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Brendan Aiello

Weekend Trip to Monterey Bay Aquarium!

This past weekend, my girlfriend, her family, and I decided to head to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I haven’t visited the aquarium since I was about ten years old, and I didn’t remember much about it.

First off, the Monterey Bay area was beautiful. Cannery Row offered wonderful weather, shops, and restaurants. The aquarium was huge: two stories of all sorts of aquatic exhibits. My favorite exhibit was probably the “Outer Bay Tank” it had all sorts of salt-water sharks, fish, and rays. There were three levels where you could view all the fish swimming around. My girlfriend’s favorite exhibit was the kelp forest tank. This exhibit holds huge kelp plants that grow the full length of the aquarium; 2 stories high! It also holds a lot of local fish that line the Monterrey Bay coastline.

Other attractions you may want to check out include: “jellies: living art”, the penguin exhibit, sea otters, and the new “wild about otters” Exhibit. Make sure you plan your trip according to the aquariums feeding shows:

Kelp Forest: 11:30am & 4:00pm daily
Sea Otters: 10:30, 1:30, 3:30 daily
Outer Bay: 11:00am Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday

Make sure you go to the exhibit where the feeding is held at least 10-15min in advance to get a good place to stand and view the show; it gets crowded!

After the aquarium, we decided to go to dinner at the Chart House located at the southern end of Cannery Row. This restaurant can get a little pricey, but I love their food!

Seating Suggestion:
Ask to sit at a window table that overlooks the kelp bed. During our dinner we saw lots of otters and dolphins playing in the water.

Menu suggestions include:

Appetizer:
Crab, avocado mango stack

Starters:
New England clam chowder
There’s an Excellent Salad bar.

Entrees:
Stuffed baked shrimp (6 shrimps stuff with crab served with veggies and rice pilaf)
All their steaks are also great

Dessert:
The “Hot Chocolate Lava Cake” (Godiva chocolate liqueur, molten center, Dreyer’s® vanilla ice cream, served with warm chocolate sauce and Heath Bar Crunch) is a MUST but make sure to order it with your entrees because it is a soufflé that requires time to bake and prepare.

Pictures (Click Thumbnail To View Larger Image):
Jelly Fish At The Monterey Bay Aquarium Kelp Forest and Shark At The Monterey Bay Aquarium The Kelp Forest At The Monterey Bay Aquarium Penguin At The Monterey Bay Aquarium

View of The Monterey Bay From The Monterey Bay Aquarium The Outer Bay Exhibit At The Monterey Bay Aquarium Saltwater Reef Fish Tank At The Monterey Bay Aquarium

Starfish At The Monterey Bay Aquarium

Brendan Aiello

SFO to LAS $69 Each Way Using Virgin America!

Hello Readers,

I thought I would kickoff a new blog category. This new category is called Weekend Getaways. Team Tapper loves to travel, but more importantly we like to travel right; we want the best experience for the best price.

So, this past weekend I took a business/pleasure trip to Las Vegas, NV. This was my second trip to Las Vegas. The first time, I booked my flight 3 months in advance and still paid around $300 round-trip. This time I found an amazing deal with a new airline; Virgin America. They are offering a 1-way ticketVirgin America Airlines Logo from San Francisco International (SFO) Airport to Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS) for only $69. I was hesitant because this is a new airline, but I couldn’t pass up this deal.

I arrived at SFO’s International Terminal where Virgin online casino America is located. The staff at the check-in counter was very social and friendly. Most importantly, the plane was on-time. Upon boarding it was evident this Virgin airplane was headed for Vegas; the plane décor included a first class separated by purple plexiglass, economy had all black leather seats, stark white cabin walls and seat frames, purple and blue neon accent lighting, and individual televisions for every seat (that are bigger than JetBlue’s individual televisions).
Virgin America Airlines Seats
The best part about the flight, the televisions in every seat weren’t only televisions. They were interactive media systems called, “RED beta” units. These media systems offered tons of features including:

– Normal Satellite Television
– Premium Satellite Television (HBO, Showtime, etc. “On-Demand” style shows offered at $.99 a show; except 5 episodes of HBO’s hit series Entourage were free)
– Movies (offered at $1.99 a movie)
– Free Video Games (such as Doom, Taipei, Solitaire, etc.)
– Internet (the back of your remote has a full keyboard)
– Meal Ordering (You can order everything from champagne to candy bars using your credit card and a flight attendant will deliver it to your seat)
– On-Board Chat rooms (you can chat seat-to-seat or enter a chat room that allows you to talk to everyone on the plane)

Both were great flights. Overall, great experience! Virgin is my airline choice for my flights to Vegas. Check their website for more destinations.

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