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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Aquarium of the Pacific

On Monday we drove to Long Beach to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was fun for Jeremy and I to drive down there because the aquarium is right next to the shipyards, the Queen Mary, and the dock for all the cruises that leave from that port. This is where we came when we went on our cruise. It brought back a lot of good memories.

We were going to meet my family with all the cousins here at the aquarium and we ended up waiting outside for awhile. We just took some time to walk around the area and look at different things. Here is Nathan standing by the railing overlooking part of the bay.
When we finally went in the kids were pretty excited. The tanks at this aquarium are huge, from floor to ceiling! I don't think our kids had ever seen so many fish so close up before. They were all mesmerized.

Alexandra especially loved looking at the fish. She walked right up to the big tank and just pressed her face against the glass and didn't move. You could just see her head going back and forth as she would focus on different fish swimming past her.

Nathan is looking at a sea bass in this picture. I wanted to get a picture of this because this is the fish that I saw when we were snorkeling in Mexico. I didn't know what it was at the time, but it was so big to me! I hurried and swam the other way. When we came to the aquarium I recognized this as being the same fish.

I don't know what Athena is doing, probably waiting to get in a quick shove. Nathan and Alexandra are really enjoying this tank of fish.

The jellyfish at the aquarium were all really pretty. They look so peaceful and full of grace as they glide up and down in the water. There were so many different kinds of jellyfish to look at.

We also stopped and watched the sea otters for awhile. These are fun to watch because they are very playful. They were coming down and looking out at us from their side of the glass. When you would do circles around the glass with your hand, they would follow your hand and do flips. Very entertaining.
After watching the sea otters, we headed out to the shark lagoon where you can actually pet the sharks and sting rays. This is the sting ray we touched the most. Jeremy is feeling it in this picture. The sides of it felt slimy, but the middle of it felt like a net, or sandpaper.

At first the kids were apprehensive about touching the sharks and sting rays, but they soon caught on and touched just about all of them.

This sting ray was massive. I had no idea they could get so big! This one was in the pool with the big sharks. You can see a shark swimming above it in the water. The sign said that this sting ray measures 5 feet wide, 14 feet long, and weighs 300 pounds! I'd hate to encounter that in the ocean!

We also went to a window where you can see underwater in the big shark exhibit. We watched the big sharks for a long time. It's fascinating to see them all up close.

Samantha looks a little worried!

This shark was the meanest-looking one in the tank.

While we were there it was time to feed the sharks. We got to watch the workers feed the sharks. It wasn't quite the frenzy I expected. The workers just lowered pieces of fish one at a time and you could see the sharks come and eat the fish.

After watching the sharks, we headed over to see this little show that was put on by the aquarium. They asked for volunteers and Nathan and Samantha got picked to go up. The show was really pretty lame. The only fun part for me was watching our kids up there. It was about keeping our oceans clean. Nathan got to dress up as a crab.

Samantha was dressed up as a sea otter, I think. I kept thinking she was a lobster, but Jeremy corrected me. Nathan and Samantha both did really well with their little parts in the play. I am surprised at how well Nathan does with stuff like that. He does exactly as he is told when other people are working with him. What a good little kid!

The aquarium also has an exhibit of Lorkeets. They are a tropical bird and you can buy nectar to feed them.

There were tons of these birds and they would come right up to you if you had nectar. We didn't opt to buy nectar. This bird wasn't happy with Jeremy not giving him food, so it kept on pecking at him.

Then a kid came along with nectar and the bird immediately turned around and started eating.

Moving on . . . here are Samantha and Athena putting their hands into this touch pool that is filled with sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and sea anemones. It was fun to feel all of those different things. I thought the sea cucumbers felt really gross, just kind of gooey. The sea anemones were fun to touch - they felt sticky and kind of grabbed onto my fingers.

The girls obeyed the instructions very well about only using 2 fingers to touch with. Here they are using that technique to feel the sea life.

We did stop and watch a fun show with seals and sea otters where they talk about them and the animals did tricks. Unfortunately we didn't take a single picture of that show, but for the record, we really liked it. :)
Samantha is posing in front of the shark pool again. We visited it several times because the kids loved to touch the sharks.

These remind me of the creatures in The Little Mermaid. They are little eels poking their heads out of this rock.

I thought this next one was the creepiest of all the sea life we looked at. It is a giant spider crab. It looks like a spider, but it's a crab, and it's HUGE! You can't really tell by the picture, but this crab was at least 2 1/2 feet wide. EEPS!

Finally, by the end of our time at the aquarium, we were so tired we wanted to just sit. We found this huge tank and just sat down to let the kids watch for awhile.

There were 4 divers in this tank. I think they were in there to do some cleaning. The divers were cute with the kids. They were coming up to the glass and giving high fives and waving at us. Nathan really got a kick out of the divers and he was following them from side to side.

Alexandra was ready to go by the end. She mostly just enjoyed climbing the stairs when we sat down for awhile.

Our last good sight - the kids finally got to see a sea turtle swimming in the water. Samantha and Nathan turned around just as it came swimming around the corner. Cool!

I'm glad we brought the kids here, but I don't think I would pay to go to this aquarium again. It was fun for the kids to see all that stuff, but for the price I don't think it was worth it. I felt like once you got in there they nickeled and dimed you to death. You had to pay extra to see the movies they offered, pay to feed the birds, the drinks in the park were $3.75 for a 20-ounce, etc etc. Other than those downsides, we had a pretty good time.

1 comment:

Aprilyn said...

We've been there before and it's AWESOME!!! I want to take Marshall there..he would LOVE it!

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