Thursday, October 20, 2011

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Okay, so this wasn't in the aquarium, but it was just up the street from it.
Crazy butterfly house!

The MBA does a free home-school day for home schoolers and so we took advantage of the early sign up days and scheduled our visit! It was a great way to spend the school day (Dominic wishes every school day could be that fun)
We started the day off at the sea otters. They are so cute and they were both munching on their lunch of sea urchin while spinning in the water. They seemed very social and loved to come and stick their noses up to the window. Michael and Penny were in fits of giggles!

And yes, Penny and I both got A-line haircuts. I love them. This hairstyle is just so easy to manage. Though, my hair doesn't look fabulous in these pictures because really, this is what it looks like when I shower and go.....but thats a HUGE improvement compared to what it looked like before with a shower and go effect. =) I'm more than pleased with our A-lines. 

Next, we went through the jelly fish displays and on the way in there was a school of sardines that would circle the tank. There were literally thousands of shiny silver fish swimming around. Michael was in heaven!

He laughed and laughed and signed and said "vishies, vishies!"

The jellyfish were on of my favorite places. They had really relaxing music playing and they kindof dance. They had lights on them, or perhaps they had black lights and it made them glow, I'm not sure which but it was beautiful.

Their movements looked like ballet.

This was my favorite jellyfish tank and everyone was hovered around it trying to get a close up of them. The colors were so vibrant and it was truly a sight to behold!

We arrived at the large fish tank just in time to get front row seats for their morning feeding. This tank was full of different fish, including; white sharks, hammerhead sharks, sardines, sun fish (weirdest looking fish ever, look it up) and some Mahi Mahi (otherwise known as dolphin fish). There were a few more but I don't remember their names. It was cool to see all these fish in one tank interacting. The sardines stayed in their little school and it was fun to see them all change direction and shape frequently.

We learned many interesting facts about the different kinds of fish in the tank. Did you know that the sun fish doesn't open and close its mouth? Nope! Its mouth is like a vaccuum and it stays opened and it just sucks stuff in and then pushes it out. While it does this, the razor sharp teeth it has lining the cavity inside its mouth shred the fish into a pulp and then it suctions it inside when its good and ready. Interesting way to eat and Dominic has tried to duplicate it a few times without much success. =)

The sardines.

The kids could see right down into the tank and up the tank. It was huge and I was so happy they made it so easy to view what was inside. It made the experience really neat to watch. The window to the tank was probably 20 feet high and 60 feet wide.
This big blob of a fish is the sun fish.

Eventually, Michael needed a nap. 

These windows were funny because they were dome shaped but the dome was going into the tank and it gave an illusion that the dome was smaller than it was so reaching out for the glass felt like you were falling into the tank! Needless to say, Penny did not like that. Dominic freaked out because he thought he was falling into the tank but then started laughing when his hand finally touched the glass.

I forgot my belt and was literally pulling my pants up ALL DAY LONG. Something about my belly beginning to push my pants down and me not having a butt that don't make for pleasant jeans wearing.
After that, she wanted nothing to do with this window.

We went through the aquarium with our friends (they home school too) and Dominic and Emma were side by side taking everything in! It was fun to have a friend there.

This was a neat little viewing spot. They had floating magnifying glasses and Dominic was so excited to show them to me!

They had an anemone model that you could get behind and then stick your hand through the hole. It scared the crap out of Dominic because he didn't know that that is what it was and our friend Jason stuck his hand through and grabbed him. So, Dominic thought it would be a good idea to do it to Penny. This was just before the meltdown of horror and pain inflicted upon her when her armpit wouldn't fit through the hole he was yanking her arm through. Oops. Sometimes 9 year olds just don't think things through all the way. We still love him.

This was pretty neat showing how the water crashes over and against the rocks at the shore. My kids could have sat in here for hours. Every 20 seconds or so a new splash of water would rain down the glass at high speeds.

the touch pools were really neat. Dominic touched a sea cucumber and starfish and tried to reach the manta rays but wasn't able to get his fingers on one. Penny had no interest in putting her hand in the water.

The 2 younger yidders anticipating the waves crashing down.

This is what I looked like mid-way through the day! Whew! It was tiring, but so worth it.

Love this little guy and this blur of a girler.

The fishies were everywhere!

Seriously, sometimes I could eat him.

He loved the bird exhibit. They rescue birds from around the area and bring them to their sanctuary. There was no barrier between us and the birds and they were the most long legged, long beaked birds ever. I didn't catch the names of everything because I had two fast little kids to keep up with. But this was one of Michaels favorite exhibits. He was giggling and pointing and chatting away!

I love her new haircut. She was a busy girl this day too and was old enough that she didn't need our constant care like Michael. She's at a fun stage of exploration.

This was Penny's favorite exhibit because there was a pink fish in the tank. She also liked the pink seahorse we saw, but I didn't have the camera on me at the time so we didn't get a picture. That's my Penny, anything pink and its her favorite.

The splash zone kids play centers were awesome! They had a whole area just for toddlers and this wall of fishies squirting water was genious! I want one of these in my house someday. Michael was in heaven (Penny put her mouth under one of the spouts of water and took a refreshing drink....eww!)

They had a waterbed like trampoline that was a lot of fun to jump on.

He seriously stood there for probably 30 minutes happy as a clam.

Don't mind us. It looks like he's next to me with his arm around me, but he's actually sitting quite a ways behind me.

This is how Michael jumps off a padded ledge

This is how Penny jumps off the same padded ledge.

The shape sorter was fun!

We had such a good time at the aquarium! Dominic was thrilled to spend a whole day there and not have to do any REAL shoolwork. We were happy that we were able to make it a family affair and not have to pay admission. Though, now that we've been, its definitely on our list of places to go back to. 

1 comment:

Julia Harps said...

half the pictures didn't show up. :(
I have seen a sun fish in real life. It was washed up on shore with a big bite out of it! It wasn't a very big sun fish though. That was a cool place!