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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Monterey Bay Aquarium

I could not get out of the conference fast enough to suit myself. I was just not in the mood, so after a decision to skip the final luncheon, I whisked back to the room, grabbed Joann and we were off to and afternoon of fishies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Now, it was about a year ago Joann had the unpleasant experience of breaking a pedal extremity (OUCH!). So, on entering the aquarium via the special guests like US area, the first thing we asked "Got a wheelchair we can rent?" The answer was Two words we are all fond of: "YES" and "FREE". Quick as a Golden Trout in sparkling waters, we were off touring the aquarium, no stress on any bruised or broken bits.

Joann posing in her special "That's right, I deserve pampering, wheel-me-around" Chair

We headed out to the 'back porch' of the aquarium, where the local wildlife show the tanked in wildlife how wildness is done all proper like. Of the back porch, you have a view of the ocean and way the heck out, so far off you had to use a telescope or Joann's fancy camera, were a party of Sea Otters, smashing up their abalone lunch balanced on their bellies.

Sea Otters, enjoying a Surf-no-Turf luncheon

Heerman's Gull, so tame it sat on my finger.

Inside the aquairum I couldn't wait to get to my favorite exhibit, a room that duplicates a sandy beach, complete with bits of ocean plants and many species of shore birds.

This Black-necked Stilt looks like a garden ornament

Sometimes I don't think to get photos of the most interesting stuff. For example, the shore bird exhibit's sand was strewn with hundreds of meal worms that the shore birds gobbled down like greedy little poof-balls.

This Snowy Plover knows how cute it is

Giant tank of the sort the aquarium is famous for

On the second floor of the aquarium, we found my new favorites, the Sea Dragons. I like them because they look like swimming seaweed.

Leafy Dragons

There was a second kind of Sea Dragon of a beautiful electric blue, that hadn't as many leaflets on it. It was a handsome little slip of a fishy called a 'Weedy Dragon'.

Weedy Dragon

One fish, Two Fish, we be Blue fish

Gangway, Dolphins, coming through!

Jellies!

Fishies you can thread a needle with.

Spot Prawn that's 'spot on' in the stripes department

Golden yellow kelp


After a while we treated ourselves to a nice lunch at the aquarium's restaurant. Then it was time to drive back to the Hyatt, by way of every back road and side street we could think of. I think there was one critter at the aquarium that was a little sorry to see us go.

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