Monday, April 28, 2014

Aquarium of the Pacific

Happy Monday all! I can't believe I have been living here in California for almost two months already. I absolutely love it and am really starting to get comfortable here. Unfortunately the weather this last weekend wasn't great. It rained on Friday night which never happens in Southern California and then on Saturday and Sunday it was chilly/windy (65 degrees is considered cold here). We wanted to do something inside, so we decided to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. Again the traffic getting there was a nightmare. It took about 35 minutes just to make a right turn into the parking garage ($8 with aquarium ticket). I guess a lot of other people had the same idea about staying inside. I recommend going early in the morning to avoid the crowds. 
long beach
City of Long Beach
Long Beach aquarium
View from the parking garage 
Long Beach
Bridge that looks like a roller coaster 
Aquarium of the Pacific
Entrance 
After we finally parked we had to wait another 20 minutes in line to purchase tickets. I could have bought them online but I wanted to see the different packages they offered at the box office. We decided to purchase the behind the scenes tour package ($18/per ticket) along with the aquarium tickets which ended up costing around $95. Considering the price of some other aquariums I've been to in the past, I think this was on the expensive end. We started off the trip with the behinds the scene tour which I highly recommend you doing. There was only one other couple on the tour with us so it was very private. The tour lasted about an hour and included a guide of the vet, large tank with divers who were feeding the fish, kitchen, and quarantine. If you read my blog regularly you know I love water and fish. This tour was both educational and fun and absolutely awesome for me! We even got to feed the fish some seaweed in the large tank and watch the stingrays eat lunch. After the tour was over we went around to the different exhibits both inside and outside. I think that it would have made more sense if we had done that first and then did the behind the scenes tour last. The aquarium over all was over crowded with screaming children and pushy adults. If I hadn't just done that private tour I think I would have pushed a child in the shark tank. We only walked around for about an hour until we couldn't handle it anymore. The day was fun only because of the private tour we did, but I don't think I will go back again. Too expensive and too over crowded.
video
Aquarium of the Pacific
The lobby with a blue whale replica 
Aquarium of the Pacific
Behind the scenes dive center
Aquarium of the Pacific
Divers going into the tank to feed
Aquarium of the Pacific
Large tank with sharks, turtles, eels, stingrays, fish
Aquarium of the Pacific
Feeding the stingrays
Aquarium of the Pacific
Diver
fish
Fish in quarantine 
Aquarium of the Pacific
I could stay here all day
shark
Baby bamboo sharks 
shark egg
Shark eggs
Aquarium of the Pacific
More divers 
fish
Bright fish
Aquarium of the Pacific
Fish food, sorry goldfish 
Aquarium of the Pacific
More fish food
sea horse
Baby seahorses 
Aquarium of the Pacific
VIP only 
shark
Sharks and Dory
grouper
Huge grouper 
stingray
Bottom of a stingray
turtle
Sea turtle
diver
More divers 
shark
More sharks 
jelly fish
Jelly fish 
Aquarium of the Pacific
Please touch starfish etc
seal
Sunbathing seals 
shark
Please touch sharks 
shark
Black tip shark
stingray
Please touch stingrays 
Spending the day at the aquarium made us hungry for some delicious fish, sorry Nemo and Dory. We decided on Rock'n Fish right on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach on the ocean. We had oysters to start as an appetizer and they were really fresh and had no grit. My boyfriend ordered the jambalaya and I ordered the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi with fries and spicy mac n cheese. Both of our meals were really delicious and we got to enjoy the sunsetting while eating. Together with two beers our meals was around $85 including tip. Parking on the street was difficult to find so we parked in the garage across the street ($2/hour). Overall we had a great day together exploring new places and a new town. 
restaurant
Entrance 
ocean
The view of the ocean
oysters
Oysters 
mahi mahi
My mahi mahi with pineapple salsa
jambalaya
Jambalaya 
sunset
Sunset 
I hope everyone had a great weekend and a great start to the new week.
XoXo,
Valerie