Friday, May 26, 2017

2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - 5-3-17 - MONTEREY AQUARIUM

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

10.14 p.m.  It is late in the evening now.  We have had a lovely time at the Monterey Aquarium.  Some of the things we saw were the birds in the aviary.  I remember these from our last visit.  They are all injured birds brought here to recuperate and if it is possible they will be freed.  There is an aviary cam which you can watch here.


This is a Snowy Plover 
(Charadrius nivosus)

The sign read as follows: "When a small, plump, sand-colored plover sits still, it nearly disappears into the dunes.  It's more likely you will see one when it starts to run - then watch for its sudden stop.


Not a very good photo but the bird on the hill is a Black-knecked Stilt.  You can read about him at this link.



Black Oystercatcher
You can read about him here.



An American Avocet
(Recurvirostra americana)


The sign read: "This bird's long bill curves up at the tip - a twist that helps it scrape up food.  As an avocet searches the mudflats and shallows, it sweeps its bill through the water like a scythe."

Not as close as I would have liked but this photo shows the curve in its bill.


We also enjoyed observing birds from the observation deck.    This one was right below us.  I believe it is a Gillemot.


There is a board where recent sightings are recorded.


We saw a Cormorant.


Lots of them.






These two were building a nest.


We watched as several of them scooted along the water and pulled tufts of seaweed, carrying them off in their bills.




Another Cormorant?  He went by in a bit of a blur but I liked the patterns the seaweed and water created.



As did this one.  A Pigeon Gillemot?



A young lady walked up to me.  She was one of the staff and she was eager to tell me what we were looking at.  I asked her about those birds. She seemed happy to be talking about them and said she was still learning.   

There were a few kayakers out in the bay.  Maybe one day we will try this?  They got up pretty close to the sea otters and the birds, and it looked very calm out there.



We could see the sea otters but they were a little bit too far for a decent shot.







There were other things to see besides the birds and the otters.



After this we left the viewing area and went inside.  There are always very interesting fish in the tanks.  





















I liked this particular fish.


Gregg took this short video of these small fish.

 


Checking out the information on sea otters.


A full sized Orca and a baby looking down.




We had lunch in the cafeteria, good but nothing out of the ordinary.  What really made me happy was seeing this.  Water in a box instead of a plastic bottle.



I noticed this as we left the aquarium and turned a corner.  I take pictures of anything to do with sea otters.


We took a short ride along Monterey's rocky shore.  Gregg and his sister got out for a walk.   I stayed in the car, as the beach looked very rocky and I didn't want to jinx myself by twisting an ankle.  


Gregg took this photo of his sister and the one below.  In fact, he has enjoyed taking many of the photos I have shared throughout our road trip.  


On our way back she took us to a great ice-cream shop called Icicles. It serves Thai ice-cream.  The video below shows you how its done.  


It takes a while because everything is made to order and the line is usually long.  My sister-in-law said when it first opened, the line was around the corner and way, way up the block.


Take my word for it, the wait is worth every minute.  It was the best ice-cream I have had in a very long time.



It kind of looks like mini jam rolls when they put it into the cup.  You also get your choice of toppings and 'drizzles'.  I chose strawberries and bananas, with a drizzle of raspberry sauce.  It was the most delicious ice cream
and we enjoyed eating it at one of the tables outside.  

Next stop was an Italian deli, a fun friendly place. Gregg's sister picked up a large sub sandwich to share, plus meatballs and also a caprice salad for us to take home for dinner.  (We ate very well that day, again.)

We walked over to Starbucks as I was looking forward to a venti and it wasn't too many shops away from the ice-cream store, just across the street.

And how does a pedestrian cross the road around here?   You grab a small, bright orange flag out of a container at waist height, which is attached to the pole right next to the crosswalk, wait for a safe gap between traffic and wave it at any vehicle that approaches after you have stepped out into the road.  Make sure that vehicle is slowing down to stop of course.  They are pretty narrow roads but busy.  Then when you are safely across you pop your flag back into another container on the opposite side and go along your merry way.  Gregg insisted I pick one up and try it out.  Pedestrians do have the right of way here but this is a good visual aid which I think is a great idea.  Gregg took this photo of his sister when they were out the day before.


Our last evening with the family and it was a lovely one as always. We will be leaving tomorrow morning at about 9.00 a.m.  It is time to head home via Yosemite National Park. 

46 comments:

  1. I am sad that your trip is coming to an end. Love the aquarium, it is almost like I visited it myself! Beautiful water images. And the Avocet, how funny! He looks like he fell on his beak! Loved watching how they made those ice-cream rolls! They are experts, but I bet it is very hard. I wonder why there is not more boxed water? I just had a Starbucks, but short as it is late evening.

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    1. That's such a sweet thing to say Ginny but we didn't get home until May 10th. We have another week of travel posts to go. Maybe not quite as fun though, as once we started heading east we drove, drove, drove. Once we left Gregg's sister's house it was homing pigeon instincts kicking in, lol. I wonder about the boxed water too. This is the only place I remember seeing it but hopefully there are more elsewhere. And I hope it catches on :)

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  2. I like the flag idea to cross the street. I have never heard of / seen water in a box...great idea. I thought your pictures would bring back memories of my visit to.the aquarium. Perhaps I am not thinking of the same place. I remember sitting in front of ceiling to floor fish tanks, eating a meal. I was there, attending a conference.

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    1. I thought it was a good idea too Linda. It was the first time I came across water in a box and yes, definitely a great idea. The fish tanks were floor to ceiling. Maybe they moved the dining area since the last time you were there.

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  3. What a lovely, lovely day. Sea otters? Swoon. And I always love an acquarium.
    I loved the photo of the bird 'skipping' (like a pebble) across the water too.
    Thank you and Gregg so much for taking us along.

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    1. Those Sea Otters have the same effect on me EC :) Glad you enjoyed my post and you are very welcome :)

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  4. Wonderful photos. Love those sea otters!

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  5. Ah fish and birds, especially birds. I would have been in my element seeing them all.

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    1. Thanks Valerie, I definitely felt that way :)

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  6. Hello, Denise! what a great post on the birds at the Aviary and the Otters. I love the views of the water. The ice cream looks delicious. I will look forward to your Yosemite photos. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

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    1. Thank you Eileen. Happy Memorial Weekend to you also.

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  7. I need a vacation like yours! So much to see and do. I love it all.

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    1. There certainly was a lot to see Pam so happy you enjoyed traveling with me :)

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  8. awwww - more otters, i am so jealous!! these posts are wonderful denise, i love going to an aquarium. you eat the best food and have the best smile, it's so nice to see you enjoying this wonderful vacation!!! awesome captures!!!!

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    1. Sweet of you to say so and I know how you feel Debbie, I fell in love with those little guys years ago but only get to see them rarely. We have been home for two weeks and three days now. It will be a while before we go on another road trip but we are already sowing the seeds. Love those road trips, be it a long one or a short one.

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  9. The aquarium shots are my favourite, looking at those fish!

    The sea otters are quite a sight. Different from the river otters I'm used to.

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  10. love those photos of the aquarium and boxed water is a great idea. of course I guess that means more trees cut down.. no way to win I am thinking. but it will not fill the landfills. awesome photos today as always. what a trip you had

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    1. Thanks Sandra, and yes I thought of the trees, because we can't be doing without those. I know also that there are experiments with something that will eat plastic but I don't know too much about it yet. I will have to go on a search.

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  11. Beautiful photos, Denise! I love all wildlife and thoroughly enjoyed this post. I would love to see this place...and, thanks to your post, I have! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

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    1. Thank you Linda and you are very, very welcome :)

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  12. your nature is lovely I admire your birds which are different from Europe. Love from the old continent

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    1. Thank you Gosia, and the same to you :)

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  13. Hi Denise, what a wonderful place to visit , the birds are beautiful, always love the Stilts. The aquarium is brilliant especially the grumpy looking Grouper. You were lucky to see the sea Otters. Great post and thanks for the wonderful images. All the best John

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    1. Thank you John, a fun description of my grumpy grouper :) All the best to you too. Denise

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  14. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing these fun times.

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    1. Thank you Christine and you are very welcome:)

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  15. When we spent a day in Monterey, we did not have a chance to eat anything. But, we did enjoy the aquarium.

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  16. I enjoyed the photos of different types of birds and fishes in the aquarium. Great video on how they make the Thai ice-cream.

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  17. I am glad to hear that the birds are released if all is well with them.
    Water in cardboard, that is a first for me wish they would do that here :-)))
    Take care Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane, I was too and happy to see the water in the cardboard box. Maybe it will catch on.

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  18. I would have totally loved seeing all the birds...and would have enjoyed the other fish, food, etc.

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    1. Thanks Rose, I thoroughly enjoyed them.

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  19. Monterrey is gorgeous, love the aquarium. An intersection where my dad used to live was the busiest four way stop I have ever seen. It had the flag thing going but I felt I was taking my life into my hands crossing so I jaywalked away from the intersection.

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    1. I have always loved Monterey. Very interesting about where your dad lived. I couldn't imagine grabbing a flag on a wide, busy road.

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  20. Great to have your family along on the trip. And beautiful pictures -- I'm envious of your talent when it comes to taking pics of the aquarium -- I had a terrible time getting even halfway decent ones (in Sarasota) and yours are great!!!

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    1. Thanks Sallie, they weren't on our actual road trip, though they would have been very welcome. We visited them for a week at their home in northern California. Believe me when I say, I had a lot of terrible photos from the aquarium. I was just a compulsive snapper. So thankful for this digital world ;)

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  21. I'm loving your trip. I've been so busy over here with a million and one things that I haven't been able to keep up with everybody. I'm so happy to take this moment to enjoy your joy. I needed this. Your sister-in-law reminded me of a good friend I knew in Illinois and it took me aback at first when I saw her photo.

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    1. Glad you're enjoying it Kay. I'm very grateful that you have taken the time to pop over here knowing how busy you are. Interesting about your friend.

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