goobermunch: (katamari)
[personal profile] goobermunch
[ profile] kisken, the Boy and I went on an expedition this morning. We started at the downtown aquarium. It's changed a little since its days as a public attraction. Since its purchase by the seafood restaurant chain (how's that for irony), it's been tarted up a little, though the main attractions remain the same.

The old aquarium had two "wings." There was a Pacific river system and a Sumatran river system. The new owners have re-worked the entrance area to create a single path of travel that covers both wings. You start with the Pacific river system, follow it through to its outflow into the Sea of Cortez, and are immediately redirected into the Sumatran river system. It's probably more efficient (on the macro scale), but I was hoping to catch the octopus feeding this morning. Under the old management, we'd just have to ride up the escalator and then walk directly to the octopus (it was in the main atrium). Under the new management, you've got to go through the entire aquarium before you can get to the octopus. We missed the feeding, but it was no big deal. We did the exhibits in reverse order and had a lot of fun. The Boy had a great time looking at all the fish. He really loved the tigers too!

For those not familiar with our aquarium, the Sumatran river system section has a massive enclosure in which dwell four Sumatran tigers. The enclosure includes a faux rocky cliffside and a large lake area. Fish (and occasionally tigers) swim around in the lake at just below eye level. We arrived back at the tigers a few minutes before feeding time. The tigers clearly had wristwatches, as they were prowling around near the door to their enclosure. As a result, they were wandering by about three inches from the Boy. He's smart enough to be a little scared by seeing tiger mouths inches from his nose. He's also mostly sure that the plexiglass (or Lexan) walls of the enclosure will keep him safe.

We also had the mandatory lengthy visit with the Nemo and Dory fish. There's a tank in the aquarium that is loaded with anemonies, clownfish and regal tangs.

After we finished at the aquarium, we headed over to Wen Chocolates. Chef Will was in, so we had a nice chat with him. We first discovered this delightful chocolatier and his amazing truffles at a wine and chocolate tasting at Morton's Steakhouse. Chef Will is a classically trained chef, strongly influenced by his studies in Eastern Europe. He's dedicated his culinary skills to making chocolates and other sweets, but he only works part time. The other half of the week, Chef Will is a farrier. His truffles are all about blending complex and unexpected flavors to create uniquely harmonious tastes. I tried his Bananas Foster truffle today. I will have it again. [ profile] kisken bought some chocolate covered espresso beans, and we got some milk chocolate bunnies and some gummi grapefruit for the Boy. He's just discovered chocolate recently, and we weren't sure if he'd like it today. Likewise, we weren't sure he'd like the grapefruit candies either. Fortunately, he really enjoyed both.

We rounded out the outing with a visit to a self-styled "English Tearoom." It was either that or the Italian joint for lunch, and since the Boy is allergic to tomatoes, wheat, and eggs, we figured our odds of finding food for him were slightly higher at the tea room. [ profile] kisken and I split a Scottish-style smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber sandwich and a chicken curry salad sandwich. While the salmon sandwich was merely excellent, the chicken curry salad sandwich was transcendent. I suspect that they buy their curry blend from the Savory Spice Shop (which is just next door). If so, I will be bribing the proprietrix for the tea room's curry blend. I love chicken curry salad. For dessert, I had a blueberry scone with strawberry jam, lemon curd, and devonshire cream, [ profile] kisken had a plain scone with the same accoutrements.

After that, it was home for a nap.

It was a great morning.

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