Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Harbor

On Sunday, July 13th, we took our daughter to see the Aquarium of the Pacific. She loves fish and animals in general. When we arrived inside, we were greeted by a photographer, much like Disneyland does, took our picture and we were off. The main building has the shops and theaters on the left with all the aquariums on the right. Hanging from the ceiling was a life-size model of the humpback whale. The building was filled with activity as families set off to the various exhibits. 

We first see the first floor exhibits. The beautiful fish from various parts of the Pacific Ocean. It was amazing to see all the various types of fish. Abby loved the sea lion exhibit. She squealed with laughter as they swam past her, twisting and turning as they sped through the water. Next we went outside to the courtyard where the touch tank are located. She was curious about the sharks and loved watching them swim but she was reluctant to touch them. Also, I think her arms couldn’t reach in deep enough.

Her favorite exhibit was the bat rays. There she got to watch as Daddy feed shrimp to them. The aquarium allows visitors to feed the bat rays twice a day. For $5, you receive a cup of three shrimp and stick in which to place the shrimp near the mouths of the bat rays (no fingers in the tank at feeding time as they look like shrimp to the bat rays).

We then explored the second floor of the main building with its various aquariums. Abby really liked the aquarium with the Japanese Giant Spider Crab as she still wiggles her fingers like she saw the crab move its legs. She also enjoyed the jellyfish, although she didn’t want to touch the moon jellyfish that were there. She enjoyed the jellyfish so much that she chose a pink jellyfish at the gift shop.

After leaving the Aquarium of the Pacific, we decided to walk along the boardwalk of the Long Beach Harbor. There you can get a beautiful view of the Queen Mary on the other side of the harbor. There are various restaurants and shops along the harbor. Boats available for cruises and boats to rent if you want to go sailing. We didn’t. I don’t know how well Abby would do on a boat. We’ll try sailing when she’s older.

Our last stop of the day was a late lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., where we enjoyed delicious seafood and fun atmosphere. Our waiter was fun and engaging as he came to our table to challenge us to a trivia game about the movie Forrest Gump. We got all the questions but one right. He was surprised at our knowledge of the movie. The restaurant is rather expensive but the majority of their menu is seafood so that it was not a surprise. The food was delicious and the experience was well worth the price.

We enjoyed our day at the Aquarium of the Pacific and we can’t wait to go back again. Even Abby was asking to go back the very next day! If you have the opportunity to go, I would highly recommend it.