The Monterey Bay Aquarium will have you Swimming with Joy
by Michele S.
(On the Road)
At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, there is never enough time to fully explore all of the wondrous attractions that are available to be looked and interacted with. As one of the most well funded and technologically advanced aquariums, it surprised me as a child how they managed to take care of hundreds upon hundreds of animals everyday in there tanks and keep them, as we were told, happy.
As soon as I entered the building I was surrounded by massive tanks of salt water holding anything from colossal forests of kelp species to tanks filled with an entire thriving coral reef ecosystem, without the modern taints of oil spills and other pollution. Every room and hallway was made to have the visitors second only to the wonderful animals being cared for by the aquarium staff.
The staff members were not only experienced in caring for their creatures, but also had the time to pleasantly inform everyone who listened about the sea and its inhabitants. They were all knowledgeable in the science of the animals, but they also showed the emotional side of their job, many staff members had named the animals and often had stories to share of moments in their life they found comical or fun to share with us.
I remember an octopus that they had kept in a dark room because its natural habitat was that of the darkness deep under the sea. Such attention to detail is incredible, but to them it is all part of the job.
I also recall the gift shop which was peculiar in a good way. In addition to the standard animal toys that all gift stores at aquariums and zoos carry, it had even more educational and fun books, games, and souvenirs, all of which were organized in very precise manner.
On the way out, the aquarium makes one last impression on your memory, a tank of playful sea otters greet you with their water antics just as you go to leave, and thus make you want to come time and time again.