Monday, May 25, 2009

On The Road With John Steinbeck..

We made it to the Monterey Bay Aquarium almost without incident.
Just 11 miles from our destination,and after several frantic gestures from passing motorists,we realized our right front tire was nearly flat!

Not to worry..Lizzard King sprung into action,and had us back on the road in less than 10 minutes.
I,of course,took advantage of the opportunity to smoke a cigarette in true supervisory fashion.

We found the aquarium easily enough.
If Cannery Row is the exclamation point of Monterey,then the aquarium is the period that punctuates it..

I should take a moment to explain (make excuses for) a minor malfunction..

..I had the foresight to set my camera for the dim fluorescent lighting of the aquarium, flash photography of the live exhibits being allowed.
Pretty clever of me huh?
Sadly,..I forgot to account for this when taking exterior shots,..hence the surreal quality of the photos.
..Pretty dumb of me huh.

The good news is!..We had purchased our tickets in advance from the Triple A store here in O-Town, we strutted right past that impossible line of folks out front,and walked directly into the side entrance normally reserved for heads of state and such!

We had anticipated having to deal with the holiday crowd once inside the aquarium,but HOLY CRAP!
In a not-so-subtle twist of irony,we were quite literally packed inside the joint like Monterey Brand Sardines!..Only,..without the soothing lubrication of extra virgin Olive oil.
This made it more than a little frustrating when trying to maneuver for unobstructed photos of the extraordinary collection of ocean dwelling creatures.

Oh sure,..Shoving 6 year old kids to the floor,and using occupied baby strollers as step stools is easy enough,but them determined old folks simply refuse to move their damn walkers,no matter how hard you kick 'em.

Follows,a small portfolio of what I was best able to capture..

PLUS!!..An exciting video for your nautical pleasure.

Lizzard King,Little Newt,Mom-O,and I had a glorious time at The Monterey Bay Aquarium, spite of the crowd.
We spent about three hours marvelling,not just at the variety of species,but the brilliant technology it takes to maintain this world class operation!

It's a uniquely educational experience...



At 4:15 PM , Blogger Mom said...

I really like the outdoor shots. They have a surreal, otherworldly look that is appropriate for a Sling holiday. The video did capture the crowd noise. Glad you had a good time with the fishes.

At 5:25 PM , Blogger Grish said...

I liked the pictures with the incorrect white balance. They're cool looking.

At 5:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a really great trip.

At 7:18 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Mom- All that noisey distraction surrounded every display!..It was like trying to photograph a butterfly during a tornado.
You tend to just put down your camera,and enjoy the ride.

Grish- Ratz!..I shoulda said I did it on purpose. ;)

Citizen- It really was awesome.
I'm gonna have to go back,skip the aquarium,and do a whole day on touring Monterey.
The history of California's oldest city,and original Capitol,is fascinating to me.

At 9:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fantastic time, minus all the people. Why do people always insist on being the places that I go? I hate them.

Sorry about Little Newt and the sharks.

At 9:40 AM , Blogger sageweb said...

I love the pictures from outside they are very artsy.
Very cool trip..I will have to watch the video when I get home due to my work blocking out blogger is fine but the blogger videos must be bad. I am not in charge.

At 9:51 AM , Blogger Doralong said...

Hope Newt came back with all his original parts... Sounds like the proverbial good time was indeed had by all!

At 5:24 PM , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

oh im gobsmacked...beautiful...
will add to my list of places i 'yafta' see.

At 6:16 PM , Blogger Random Thinker said...

The kelp forest is so cool. And who doesn't love a sea otter? They are perpetually happy and boisterous.

At 7:04 PM , Blogger Sling said...

JP- We were being all clever thinking,'Everyone will be driving on Friday,surely they'll be doing their thing on Saturday,..Let's go on Sunday!'..
1,387,463 other people were thinking the same thing.
..I'm told the sharks are recovering nicely,and the Aqurium has decided not to sue us.

Sage- Well I think you should be in charge!..I'll make a few calls.

Doralong- Not only is Little Newt fine,he's exceptional!
I'm tellin' ya,he was the most well behaved kid(or adult for that matter) in the joint.
Courteous and attentive,and not one word of complaint about the 8 hour round trip in the back seat.
I love that kid! :)

Yellerdawg- We've been talking about going there for a couple of years now.
Then we heard that the seahorse exhibit opened last month,so it was on!

Thinker- Plus!..Who knew that penguins were indigenous to central California?

At 8:13 PM , Blogger booda baby said...

Whoooo-eee. You got some splendido photographs!! That aquarium is on our list, too, because everyone who's ever been raves and raves and RAVES about it. Is it the aquarium where the ocean is just across a pane of glass? Anyway, I think it'd only take four hours to get there. Maybe we could meet some time. I'd have to school A. on the 'never tell Little Newt to pet etc.' part.

I'm so glad you got to go on a roadtrip and that this was your destination. Sigh.

At 9:13 PM , Blogger austexgrl said...

great out door shots, Sling!!

At 5:37 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Booda Babe- That's not the actual ocean against the glass,but the aquarium is right up against it,like the photo of the tide pools.
Here's an insider tip for when you go!!
Don't park in the aquarium parking lot.
It was full when we got there,but the lady who collects the fees told us to park downtown,which is not only WAY cheaper,but a shuttle trolly(that pic in the top right of my post) takes you directly to the aquarium,and back to the downtown lot FOR FREE!..They run about every 15 minutes,and it was a cool touristy thing to do. :)

austexgrl- Oh thank darlin'!..
I have to tell you though,I'm really disappointed that I didn't capture the beautiful Victorian colors of Cannery Row.

At 6:11 PM , Blogger Middle Child said...

Pleased you all had such a good time...its something else...Last time I was in Melbourne I went to one there and I was blown with you, packed in and hard to photograph. The trick with thise walking frames is to kick them down low near the ground...then look away...tee hee... electric wheelchairs, you just grab the toggle stick and send it backwards into the crowd...that'll move them but quick...

At 7:31 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

OMG, you are so so funny! :)

"Them determined old folks simply refuse to move their damn walkers,no matter how hard you kick 'em." LOL, LOL! :)

Also, great pics! I especially enjoyed "The Rare and Elusive Flying Whale." *hee hee* We saw that same rare creature at the Long Beach Aquarium. (Iwanski and I are really big on animals and have visited many zoos and aquariums.)

The video was cool, too! And by sheer coincidence (and a very nice friend with awesome connections), Iwanski and I got free tickets to the Shedd Aquarium in Chi-town for this I'll be visiting fishies, too! :) Maybe it's not quite as good as the Monterey Aquarium, but I'm sure it will still be a fun time! *smiles*

At 2:55 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Miss HP- The Shedd aquarium sounds like a world class operation to me!
It's in Chicago after all.
If you guys love that stuff as much as I do,(and I suspect you do),You're gonna have a blast!

At 5:01 PM , Blogger billy pilgrim said...

beautiful pictures and fish.

let's go sink some japanese fishing boats with drift nets.

At 6:11 PM , Blogger more cowbell said...

Sounds fun! Reminds me I need to get to zoo to see our brand new penguin exhibit.


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