Saturday, May 19, 2007

Otters and seafood and knitting, oh my!

Our morning started like so many others, Andrew and I got up at (roughly) the same time, went through our normal morning routine, and got into the car. Unlike other mornings, we were not headed to work.

We headed south to Monterey, where we were meeting Linda for a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and lunch at Bubba Gump's.

Andrew had two birthday requests: (1) to attend all of the feedings at the aquarium and (2) no yarn shops. The first was easy to accommodate, the second… not so much. You read the blog.

Air: Normal People :: Yarn: Jasmin

Such is my love for him.

Anyhow, we got to the aquarium just in time to watch the otters feeding:

As always, there were hoards of elementary school children there on a field trip. You'll notice that I was kind enough to give my "window seat" up to them. When asked if the chitluns could stand in front of me, I told their chaperone that any children who were shorter than I am were welcome to do so.

So, three or four of the kids from the group moved in front of me, and Linda and I were knitting while waiting for the feeding to start (and during the feeding):

(NOTE: Andrew was wielding my camera, and a woman standing off to my right said, "Well, if he's going to take a picture of you, you may as well smile.")

One of the chaperons said something to the effect of "It's so nice that you taught your daughter how to knit," to Linda, making a gesture towards me. Linda responded very politely that she was flattered that the woman thought she was my mom, and I pointed out that we were good friends.

Next, we went to the Outer Bay feeding, which was super cool, because they have hammerhead sharks and a couple of sun fish in there. Linda and I debated whether fish were cognizant enough to be jealous of each other's looks. (The sun fish is a weird looking fish. Seriously.)

After the Outer Bay, we saw the Kelp Forest feeding. The last time Andrew and I went to the aquarium, a Sheephead fish was attacking one of the starfish that was clinging to the glass for dear life. The docent noticed, and with the five jillion kids there, he stepped in front of the carnage.

Here are our best fish faces:

At this point in the day, I told Andrew it would be necessary to do human feedings, so we walked to Bubba Gump's.

I know theme restaurants are cheesy and usually suck. Bubba Gump's is a terrific restaurant with incredible service. I ordered like four things on the menu (this time), devoured most of it, and everything was INCREDIBLE. We had to roll back to the aquarium.

Back at the aquarium, we walked through the jellyfish exhibit (my second favorite, only to the otters). I love the mix of elegance, beauty and danger.

To my surprise, they have added a fresh water otter exhibit where the shark exhibit used to be, with BABY OTTERS! So cute!

After watching the otters, Andrew and I came to the conclusion that Elphie is really an otter who was raised by kittens. One of the "enriching" tricks that the trainers had the otters do was called "stand". This is a trick we do with Elphie that we call "Otter pop". It's identical.

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