Monday, April 30, 2012

Monterey Bay Aquarium - Part 2

So far we have seen the otters, jellies and penguins of the Monterey Bay Aquarium (click here for part one) and now we get my favorite (well one of  them anyways) the seahorses!


Magical creatures!

I love this one!

Nice profile!

Beautiful eyes.

Looking from the inside out to the Great Tide Pool Amphitheater. 


Back side of the aquarium right on Monterey Bay.


This area is snug, but it really is a delight watching all the little birds running around.

This little guy is so cute. I took some video of the noise he was making while standing on only one leg.

Of course if you are going to spend the day at the aquarium you need to take
a break and eat - and the food was good!

Caesar salad.

Clam chowder - one of the best we had all trip.
I wonder where they get their seafood from!?

This was the special of the day. It was a tamale and it was fab!

A good local beer.

There is so much to do at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For me
it is a magical place of marine life and childhood memories.
I can't wait to go back and see it all again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monterey Bay Aquarium - Part 1

Monterey Bay Aquarium was the first aquarium I ever visited, and for me is still the best aquarium I have ever visited! I've been to many an aquarium, and I have enjoyed all but one (National Aquarium in D.C. - you still owe me my $5.00 admission fee!). 

I grew up in the desert nothingness of West Texas or as I like to call it Tatooine. So any time there is an opportunity to see water and some aquatic life I'm all for it (except sharks of course). In fact I am totally fascinated with sea horses and they are by far my favorite marine life. Oh wait! Otters! Yes seahorses and otters.

My first trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was in the mid 1980s not long after it had first opened. I was truly impressed that a converted sardine factory on the edge of Cannery Row was now a massive aquarium. 

Oh! And it was also the place where Spock mind melded with a whale in Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home!  So for me this place ticks a lot of boxes:
A cast member of a Star Trek movie may or may not have been there?

The Front Entrance:

We arrived early - maybe 15 minutes after it opened and we had to wait in line. If you can
buy your tickets online. You will walk right in.

Even after a good four hours inside the aquarium
there were still people waiting to get in late in the afternoon. Buy in advance!

Are these the whales from Star Trek?
Where is Spock?

The absolute highlight of this aquarium is the otters.
Even when I visited 25 years ago they were a delight.
On this day we had a female otter being a surrogate
mother to a baby otter that was found abandoned.
The mother would take the baby pup and hold him
as she spun around and around. It was as Mr. Spock
would say - Fascinating.

Spinning with her new little pup.

Here is a link to some video I shot of them spinning:



The Giant Octopus:

Okay - so I know this pictures isn't the best, but he made a rare appearance!
It was dark, crowded and when he moved we all hit the button on our cameras and phones.
Isn't he huge!

Click here to see part two!