Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

Even if you don’t like children and families or crowds of children and families, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is definitely worth a stop.A must-see when you’re visiting Monterey/Carmel, the museum switches up its exhibits from time to time but is the go-to place for all of your marine life observation needs.

Such a lovely day… to be indoors.

If you want to see many species of sharks, you’re better off tuning into Shark Week, but there were a few coasting here and there.

Stop changing your spots!! 
Great ocean beasts

It’s just as well that I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the second time. Compared to my first visit, I am much better-versed in seafood that are SUPER DELICIOUS and so I paid special attention to those that looked better in butter.

Ling cod, GET IN MY TUMMY!!

This Ling cod bears some resemblance to these guys:

I hadn’t realized spot prawns looked so cute before cooking!

Spot prawn, GET IN MY TUMMY!!

A whirlpool of anchovies would be intimidating like seagulls in “The Birds” if I didn’t know they were so delicious deep-fried.

Anchovies, GET IN MY TUMMY!!

It’s astonishing to see how big these Pacific bluefin tuna are…

…and how many junior high lunches one of these could provide!

Tuna, GET IN MY TUMMY!!

Mmm… Tuna salad…

Digression: When I was in middle school, I learned how to make and write with real feather quills. I love quills.

A writer’s favorite sea invertebrate

I really like the idea of camouflage. Why get into any conflict when you can simply… hide from it?

There is most definitely a fish in this picture.

Marvelous how evolution have given these fish their unique shape.

Hiding might be a useless endeavor if you’re yellow.

I don’t think the thing below is edible, but it does look pretty rad when it opens and closes its mouth.

I can’t go when you’re watching!

Confession: I have an unreasonable fear of jellyfish. It used to be worse – I wasn’t even able to step close to the glass at the aquarium.

Now, I can step close enough to examine their little membranes. Where are their brains? Their digestive tracts?

Itty-bitty jelly!

They’re all small and cute and magical-looking until they go fishing for food.

OM NOM NOM, KRILL!!

Everyone must stop by the “petting pools” upstairs. Do you know what stingrays and sea cucumbers feel like?

I do!

(Don’t worry; there are towels and antibacterial foam a-plenty. And you must be willing to kind of nudge kids out of the way – especially those who keep going back for third, fourth, and fifth dips.)

THE VERDICT:

No one, young or old, could walk out of the Monterey Bay Aquarium without feeling awed and amazed at all of the scary, beautiful, puzzling, scary, stunning creatures. Tickets are a little on the pricey side, but if you’re in the area and especially if you have kids in tow, this attraction a must-see!

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