*I was invited by Disney on a press trip for Finding Dory. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.*
Last month myself and 24 other amazing writers went on an adventure of a lifetime with the quest of Finding Dory. This trip landed us in Monterey Bay, California at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We were free to wander around as we wished to try to find her. Have you seen her? Finding Dory will be swimming into theaters everywhere on June 17th.
The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean. For over 30 years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has worked to protect ocean life for future generations by inspiring young and old with the beauty and wonder of the ocean. So come along with us and let’s take a tour of the aquarium and see if we can find Dory!
The first thing that caught our eye after entering the aquarium were these adorable otters! These playful California sea otters make their home in a two-story exhibit that they share with coastal marine life. These gals are super fun to watch. Very playful, they were given toys to play with and chunks of ice that they would find creative ways to break apart to find some yummy treats to eat inside. I could have very easily stayed here all day watching these amazing animals, but we needed to find Dory!
Before moving on though, we had to check out the special delivery that had arrived just two days before. Outside, in front of the aquarium a wild sea otter had given birth to an adorable little pup on the rocks. Guests were all standing out on the overlook watching the mother and her baby. If you look closely, you can see her below on the left side, on the second rock sticking out. Yep, that little brown blob is her. Then you can also see a closer up shot I was able to get of her. She swam off into the ocean with her pup the same day we had to leave. 🙂
Next we made our way over to the Touch Pools! Here you can get up close and personal to Mr. Ray’s cousins, the bat rays, sea stars (like Peach!), and other friends of Nemo and Dory at this interactive exhibit. There is also a very cool Wave Crash gallery nearby here that pumps about 600 gallons of water and “crashes” every 30 seconds! The walk-through tunnel in the wave crash exhibit is one of the most popular family photo spots in the Aquarium.
Our next stop on our journey to find Dory, was to the magical kelp forest! This three-story exhibit is the first and largest living kelp forest community created at any aquarium. Pixar animators studied the water movement and play of light here at this very exhibit! How cool is that?
If you couldn’t tell from last weeks Wordless Wednesday, I love aquariums. They are filled with such awe inspiring, magical, mythical creatures that just amaze me with their beauty and uniqueness. I have always wanted to be a part of this Under the Sea world, so whenever I visit an aquarium, it makes me feel as if I am part of their world, even if it’s just for a very short while. Yes, I Love the ‘Little Mermaid,’ another reason why I think I love these creatures so much! Growing up with that movie, and watching it endlessly, whenever I’d go swimming, I’d pretend we were swimming around like a mermaid along with all the other sea creatures.
At the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium you can truly feel like you are under the sea for a few hours. Located in Bloomington, Minnesota at the Mall of America, the aquarium can be found on the very bottom level in the basement. I have tons of family that lives in Minnesota so I am out here just about every summer. Usually at least one trip to the Mall of America is made on my visits to this beautiful state. I had never made it down to the aquarium though until just this past summer! If I had known it was this grand of an aquarium, I would have made sure to get there sooner! So the next time you are in Minnesota, I HIGHLY recommend going and checking out this awesome aquarium! Enjoy!
One place that has always had a special place in my heart is the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. I volunteered there when it first opened back in 1998, I was a junior in high school. So here are a few photographs of me during my volunteer days there and at a special volunteer appreciation event that they had for us as well as some from a recent trip to the aquarium. I hope you enjoy the fishies and these aquarium memories as much as I do!
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s mission is to instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems.
Their vision over at the Aquarium of the Pacific is to create an aquarium that is dedicated to conserving and building Natural Capital (Nature and Nature’s services) by building Social Capital (the interactions between and among peoples).
The Aquarium of the Pacific is just one of the amazing places to go when visiting Long Beach in beautiful Southern California!