Sunday, February 15, 2009

Marine Immersion

On December 26 we decided to take the kids to San Francisco's Pier 39 for a day of fun at The Aquarium of the Bay. I have had this on my Wish List for a long time so I was elated!

We found free 2-hour parking which was perfect for our needs. We walked about 3 bloc
ks to the aquarium and waited in line for tickets for about 5 minutes. Once inside, the journey through the exhibits was well-directed. The layout is such that you enter one door, are lead through a series of exhibits via moving walkways and a manned elevator ride to the activities room and store at the exit. It's a small aquarium, but the price is right. I dallied off the walkways, taking pictures of the kids and exhibits and was thankful for doing so as the end came just a little too soon.

The tunnels were great! I remember walking through a similar tunnel at SeaWorld in Florida when I was a kid. This exhibit features a variety of sharks and rays, some tuna and many other fish. The jellies were spectacular and the smaller exhibits were beautifully lit. The touch-pool room was fabulous. In addition to
sea cucumbers and urchins, rays and a tide pool, they had a leopard shark pool. I love that stuff!

While the kids made origami frogs in the activities room, I watched the educational film. After we read the posters with information about crabs, octopi and other sea creatures, we meandered through the remaining activities in the room and left the aquarium for a walk around the pier.

It was a brisk, sunny day and the pier was bustling. At the end of the pier, tourists gathered to see the sea lions basking on the docks. We took a few pictures and headed for the car. With 5 minutes to spare, we pulled out of our space and decided to stop at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach on the way home.

We got there about half an hour before sunset. Tide was out and the light was soft. Much of the southern portion of the exposed rock was cordoned off because sea lions were pupping. We could see them off in the distance. I managed to get some great pictures of hermit crabs before the light faded.

After a full day of exploration and adventure we packed up and drove my partner's eldest daughter home before returning home ourselves. With another item checked off my Wish List, I feel satisfied and optimistic about what tomorrow will bring. I love living in California.

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