I am not sure if I ever told you but I always wanted to be a marine biologist. I was more than slightly disappointed when I discovered that my Biology studies were strongly focused on Molecular Biology, the avant garde of this day and age, where the discoveries are being made. Even subjects like Systematics or Zoology were studied under a molecular biology approach, which meant we studied phylogenetics, not the classic 1800-century biology of my romantic high-school dreams.
I even have a whale's tail tattoo around my right ankle, as a promise to myself that I would never forget those dreams or fall victim of the system (Oh innocent youth). Anyhow, I had been wanting to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium since forever. It is one of the largest aquariums in the world (the aquariums in Atlanta, Georgia and Okinawa are also on my list).
After watching the hilarious cup-stacking sea otters, we made sure to visit them and be there to witness the feeding session. There were also countless jellyfish. So beautiful. And mesmerizing. You could just stand there and watch them dance for hours. And there were penguins and giant bright pink starfish. And rays. And the prettiest tiny marine birds.
On our way back to San Francisco we passed Santa Cruz, famous for the Giant Dipper, one of the oldest rollercoasters in the world, built in 1924, located at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an amusement park. We also wanted to see the lighthouse at Pigeon Point, "built in 1871 to guide ships on the Pacific coast of California. It is the tallest lighthouse (tied with Point Arena Light) on the West Coast of the United States." Oh and we tried salt water taffy, for the first time in our lives (I kept reading about these candies, referenced in literature or mentioned in songs).