This week has not been easy. I’m (over-share alert) in the throes of PMS, bloated and irritable, getting over a week of gnarly sinus headaches, pissy, overworked, and just generally blah. Okay, I’m making this sound worse than it really is. But I waaaaaaaaaaant sympathy…that was virtual whining, and annoying as it is you can at least be thankful I didn’t use caps. Just thinking about caps pisses me off. See, PMS in action.
Despite all my woman problems, I was in good spirits after work today, and wanted to speed the approach of summer with a little mid-week field trip with the kiddos. I chose the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach because it is 15 minutes from home and we are members there, which in theory makes the trip free. More on that later.
Before picking the little dudes up from school I called hubby to run the plan by him. Independent (read: stubborn) as I am, when it comes to springing last minute surprises on our little creatures of habit – during the hellacious witching hour, no less – I often depend on my husband to either talk me off the ledge, or send my into the field with a love pat and a pep talk.
With hubby’s blessing and well-wishes behind us, the boys and I made a pit stop at Starbucks for an iced Americano and cake pops, then cruised over the Vincent Thomas Bridge to Downtown Long Beach. I snapped this photo, and I promise it wasn’t as dangerous as it looks. I have a magical hands free photo app. Really. Notice how moody the sky was looking – it was my comrade for the drive.
We arrived safe and sound at the Aquarium and got right down to business. My kids do not mess around when it comes to sea life, for real yo. Here is documentation from mommy-cam, aka: old version of the square-ish iPhone. I must say that I do appreciate the better than mediocre pics that the iPhone snaps. For unexpected trips like this, or times when I don’t want to lug around my SLR this thing is a lifesaver. Behold:
California coast tank. Those fish are fully checking him out. I wanna’ eat him too.
I totally took this picture with a phone! Go Apple.
Big bro with the “sea jellies”. He wants to be a marine biologist and likes to remind me they’re not really fish. I just go with it.
The uh-mazing arctic fox close-up! And who knew they had foxes at the aquarium, right? Supercool.
Ooookay, I can’t tell a lie. This is my actual pic of the arctic fox with one blue and one brown eye. The other one is a picture of a picture on a sign in front of the enclosure. But this one is sad because he is caged and pacing and manic. I like the first one better.
Now for some Lorakeet love. Yup, birds at the aquarium too. I can’t explain that one either. But they’re also supercool.
I just can’t help but smile at this picture. Don’t know why, but I love it.
Awesome bird impression
I’ve never seen that look on a bird’s face before. Curiosity? Terror? Admiration?
Smile with the leopard-ish shark!
Smile with the sawtooth shark!
Smile with the reef sharks!
Smile, says the scary Jaws shark on the left!
Smile for a picture together!
Smile for the…I agree. Enough.
Crazy amounts of shark in there!
Happy mommy moment
Another favorite shot. With a phone!!?! (can ya tel I’m impressed?)
Get a load of this thing!
Dinner at Bubba Gump’s came with Jell-o and balloons. And narry a tantrum. Huzzah! Sorry, I’m reading Philippa Gregory’s Tudor novels right now. Uploading pics takes an eternity…
So you may be wondering how this story ends. Perfectly and without incident, to my surprise. After a trip to the gift shop for a shark umbrella and animal erasers the three of us enjoyed some southern dining at the most annoying restaurant on earth. Where the waiter actually brought a game of Connect Four to the table, sat down, and insisted on playing it – with ME. Oh, and remember that whole free trip theory? Out the window with the boys’ $2.50 mini-cups of milk (dinner total $42.00), and $8.00 parking charge (because the flipping Bubba Gump balloons hanging out the window apparently didn’t pass as parking validation…thieves).
The moral of the story: fish are awesome, and so are my kids. Your kids too, I’m sure. I’d absolutely recommend exploring the after school Aquarium circuit with them one of these days. Aside from the waiter with excessive flair and one bitter parking attendant there’s not much worth avoiding; no crowds, no screaming kids on field trips. Just pleasant mama time with the wee ones. Now that’s my kind of afternoon.