Monday, May 14, 2012

And now for a lesson in Marine Biology....

You know, someone once said to me.... "Kristen, you don't go on vacation. You go on field trips." And I guess that's true. I've never been one to just lounge around on the beach the whole time. Of course a few hours is fine, but I like to be on the go. I like to see and learn things. One of the things we love doing when we go on our beach vacation is going to the aquarium in Santa Cruz. No, it's not the big one in Monterey that everyone goes to. That one is gorgeous. I love it. And it would cost us an arm and a leg to take our family there. No, this one is in Santa Cruz and it's a research facility affiliated with UC Santa Cruz. That's the University with the banana slug as its mascot. Anyhow, we love this little aquarium.
There are lots of local fish, and a petting station where you can pick up a sea star or a crab. We met the sweetest docent. Her name was Diana. You can see her in this picture. Doesn't she have a fabulous smile. She was so enthusiastic and cheerful. We just fell in love with her.
I asked her if she was a student at the university and she said she wasn't. She was an economist. Seriously. I'm thinking, "An economist? Really?" There were so many questions I wanted to ask her along those lines like.... why on earth didn't you become a marine biologist? Do you have a real job? (it was a Thursday morning that we were there and she was a volunteer) What does an economist do? But, I didn't ask any of those questions. They were really none of my business. Anyhow, she took us on our little tour. We saw the dolphins and learned all about the blue whale. You can see the skeleton behind Bubba. It's an honest to goodness blue whale skeleton. Washed up on the shore one day. They had to bury it to clean it. Took seven years. Then they undug it, put it together and there you are. Bubba's one of the helpers. He's holding a bottle of krill. Believe it or not, the blue whale, which is the largest creature on earth eats krill, which are teeny tiny little shrimps.

We had a picnic. It was a beautiful day and it's a nice area around the aquarium. It's on the cliffs, overlooking the ocean. Just perfect.

No comments: