It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year… to Visit Our Local Aquarium!

T stopped to say hi to a sea lion; he said hi back!

Our local public school district had its first day of school last week, which meant that I took T to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Unlike the Discovery Science Center, the Aquarium is just a few short miles from our house and we are members, so we can pretty much go anytime we want or when we are reaching for something to do. However, it’s a rare event that we go and can have the place pretty much to ourselves. Translation: No field trips. So when I learned of the first day of school for our district and for Los Angeles Unified, I put that date on our calendar as an aquarium day.

We were even lucky enough to see the Illusive Hand Fish, one of T's faves that only comes out in the mornings when there are no crowds.

Boy, when I’m right, I’m right. We pulled around the curve on approach to the parking garage, and not a single yellow school bus was in sight; in fact, we saw no buses at all. AT ALL. I was so excited and so happy to have gone with my gut on this one. Not that I am crowd-phobic, mind you, but I beg anyone to try to navigate around a half-dozen groups of school-aged children, and not just with a three-year-old in tow, but just in general. When you do, tell me you are able to see anything at all without tripping over a kid or two (dozen). It’s challenging and on most days, well, I just am not that into dealing with it.

Spraying Squid, just one of the many water play features at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

However, this day was pretty close to a perfect visit. We hung out for about two hours (maybe more, I lost track of time honestly) and we got to see and do anything and everything we wanted. We even caught a part of the children’s show, which we never ever do really because we’re either not there at the right time or never time it just so to see that along with our other regular stops (movie on the wall and diver shows mostly). We also happened to be there on the hottest day of the summer to date, so I promised T it was a-OK to water play as much as he wanted; of course he pretty much bee-lined outside to do that first thing. Cool. I even let him spray me with the water, which made for some great laughs all-around. Some other mom accidentally sprayed me, too, but whatever, it felt great given it was around 90 degrees outside (and again, it brought on many more laughs).

Our Aqualink Express on approach in Shoreline Village, Long Beach.

T and I even capped off our outing with a ride on the Aqualink, which was our first (and probably last, wah) ride of the summer. Turns out I made another good call by shoving that envelope full of 2-for-1 ride coupons into my purse for a situation just like this should it come up. Ahoy, mateys!

T looks at the Queen Mary during our Aqualink ride in Long Beach Harbor.

We plan to enjoy the aquarium at least one more time this month before the field trips ramp up. After all, September comes but just once a year.