Good ol' Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. If you've never been to one, the whole restaurant is based on the movie "Forrest Gump." The dishes are all based on the scenes where Forrest's army buddy, Bubba, does nothing but talk about shrimp for days on end. They play music from the 60's, the movie runs on screens throughout the restaurant, the waiters ask you trivia about the movie and so on. It's a lot of fun plus they have a dessert called "worms 'n dirt" that Ryan just LOVES. Also, it's basically on-site at the aquarium so you don't have to move the car or walk far to get to it.
AFter stuffing ourselves full of all the shrimp we could hold, it was time to head to the aquarium. This is a dolphin statue that's right outside the front entrance.
If you're looking for something to do in So Cal, I have to say, you really get a lot of bang for your buck at this place. It's overall one of the least expensive attractions and they really have a lot to look at as well as some great hands-on experiences for the kids.
When you first walk inside, you're greeted by this life-size blue whale (and her calf - located on the other side) suspended from the ceiling. It's hard to get the perspective from my terrible photog skills, but trust me, it's IMMENSE!
This exhibit had some great photos and videos to look at so I grabbed a couple of still shots of the best ones. I love penguins!
I have no memory of what kind of fish this is - I just loved its color scheme. It's funny how, as jewelry artists, we all stress about color schemes when Mother Nature has no problem putting the wildest combinations together and just going for it.
Nice picture of a rock, right? Nope, that's actually a CRAB! I thought it was such a fantastic disguise that I had to take a picture of it.
It's not that I'm particularly enamored of nudibranchs, but this was one of the best pictures I took all day so I had to post it LOL!
Sorry this is so blurry - it was a hard shot to get because the exhibit was in pitch black darkness AND this guy was hiding in a cave. This is a giant Pacific octopus. The bright spot in the middle is his eye.
This is one of the coolest things - live shark egg cases! They cut a window into the case and seal it with clear packing tape so you can actually watch the baby sharks developing inside the egg cases. These are both baby swell sharks. The white ball-shaped things are the yolk sacs. There were recently hatched baby horn sharks in this exhibit as well. The horn shark's egg case looks like a corkscrew so it would be hard to do this technique with it.
Didn't this one pose so nicely for me? You'll see in a post later this week how I worked this inspiration into a finished piece of jewelry!
"Now that's what I'm talking about! Give up the sushi already!"
This is a view of Rainbow Harbor taken from the waiting area outside the restaurant. I just thought those buildings were cute.
Then, of course, there were my charming birthday dinner companions (and Sharky - the stuffed shark Ryan weasled his grandmother into getting for him at the gift shop...hey, whose birthday is this, anyway?)