Seattle, City Pass, Gluten Free, and a Little Wedding, Day 2, Part 1

There’s something so wrong about changing time zones and finding yourself up at 5am on the West Coast.  We made it work in our favor by making coffee (lots of coffee) and getting settled in the room, since we were too wiped last night to do much other than unpack the clothes.  We were heading to the Seattle Aquarium this morning, which opened at 9:30.  So it’s back to Downtown Seattle again, the Aquarium is on the water’s edge.

She reminds me of Mike Wazowski – “Look, I AM ON A BILLBOARD!!!”

We had no problem finding parking, but it was $4 an hour (vs. $1.50 an hour by the museum yesterday).  We vow to get our 4 full hours out of this space, even if we have to crawl slowly through the aquarium to do it!

We enter the building and see a sign telling us City Pass holders get to bypass all these people and get straight in!

We were handed a map and found a large tank window in the next room with benches around it and a diver inside. We were just in time for the next feeding.

The tank was the Windows of Washington Waters.  The reef they built was an exact replica of an actual reef off the coast of Washington.  I’m spoiled, I guess, because I’m so used to Disney doing that sort of thing, I just expect that level of detail all the time!

Up next was a wave tank holding a bunch of fish swimming in place, fighting the currents and actually looking panicked.

The there was a room with pools of water where you could touch “The Sealife of Puget Sound”!  “Step up, lean over and reach in – watch what happens when you gently stroke a sea cucumber. Test your fingertips against the prickly spines of a sea urchin. Follow the scuttling steps of a hermit crab. Notice how, even though they seem to be completely still, sea stars are always moving. Inhale the rich scent of seawater.”  If you know me at all, you know this is not my thing… yuck!  But they were pretty…

This room also contains jellyfish and an octopus. It was fascinating to see the tentacles so close… until he moved really fast and I was ready for the next room…

Moving on, quickly, more fish tanks and my little Finger Puppet Friends make an appearance.

Elmo loves photobombs!

Four shell and seven years ago…

Next room is their Underwater Dome: an undersea dome with a 360º view into a mammoth 400,000-gallon tank filled with hundreds of fascinating Puget Sound fish!

You can wander outside on the pier at this point and view the harbor seals – “Come see Barney, Q and Siku in their beautiful new home. Featuring increased water depth; more dry resting area (or haul-out space) for the seals to enjoy; acrylic viewing panels on three sides so you’ll be able to see even more of these popular, playful marine mammals; and seating for up to 100 visitors (or three entire classrooms of school children!).”

You can also look out into the harbor at this spot.

We head back inside and find the otters – these re a lot bigger than I’m used to seeing. This guy was against the glass and had huge teeth!

We both really enjoyed the aquarium very much. A lot of effort was put into showcasing the Washington Coastal region. But we still have 2 hours left on the meter (ticket), so we’re heading over to Pike’s Market and lunch (gluten-free!)

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