Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day in Monterey

Today for Valentines Day Jon took me to the Aquarium at Monterey Bay, something I have been dying to do for years now.

It was a two hour drive each way for us to get there and we went through parts of our fine state that I have never seen before. I had no idea that literally 15 minutes south from my house there are wide open, undeveloped rolling green hills. And as we made our way through Santa Cruz all I could say was "Would you look at these trees?! Huh? Aren't they something??"

We checked out the exhibits, enjoyed the coastal scene, had a nice lunch and forced our way through tens of thousands of people that had the very same idea.

The first thing you see when you walk in the aquarium (just beyond the sea of ill behaved children) are the jelly fish - and they are amazing. These particular jelly fish are caught just off the coast of Monterey - which is one of the only places they can be found.

Then we saw the otters who were adorably playful as they swam back and forth in front of my camera, but were too quick to catch. The only time they slowed down they seemed determined to be camera shy...

This penguin, however, felt otherwise and posed like a good little flightless bird.

As did this fish, whose species I neglected to catch.

We had lunch at the full service restaurant at the aquarium that sits on top of the bay and I could see otters playing around in the kelp and pelicans flying overhead. The menu was mostly seafood...which seemed odd...Jon and I both settled for meat of the land based persuasion and it was de-lish. Each table has a set of binoculars to borrow so you can scope the awesome scenery while you wait for your food - I definitely recommend hitting this place up if you ever visit the aquarium.

By the time we were on our way home it finally started to drizzle, but before the rain got too heavy we saw a rainbow. I took a few pictures of it but then as we got a little farther down the highway it became a complete and perfectly arched rainbow - massive and arching directly over the highway we were on. I just learned that this free PC download, Windows Live, can stitch photos together to make a panoramic shot for you, but my rainbow shots weren't complete enough to make it. (A project for my next blog methinks)

So I got a video of the rainbow instead. It was the perfect end to a great Valentines Day...