Unfortunately for both of us, Thatboy will never be with me for my money. And being with him ruined the brillant plan my friend Burrito and I came up with. Back in college, Burrito and I decided we would both marry really really old sickly millionaires. When they both died (and of course they would shortly after our marriages since they were old and sickly) Burrito and I would marry and pool our fortunes. Because Burrito and I are of opposite sexual persuasions, this plan would leave us free to date and spend time with whoever we wanted and still have oodles and oodles of money.
Luckily for Thatboy and I, I am nothing if not amazingly resourceful at finding every free opportunity to take advantage of. For instance, this week Thatboy and I are seeing two free theatrical performances thanks to "Free Theater Night." And a couple of weeks ago, we took advantage of Museum Day 2009 - where the Smithsonian sponsored a day of free museums.
You may recall a few weeks ago Thatboy and I had a brilliant idea to visit the Birch Aquarium, but ended up at the La Jolla Sea Caves instead. This time we decided to actually head to the aquarium.
Thatdad always joked that Thatboy was like a raven - attracted by bright shiny things. Here is proof that Thatdad was always right. But what were those shiny things that seemed to mesmerize Thatboy?
Welcome to the Hall of Fishes.
We saw more starfish than I have ever seen in my entire life, all put together. All different colors of the rainbow - fat starfish, skinny starfish, and in the tidepool area we even got to touch them. I had to keep reminding Thatboy of the one finger rule.
There were some really gorgeous fishes there, I especially loved the lion fish - mostly because I think they're gorgeous, but if I saw one snorkeling I'd probably pee myself. They're much safer behind glass.
Thatboy's favorite exhibit was where we got to tape a newscast and then watch ourselves. "Do it with me!" he asked. I didn't realize he had alternative plans. Once the camera started rolling Thatboy proceeded to fake his own death. Leaving us with a video of me staring horrified into the camera, trying to figure out what was wrong with the man I married.
I loved this guy. I have NO idea what kind of animal it is - but HOW COOL DOES HE LOOK? I asked Thatboy if I could have one to take home. After he said no, the small boy beside us asked if he could take a different fish home. Thatboy told him no too. He's an equal opportunity hater.
I don't know if it's a permanent exhibit, but there's a whole bunch of jellyfish (jellyfishes?). All different kinds. I thought these guys were the most gorgeous, but the upside down ones were pretty interesting, as were the ones that looked like egg whites. I still can't see jellyfish though without thinking of Seven Pounds.
Thatboy loved the eels. They were GIGANTIC. Maybe that's why he liked them so much (don't read too much into that). I pretended we were characters in the Little Mermaid when I saw these guys. I'd tell you Thatboy pretended also because it's his favorite Disney movie, but that would be REALLY embarrassing for him. So let's just not say anything about whether he did or did not participate.
And this brings us to the most important part of the day. The first sighting of the Garibaldi. This is also a good time to point out that Birch Aquarium prides itself on it's presentation of local marine life. Most of the fish in the aquarium are those found not just in the regional "Southern California" area, but those in actual La Jolla waters. So when I saw this little orangey guy I told Thatboy - "this MUST be the fish we saw from the tops of the cliffs at La Jolla Cove."
Do you see how much the Garibaldi sticks out? This is him swimming around in the giant kelp forest. 70,000 gallons and you can see his bright orange color.
See what I mean?
And just in case you're not convinced, here's a view looking down into the tidepools at the aquarium. I was so excited about finding out what this mystery fish was, I tried to work "Garibaldi" into every conversation. I was a ton of fun that day. We loved going to the Birch Aquarium, but even moreso because it was free. The aquarium is a fun experience, but considering we have both the zoo and the SeaWorld in the immediate vicinity, it's hard to get worked up about the exhibits here since they're all on a much smaller scale. It makes me feel a little spoiled to have all this in our backyard so that I can make such comments about what would be a mouth dropping aquarium anywhere else in the country. So maybe I'm kinda rich after all.