18 April 2010

Derek & The Tuna

Ty did not like eating the cookies as much as he liked making them. (Un)fortunately, Jesse & I were more than willing to pick up his slack. The morning of day 4 was a well-timed breeze. I woke up when I heard the video games and got right to eggs and bacon, thus limiting video game exposure. I mean I wasn't going to tell him not to play, but I wasn't going to make it any easier either. And he still had plenty of time to go from clone to Jedi while I was in the shower.

We were out the door in what I would call good time. And then we walked to the car. At first, there were no complaints, because he knew we were going to the car. But once he realized how far up we had to go, the battle was on. He wanted to know why I couldn't have parked downhill. He hated every step; I know because of the scowl on his face and the whining from his mouth. Once we got to the car he exclaimed "finally," and laid down in the back seat. He was asleep before we hit the highway.

Not only does the Internet lie about plane arrival times, airport message boards do as well. We arrived at baggage claim and saw Derek's flight had arrived. But we couldn't find Derek. He wasn't there. His phone was off. He wasn't at passenger pick up. He wasn't signed in to G Chat and his last status update was that he was going through security. All of my brother tracking methods were failing. So we waited, and he appeared. But the whole thing took more than an hour. And then we went to the aquarium.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a big deal here. If you have a few hours and good walking shoes, I highly recommend it. We spent the afternoon there, going through every exhibit. It's really interactive and Derek & I tried to get Ty to read the info instead of just pushing buttons & making things happen. He humored us.

Derek. There is an observation deck between one area and the food court that's outside.

$19 worth of aquarium food. You can't see my protein smoothie, but it's there along with the vitamin water, garlic fries and kids meal.

Checking out the dragon seahorses, one of my personal favorites.

Do you see him? There's a flat fish in there.

An exhibit about waste in water, and how fish adapt (before the corrosive elements kill them).

I found carrying both my camera and my cell phone to be the best way to take pictures. I'm not sure, but I think the low resolution of my cell phone camera took better pictures in natural light than my camera. I really like my camera, but it's inconsistent when it comes to moving subjects in low light. And my cell phone doesn't take the time to focus. It just clicks- which can be helpful in the event a fish decides to move.

Here we have a SCUBA diver in a deep pool. He fed the fish, but was also wearing a mic and talking to everyone who had come down to watch the fish. He talked about what was being fed. He also explained the difference between sustainable fishing and unsustainable fishing. I also learned kelp can grow a 12 to 18 inches a day.

There were birds in the aquarium. They were coastal a got their food from the water. They also splashed a bit. Still, I'm not sure why they were there or how they stayed in their area when there was nothing to keep them from perching atop a patron.

I think - for all three of us - the jellyfish were our 2nd favorite part. It's also an area lit well enough for me to capture with my camera.



I'm pretty sure these were called lion jellyfish, or something of that nature.

I love this picture. I call it: Brothers watching jellyfish.

Now you don't see them...

...but now you do. They're translucent. I admit this picture doesn't do them justice.


Ty with a seahorse...

and with a penguin.

We spent the most time staring at tuna. There is a wall that's just the side of a tank. Inside there are giant fish & small sharks That swim around without bothering each other. It was dark and the fish were moving, so there is no accurate picture I can present to you that would show you the size of these fish, specifically the tuna. Derek & I agreed the largest had to be 3 feet long and at least a foot wide. There were 7 of them. Four that stayed together and three large ones who did whatever they wanted. They were beasts and Derek could not fathom what his eyes were processing. He debated if he would be able to catch such a fish or if the fish would catch him. My brother is a big dude. But it was too tough a call to make.

I also had a favorite: the ocean sunfish. There was only one in the tank. It was large, but not tuna size and it's defense was that it was too oddly shaped to eat. It's sideways, with fins above and below. It's ugly and in my mind seemed lonely. But to defend yourself by simple design seems highly efficient.

Nothing impressed us after the tuna and we made our way back to San Francisco. We didn't do anything special. Jesse made scooby doo hot dish and I again appreciated not having to make dinner. Of course Ty wouldn't eat it and it violated Derek's new vegetarianism so I was the only one who enjoyed it. I was okay with that.