Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Travel Log: Monteray Bay Aquarium

While in California for a wedding, my husband and I drove an extra hour down to Monteray Bay to go to that famous aquarium i've been watching documentaries about for years. It was maybe not quite as amazing as the documentaries make it out to be, but that's probably just because we didn't spring for any of the extra 'behind the scenes' tours. It was probably the best aquarium i've ever been to, though. Seahorses? Including baby seahorses the size of a mosquito? Come on, that's awesome! Anyhoo - here are a few photos from the highlights.

To start with, my husband (who works at an organic farm, a SMALL organic farm) and I were just amazed by the huge farming operations going on along the highway. Tons and TONS of strawberries and artichokes, among other veggies were planted in every square inch of useable soil, right up to the dunes. All the veggies appeared to be hand picked, as well.   Really makes you respect those veggies in the store from California!

 Otter bubbles and giant peekaboo fishes.... things are getting good.

I just love sea critters that live along the floor. I lived in Savannah, Georgia for about a year, and used to enjoy going to Tybee island and shuffling along the shallow surf to dig up living sand dollars. Fuzzy!

I couldn't get a photo of my favorite critter at the aquarium: the sea gooseberries. Amazing. Google it. But i got a few nice ones of my favorite little flightless birds, the penguins and my other favorite drifters: jellies and sea horses. This weedy sea dragon is pretty much awesome, right? Yes. Yes, it is.

The aquarium wasn't cheap, $60 for a couple. But i'm pretty okay with putting down some change for a place like the Monteray Aquarium, that is doing a ton towards promoting conservation and encouraging species diversity. i picked up a few wallet sized pamphlets for choosing the best seafood, which will really come in handy when i'm choosing what to buy at the store or in a restaurant. There are so many terrible fishing practices out there that are devastating the environment, and not all are obvious.

Have you been to an aquarium lately? What did you get out of it?

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