Well, there have been TWO big events in the time I have been gone. One: the aquarium for my dad’s birthday, and two: two days at Donner Lake.
I haven’t been to the aquarium for years: I was taken once as a little kid and once in fifth or sixth grade. They had a new exhibit up: the Secret Life of Seahorses. Their life isn’t actually so secret anymore, since the aquarium explained in detail with pictures and videos every aspect of their supposedly secret lives. Some of the seahorses had these crazy extra limbs with leaf-resembling thingies on them so looked like plants, and they were displayed in glass boxes filled with plants, so you would have to stand there searching for about an hour and a half looking for a telltale shifting eye or coiling tail before moving on to the next display. I was able to find two seahorses in the tank. My sister and dad could each find six. I felt inferior.
There was this one gigantic tank that was two stories tall and full of sharks, fish, and manta rays. I admired the sharks’ piscine grace, and wondered why they weren’t eating the other fish. My answer came lumbering into view a few seconds later: a big fat giant whopping beast of a fish swam by. That thing could have eaten me in two bites: it was nearly the size of one of those Volkswagon Bug cars.
Not really. Maybe half the size. But for a fish, that’s still huge!! He probably told the sharks to back off and leave his fellow fish alone, and the poor helpless sharkies were too afraid to disobey. That fish was boss.
I imagined the monster slamming its immense mass against the side of the tank, sending the glass shattering and the water rushing out to flood the aquarium. Local visitors and camera-toting tourists would run screaming from the tumultuous flow of fish-water, and Mr. Giganto-Fish would snap up small children in its big strong jaws. I tugged my dad’s sleeve and suggested we go look at the otters.
...which were adorable! They reminded me of young children on the playground, (the lucky ones that weren’t swallowed by that fish) hopping in and out of the water, climbing over random scatterings of driftwood and popping through hollow logs. We probably spent more time at the otter exhibit than in any other part of the museum, joining the rest of the crowd in a chorus of coos and laughs over the otters’ playful antics. Time for an otter joke to wrap up this paragraph: What otter can cast spells? Harry Otter!! Share that one with your friends, folks. You’ll be the coolest kid at school if you get people to believe you made that knee-slapper up.
The octopus was unimpressive. He sat with all his tentacles smushed up against the corner of the glass so you couldn’t see his head, just a mass of squishy white octopus-goo. Meh. The penguins were awesome, even if they just sat there, not doing much. C’mon. They’re penguins. Gotta love ‘em.
The bestest part ever was the jellyfish. They glowed in alienish colors, half-transparent as they pulsed gently in the water. Their caps bore no evidence of a mouth or eyes. Those long tendrils looked like strands of silk, but one touch and BZZT! you die. I stood staring at a tank of jellies for a long, long time until I began to feel sleepy. When I grow up, I’ll make a movie that is just masses of jellyfish pulsing, and win an Oscar. America will be mesmerized by the jellies’ delicate tendrils, glowing colors, slightly eerie but fascinating aura.
We went to Fisherman’s Wharf for dinner. I eated me a salad, then we went home and consumed very caloric chocolate cake. I fell asleep after a slice of it, my senses fuzzy through the sugar-induced haze.
I’ll have to tell you about Donner Lake later. I have to go to a bowling party that starts in like three minutes...