Wednesday, July 31, 2013

vancouver part 4: vancouver aquarium.

a few days ago ben finished his shift at TRIUMF early, it was unnaturally hot for what one would expect from a canadian province, & therefore only one thing made sense: THE AQUARIUM, i tell you, THE AQUARIUM!

first stop in the aquarium (& THANK GOODNESS for places that offer student discounts. benji & i are both students [could getting discounts into aquariums be the one perk of still being a student after how many years?? the jury's still out] flashed 'em some really hip student identification, & the rest is history [or actually subtraction, in this case]).

we started our aquari-date off with the jellies:

the vancouver aquarium, asking the hard-hitting questions:

the jellyfish were beautifully mesmerizing little puppies. they gave off this neon, almost other worldly glow, their tentacles (not sure that's what they're called? i obviously should have read the little plaques closer) were unbelievably long & thin & winding, like hair, billowing in the water & REACHING FOR YOUR FACE. jellyfish themselves feel actually a little sinister, if you think about it, with no discernible eyes or face or any one large redeemable aspect about them (other than they're real pretty) to offset the fact that they will do nothing to you except just ZAP you. does that make sense? plus the way the jellyfish themselves move is so hypnotic. check out a video here 

ben on the other side of the cylindrical tank housing these pretty purplish loons:


this guy's tentacles (again, ????) almost feel like those pictures you see of campfires, with the photo capturing the trajectories of all the sparks shooting out from it (again, perhaps pictures will communicate what my hastily-typed words obviously cannot):

man, we could have stood there watching those jellyfish all day!...were it not for the armies of screaming children jostling us out of the way &, you know, their parents wanting to take photos of them in front of the jellyfish & giving us some serious stinkeye for getting in the way of what would surely go on to be a brilliantly executed photograph. you know how aquariums are. all good things. :)

speaking of brilliant executed photographs, let's go on to talk about the beluga whale show we caught & how fun it was. the belugas were just swimming all over the place (well, all over the place within the confines of the little pool they were in) being really awesome & sweetly obedient, doing tricks & listening to their trainers who were doing all kinds of baseball-esque secret signs to get the two females to flip, wave, spit water, & what have you:


sweetly waiting for a fish after doing a trick:

spittin' water:


splashing up water at the very end of the show (there are 2 whales in this picture):

in short, beluga whales seem so friendly, curious, sweet, & mellow & i kind of love them. they are also often called the "canaries of the sea" because they make a lot of noises, sing a lot of songs, etc. (this is starting to feel like a grade-school report, which is never a bad thing). you can listen to a little video of those noises HERE & HERE (pretty cute, right?). we both came away from the show saying "we want to be animal trainers!!!" in various levels of high-pitchedness (let's be honest, that was mostly from me).

speaking of cute, it's true, our love for penguins will never die (you guys, penguins walking, i can't even):

we thought the dolphin might have been sleeping. he (she?) was just floating in one spot, occasionally breathing out his (or her?) blowhole & just chilllinnnnn - but then again sometimes it looked like maybe the dolphin was awake? after some intense research later on at home (google: "do dolphins sleep" & "how do dolphins sleep," someone give me a PHDDDD) i've discovered that yes, the dolphin was probably sleeping. HERE is actually a really fascinating article about it (dolphins can sleep while swimming slowly next to another animal, while asleep one half of the dolphin's brain is shut down while the other is still awake & aware, only one eye closes while they're asleep, etc) & HERE is a video of pretty much exactly what we saw this dolphin doing below:

{in other news, you guys, i'm learning SO MUCH while writing this post!}

the ever-friendly seals (poor seals, they just get eaten by pretty much errr'body. well...mostly just killer whales & polar bears, but it's still sad. while reading up on this (i been reading up on errr'thang for this post, haha) i found this one article about the seal food chain titled "who's eating who?" which i feel like could be a band name, or a song title at the very least.

oh man, gift shops yield some of the best blogging fodder. check out these amazing aquarius-themed hand puppets we played with for a sec:

& whoa, the crazy eyes from me & mr. ray below. right when this picture was taken i was saying that line he says from finding nemo, you know, "THEEEEEEREEE'S....nothing to see."

penguin & i, hugging it out:



that one time we stopped by the hugest of tanks that had hundreds of different kinds of fish & little sharks, & then in this one corner there were all these fish gathered & looking up so anxiously. & you know how fish are - they didn't move, they didn't blink, they just kept looking up & up & up. we thought it was the funniest thing, we were like, "WHHAAAAT are they looking at?" we're thinking maybe that's the corner the food comes from? behold:

they just look so anxious & hopeful, you know?

no, but there were SO MANY fish in this ONE CORNER:

doing some investigative journalism/fish-mimicking & coming up empty-handed:

ah, ^^"waxy monkey."^^ i'm going to start using this term more often in my daily life, but like, vaguely, you know? so people will never be able to tell if i mean it as a compliment or an insult. "aw, ben, sweetheart! thanks for ordering in from my favorite thai place, you waxy monkey!" "that waxy monkey up there DEFINITELY just picked his nose." "whoa, love your new dress! & the way you paired it with those heels?? it makes you look so waxy monkey!" on twitter: "shout-out to all you waxy monkeys for remembering my birthday! #yolo #cakefordays" "these waxy monkeys need to learn you let people OUT OF the subway first before getting IN." as you can see, i could go on for days, dayyyyys i tell you.

but can we also mention this hilarious convexity that allowed us this priceless photo of my #1 waxy monkey?:

that time things accidentally got music video-y when i was posing in front of a tank & it ended up being like posing in front of the sun:

one of our favorites was definitely this otter. we got to his little crib & he was out. we're talking, hands crossed over his chest, stomach up, basking in the sun, might have been snoring, the water floating him around and, in true movie-star style, completely oblivious to (or consciously ignoring, ie, too-cool-for) the crowds of adoring fans. in short, it was the cutest thing ever. 

he was out for at least ten minutes. you can get a general idea of the cuteness of an otter sleeping in THIS video (which might be of this exact same otter! the video was taken at the vancouver aquarium & there's a one in two chance it was this same little guy).

hopefully these photos communicate just how long otto was asleep.

surprisingly there WAS actually a reason we were at the otter crib for so long staring at the sleeping guy: we were waiting for the little otter show to start! (which otto did ultimately condescend to wake up for). i ended up sitting at a little cafe table in the back because it often goes like this at theme parks, zoos, aquariums, etx: you walk & walk & walk all day long, having tons of fun & looking at things, & suddenly when you stop for a second you realize, whoa, my feet are killing me! anyway, so i sat & listened but homeboy ben, man, he was FRONT & center for the entire otter show:

^^so cute.^^

& that concludes our day the aquarium! & HERE is a song to celebrate you making it to the end of this post.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

vancouver part 3: high times at low tide.

as i might have mentioned in a previous post, the university of british columbia (or "ubc," if we're wanting to sound more in the know) is right on the ocean (or "the english bay," if we're wanting to sound more in the know) & has been experiencing low tide like crazy every morning & long into the afternoon. yesterday we packed up our gear & checked it all out. now, do you think we could all agree that low tide is AWESOME?? plus, look how far out the one in english bay goes!:

some obligatory shots of feet, which is actually a thing that ISN'T obligatory, in fact maybe you have something against feet & feet pictures in general, but after looking through these low tide pictures i've realized we have enough pictures of our feet to warrant giving them an entire section in this blog post, so here we go:

seagull tracks!:

the water was so incredibly pleasant! absolutely no cold chill to it & extremely comfortable to walk around & frolick in (i'm adding a "k" to "frolick" BECAUSE I WANTS TO):

the leettlest shell you ever "shell" see:

walking in the shallow water, & dragging our feet along to ensure ultimate splashiness:

you can probably guess, but there is a multitude of frolicking to be had during low tide. this was also the time i discovered the true power of high kicks in a moment of need. you'll see in a moment:

{aaaaaaah this view of the skyline! such a backdrop!}

BOOM! high kick one (& can you kinda see my face in this one? it's hilarious):

BOOM! high kick two (my face in this one might be eeeeveeeennn betterrrrr):

plus this guy was eyeing us:

i told ben he had to walk around with his shirt completely unbuttoned because it seemed very mad men & i was 100% sure don draper had worn a similar outfit to the beach once (until i googled it all & alas, i was incorrect):

if there are any take-away lessons from this blog post, it is that there are two non-negotiable photos to be taken at any location. one of you smiling...

...& one of you being twilight. every other picture is just details. :)

one more of our view:

we were able to walk very far out from the beach. this photo starts to kinda give you an idea of just how far that was (& we continued out farther after snapping this photo! lots of farness.)

the patterns in the sand were one of the best parts of the whole excursczh (that's "excursion" shortened there, if you were all "excurs--WHA...?). we were able to find a few spots untouched by both human footprints & little seagull footprints (which, here's a weird-ish but intriguing article about seagull footprints & human productivity i found when googling "what are seagull footprints called") to snap photos which, sadly, could never fully communicate the actual experience of being there but are still ok:

well, that looks like all we got. high times at low tide! although i should clarify not the druggy kind of high.


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