Abandoned Italian Ice Cart, Avenue B and 11th Street (All Photos By Gail)
Geoffrey said a funny thing to me today, which is that he read on the Interwebs that Winter Storm Juno was not so much a Blizzard as it was “a Storm with a Very Good Publicist.” Hah! So true. Juno failed to completely kick our asses to the curb but it did leave about six inches of white fluffy stuff on the ground.
No matter where I am, I love having a new adventure. Just last month, I spent a few days vacationing in Boston (my first visit) on the back end of a cruise to Bermuda (recommended) and was a bit overwhelmed by all of the fun things there are to see and do in this historic, seaside city. If you find yourself in Boston and want to make the most of your time there, I suggest making a point to check out the New England Aquarium, a destination which is fun for all ages!
I have visited public Aquariums all over the country and would say that the New England Aquarium is comparable in size and scope to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, although it also has many impressive distinguishing features.
The New England Aquarium, which opened in 1969, is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation, and is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston, with over 1.3 million visitors a year. It is a great place to bring kids because the focus is very much on education, and they have lots of animal shows and talks that you can attend for free as part of your paid admission. Please enjoy some photos and highlights from our visit!
One of the first things we did during our visit was attend a Fur Seal Training Session. Many of the seals at the aquarium were at one time sick or injured/abandoned animals that were rescued and rehabilitated at the facility where they now have a safe home.
There are moms and dads and brothers and sisters all living there together. The show is about 15 minutes and you get to meet a family of Fur Seals and hear facts about them while the swim and do simple tricks like waving and spinning around, being rewarded with some tasty fish. Kids will love it.
They have very interesting feet!
This one, above, is still a baby.
On the ground floor, there is a huge habitat for adorable African Penguins, where they have lots of informational signage about these birds as well as feedings, facts and presentations ongoing throughout the day.
It is lots of fun to watch them swim!
They have a huge touch pool also where you can “pet” the stingrays and small sharks. Everything is very well-supervised by Aquarium employees who give informational talks about the inhabitants of the touch pool.
This is a North Atlantic Right Whale Skeleton suspended from the ceiling, and below you can see the Penguins swimming.
The most impressive feature of the New England Aquarium is its four-story Giant Ocean Tank, located in the center of the building. The massive tank features a brand new coral reef, an underwater communications system and hundreds of Caribbean reef animals including sea turtles, stingrays, eels, small sharks and multitudes of colorful fish. I took the above photo from the very top of the tank just as a presentation was about to begin.
Be sure to pick up a visitor’s guide when you buy your ticket so you can check the schedule of all of the various talks, shows and presentations and plan your time to attend as many of them as you can.
During the Christmas holidays I enjoyed a relaxing and fun stay in Southern California. One of the local sites I visited for the first time is the Long Beach Aquarium, also called the The Aquarium of the Pacific. I have visited Aquariums all over the country from New Orleans to Atlanta to Seattle and I must say that the Aquarium of the Pacific is home to many exotic fish and sea creatures that I had never even seen before. So it was pretty cool and we had an awesome time. Here are some of my favorite photos of cool sea life we saw that day.
This is a massive, floor-to-ceiling tank that they have out in the Main Hall. near the entrance I think this is a freshwater tank.
This tank stocked with colorful Clown Fish had all of the little kids screaming, “Nemo! Nemo! Dory!” It was somewhat annoying, to be honest. Just giving you a head’s up.
Bioluminescent Sea Jellies
Nudibranches! My Favorite!
Leafy Sea Dragon. Amazing.
Weedy Sea Dragon
They have a pretty cool Shark Tank full of Sharks and Rays but none of the Sharks would stop moving to pose for a photo. I did get a decent shot of the Giant Ray below, which was as a big as a small car.
A garden of Worm Fish!
Pretty Pink Coral!
Aquarium of the Pacific is Located at 100 Aquarium Way (just follow the freeway signs) in Long Beach, CA 90802, Phone(562) 590-3100. Hours are 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Every Day of the Year, Except Christmas Day and During the Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 19, 20 and 21, 2013). Adult Admission is $25.95 with Various Package Deals Available.
Like me, you probably have a Mom, a friend or a co-worker (or if you are very unlucky, all three) that habitually forwards you emails clogged with pictures of kittens, puppies or other animals making faces or doing similarly “cute” things. Ah, the cuteness. Half the Internets are taken up with photos and videos of the CUTEST. ANIMALS. EVER. Fuck You, Penguin takes a long, hard look at superadorable puppies, monkeys, birds and moose – and tells them, in no uncertain terms, to get fucked. Needless to say, it is my new favorite website.