden Road, Suite 110 Monterey, CA 93940 Tel (831) 372-5841 Fax (831) 372-4820

pedsgroup.stanfordchildrens.org

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Did you know that reading aloud to children helps them to . . .

1.

Q: I know that it is important to read out loud to young

children. During the Pandemic, I have been reading a lot to my younger children. Should I also have been reading to my older children in middle school and high school? At what age should you stop reading to children? – Wondering

BUILD VOCABULARY

INCREASE COMPREHENSION

2.

A:

Unfortunately, the percentage of parents who read aloud to older children drops drastically for children over the age of 5. This is way too early to stop reading to your children. When surveyed, older children say that they enjoy read-aloud time. In fact, children of all ages enjoy listening to a good story.

Good readers succeed in school. Poor readers have far more problems with subjects that require considerable reading. Help your children regardless of their age to become active readers who are engaged with the printed page. This is very important for your children’s ability to comprehend what they are reading. The following questions will help you and your children talk about the stories that you are reading to them: • • • •

IMPROVE LISTENING SKILLS

DISCOVER LONGER BOOKS LIKE THE CLASSICS

BROADEN KNOWLEDGE OF DIFFERENT GENRES

7.

HELP IMPROVE DISCUSSION SKILLS

LESSEN TIME SPENT ON ELECTRONIC DEVICES

8.

PROMOTE READING BEYOND SCHOOLWORK. 24

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Your question is a concern of many parents. While many parents stop reading to their children when they are able to read on their own, it is very beneficial to continue reading to children even in their early teen years. Research shows that reading aloud to school children of all ages will definitely improve not only reading skills but also listening skills and academic performance.

3.

4. 5. 6.

dear teacher by By Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts

Do you think this story could really happen? Why? Why not? Did you think a certain event in the book was funny or sad? Would you like to be friends with a character in the book? If you were the major character in the book, what would you have done differently? Would you like to be able to do something the hero of the book did?

Besides reading fiction to your children, be sure to include interesting nonfiction works that will add to their knowledge of the world.

Parents should send questions and comments to dearteacher@ dearteacher.com and to learn more about helping their children succeed in school visit the dearteacher website. MONTEREY BAY PARENT • august 2021

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What is happening in classrooms this year?

SAFETY CONCERNS There are still some unknowns about how your children’s classes will look like when they return to them this month. All schools in California, both public and private, are guided by the CDPH Schools Guidance. This outlines what schools should follow for the 2021-2022 school year. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks while indoors . Masks are optional outdoors. CATCHING UP? No matter what your children’s school will look like, it is clear according to all the experts that most will not have learned what they would have learned without the disruption of the pandemic. This is especially true for those children who have a special education diagnosis. Many were not able to receive the accommodations that they were entitled to on their Individual Education Plans (IEP). It is very important this year for parents to attend Back to School Night–whether online or virtual– to learn firsthand how their children’s teachers are planning on handling any learning deficiencies their children may have suffered. There has been a wide variance in how much students have learned in online programs. Teachers are potentially in the dark about what their students learned last year because of the lack of standardized testing data. For all of these reasons, you really need to hear directly from the teachers what their curriculum will look like for your children and how they plan to close any learning deficiencies. It’s also important to know what you will be expected to do at home to help your child. RESOURCES There are two things that can help you see where your elementary and middle children currently are academically. One is to determine their reading level. The San Diego Quick Assessment test will provide you with this information. You can find it online and on our dearteacher website. Two, you will find helpful to know what your children should have learned last year in most of their subjects. It is easy to find this information. Just go to the State of California education department website (www.cde.ca.gov), and type in curriculum or content standards and the grade you are looking for. MONTEREY BAY PARENT • august 2021

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Centers open in Monterey and Salinas!

All services are available, please call for more information about our strict COVID safety practices and procedures.

bia4autism.org

BIA is in its 27th year!

Salinas | Monterey | Fresno | Bay Area

OUR MISSION

BIA’s mission is to significantly improve the lives of children diagnosed with Autism by providing innovative and individualized treatment.

(877) 242-2884

BIA is a recognized leader in the community providing: • 1:1 Intervention Services to Individuals 18 mos-18 years • Center, Home, And Community Based Services • Social Skills Groups

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BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS Whether it’s your child’s first day of kindergarten or the start of middle school, back-to-school season can bring a range of feelings for the entire family. This year may be more emotional as many families spent a large part of the past two school years at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s important to remember that even in the best of times, it’s normal for children to express feelings of sadness, isolation or stress,” said Tyreca Elliott, from KinderCare Learning Centers. “Learning how to address those feelings helps us build self-confidence, resilience and independence. Offering comfort, reassurance and assisting with problem solving will help children learn and grow from stress in a positive way.” Consider these tips to help your children manage emotions during the transition back to school.

1.

PLAN AHEAD: The fear of the unknown can be stressful. Children who aren’t able to clearly articulate their feelings likely won’t be able to make the connection between new, uncertain situations and their feelings. Instead they may become overwhelmed by emotions, which might look like more meltdowns, clinginess, or a variety of other behaviors. Talk with your children about how they feel about going back to school ahead of the first day of class. Ask questions to help them determine why they feel particular feelings when they think about school then work together to solve potential issues. That could mean finding a way to meet your children’s teachers ahead of time, whether virtually or in-person, or practicing introducing themselves to classmates.

2.

BUILD A CONSISTENT ROUTINE: Routines can give children (and adults) a sense of security and structure, which in turn make it easier to cope with big emotions like stress and anxiety. Try to stay consistent, and if you need to make adjustments, talk them through with your children. Make sure your children have opportunities to ask questions about any changes to routines. They may need reassurance before they’re ready to face something new.

3.

CREATE SPECIAL FAMILY MOMENTS: As important as routine is, it’s just as important to prioritize quality time together. That could mean something as simple as Saturday bike rides or Sunday morning pancakes. Plan a family outing or special time together to celebrate completing the first week of school. Family rituals and celebrations can give children and adults something to look forward to.

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Did you know that you can subscribe to our newsletters? You’ll receive... • Weekly events • Exclusive Contests • First look at new issues • And, much more! All free. Hover your phone’s camera on image to get link for newsletter sign up. No special app needed. montereybayparent.com

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OUT & ABOUT Our top picks for AUGUST

8/3

FREE! Preschool Stories at Jewell Park. Miss Mary and Barnaby Bear will be reading stories and singing songs. All ages are welcome. However, the content will specifically be developmentally appropriate for preschoolers. Presented by Pacific Grove Library and held weekly on Tuesdays. www.pacificgrovelibrary.org

8/7, 8 Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival 2021. Main Street will be filled with wine tasting stops, food sampling stations, live music, artist/artisan vendors, and the opportunity to experience world-class wines, craft beers, and gourmet foods. Admission to the main festival is free. Purchasing a ticket includes wine and beer tastings along with samplings of culinary delights from local chefs, caterers, and restaurants. salinasvalleyfoodandwine.com

8/7

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FREE! 2021 Hiroshima-Nagasaki Remembrance Day and Peace Lantern Ceremony. This beautiful and moving tradition honors those who suffered the atomic bombings in 1945. The event starts at 7 p.m. with lantern making and traditional Taiko drumming by Shinsho Mugen Daiko. Sundown will signal the launching of the peace lanterns.

8/14 FREE! Monterey Bay Parent Magazine Back to School Bash. Join us Del Monte Center in Monterey as we celebrate back to school!. Vendors will be on hand with information about preschool options, private schools, medical care and much more. The first 300 children will get a free lunch tote from Stanford Children’s Health. We’ll also have an amazing back to school themed balloon installation for photos. Lots of freebies and giveaways. montereybayparent.com 8/15 70th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. A tradition going back over half a century, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is where the world’s collector cars meet and compete. Only the 200 best collector cars in the world roll onto the legendary 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. pebblebeachconcours.net

8/23 FREE! We Create Art Festival 2021. This is a week-long street and public art installation in the West End focused on bringing two artists together on one wall to celebrate and merge their individual styles and create unique public masterpieces for all to enjoy. Twelve artists will collaborate with each other on six walls throughout Sand City, over the course of a week. wecreateart.com

8/28 FREE! Monterey Greek Festival 2021. You won’t be able to resist the mouthwatering smell of traditional Greek food. While you’re munching on dolmades, you can watch traditional dance, listen to music and even learn a little at a cultural lecture. Sip a cup of Greek coffee while you order that ever-popular dessert, baklava. Then step up to the stage yourself for a lesson in Greek dance! A traditional taverna will open in the evening, serving Greek and American beer, wine and ouzo. montereybaygreekfestival. wordpress.com

Find more fun events for your family at MontereyBayParent.com/Calendar. Just hover your phone’s camera on image, no special app required.

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*Home School Program – Grades TK-12 *Independent Study Program – Grades 9-12 *Fully Accredited by WASC! *No Interdistrict Transfer Required to Enroll!

At Monterey County Home Charter School, students are given a rich, individually designed, tuition-free education while studying in a nonclassroom-based environment. Enrichment and intervention classes, workshops, field trips, tutoring sessions, concurrent enrollment, and weekly meetings with fully credentialed teachers give students every opportunity to succeed.

For more information or to enroll, contact: Monterey County Home Charter School 901 Blanco Circle, Salinas, CA 93912

(831) 755-0331 • www.mchcs.org

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MONTEREY COUNTY FAIR        30

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The path to friendship begins in Monterey Bay Parenthood

The benefits of membership: • A supportive community through our private Facebook group • Discounts for Monterey Bay Parent events, contests and giveaways, and early access to tickets and promos. • Discount directory just for members with offers to local attractions, restaurants, classes and more • Special events just for members and their families

JOIN TODAY

Charter membership is just $35/year!

General & Cosmetic Dentistry

Vista Robles Dental Group Offering:

• Family dentistry • Pediatric dentistry • Restorative dentistry • Cosmetic dentistry • Accepting new patients • Courtesy insurance billing for most dental insurances

Dentists Linda Martin DDS and Esmeralda Muñoz DDS, of Vista Robles Dental Group can give you a healthy beautiful smile that you can take pride in. Modern cosmetic dentistry techniques make it easier than ever for you to have a bright, even smile.

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Stop Struggling Start Learning Located on 60-acre campus just minutes from Monterey Bay, Chartwell School is an indepedent day school for students grades 1-12 who think and learn differently.

1:1 College Counseling

3:1 student teacher ratio

No more than 10 students per class

Project based learning and monthly field experiences

Chartwell School 32

2511 Numa Watson Road, Seaside, CA 93955 Tel 831.394.3468 chartwell.org

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Profile for Monterey Bay Parent Magazine

August 2021 Monterey Bay Parent  

A regional print publication for parents and families in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.

August 2021 Monterey Bay Parent  

A regional print publication for parents and families in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.

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