Two weeks ago we took Zack to the The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. We've taken him to the tropical fish store in town a couple of times, and he digs watching those little dudes swim around.
So as you can see here, the aquarium really upped the ante. The seals were going out of their way to interact with the kids on the other side of the glass. I got Zack right up there and he got some face time.
Of course, Zack is as fascinated by new people and places as he is with marine life, so he had a great time watcing humans, too. Here he's checking out the group of older kids next to us who were clamoring for seal action.
One cool feature of the aquarium were two huge tanks equipped with glass-walled tunnels for the humans to walk through. So the attention-hogging seals can have their fun and I can pretend like I'm a National Geographic photographer.
In addition to marine animals there is the large lorikeet enclosure. You go through the little airlock (birdlock?) and the bright critters are zipping all around you. These guys have no fear of humans and will fly right past your head.
Here's a little SoCal skyline for ya.
Z really liked watching the big sharks swim past.
Jellyfish! Eeww! Maybe jellyfish displays are common in aquariums now, but I don't remember ever seeing them before. They had a number of jellyfish tanks at Long Beach.
I tried to get pictures of each kind, and I shot a half-minute of video at each tank as well. When you're not worried about getting stung by the things, you can really hang back and enjoy the fluid, alien grace.
A venemous lionfish. They also have some rare sea-dragons, those sea-horse-looking things with crazy seaweed camoflage, but they eluded photography. At least good photography.
The trip was a bit hit for all of us. I'm looking forward to going back. I saw one dad hauling his screaming, emptyhanded kid out of the gift shop and thought "aww, someday soon that'll be me."