Sunday began with Planet Earth and ended with Planet Earth. I am of course referring to my favorite BBC/Discovery television program that I watch compulsively when I have nothing better to do, but let me back track for a moment.
It was another magical LA weekend. More magical than most, thanks again to perfect weather conditions--I mean, I even went swimming in the ocean on Saturday. Yes, on January 17 I went swimming. It was lovely. There are a few noteworthy moments to recap but I need to really focus this piece on what I might consider the most epic of Sunday Fundays I've ever known.
Sunday morning we ladies of 225 Montana woke up a wee bit hungover, and gravitated to our living room to watch my favorite episode of Planet Earth, "Fresh Water". (GIANT SALAMANDERS!) While watching all the fishies and interesting water creatures it hit me--I want to go to the AQUARIUM! But first, does LA even have an aquarium? WELL FOLKS, it does. The Aquarium of the Pacific is located just south of LA, in Long Beach. All we needed were some willing companions to join our fish tale.
In the end, it was DiTonto, Adam, and myself headed south listening to the road trip-ready tunes of Manu Chao, arriving in the very Disney-like Long Beach harbor sometime around 2 pm. We just missed a Whale Watching tour, which was a bummer because who doesn't love whales or the prospect of WATCHING them IN REAL LIFE. And it was in the 80s outside, so we thought a boat ride would be a lovely way to spend the afternoon before we logged some hours with some fishies. But we figured it just wasn't meant to be and seeing as the aquarium was the main attraction, let's get on with it.
Fun fact: They serve beer in aquariums. (I bet you can guess how this day ended up).
The aquarium was AWESOME. First of all, as I have mentioned before, I love aquariums--truly, I do. If a guy were ever to propose to me, I think an aquarium would be a lovely place to do so. (So just tell my future-fiance to read this before proposing marriage). This aquarium had some lovely features, like the tanks where you could touch sharks and skates and sting rays, but to do so there was a strict TWO-FINGER rule, which conveniently provided us a lot of inappropriate opportunities for many "that's what she said" jokes. Obviously, we're not very child-friendly. I think a few parents were shooting us dirty looks, what with the beer and the swearing and the juvenile behavior.
Another highlight of the aquarium (AND I BET YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY BETTER!) was the 3D movie MONSTERS OF THE ABYSS where upon we journeyed to the deep unknown trenches of the ocean to observe some very unusual fishies (HEY DID YOU SEE THAT GIANT SQUID!). I was a little disappointed we only bought one 3D movie pass and not the combo ticket but WHAT CAN YOU DO.
We are total suckers because we bought two copies of a hilarious photo of us entering the aquarium, one in which they (they = aquarium people) digitally inserted FISHIES! As in we are HOLDING THEM! I am jealous of DiTonto though because she's holding a Nemo-lookalike and I am just holding onto some crappy starfish (side note: when I sea kayaked the coast of Maine one summer I put a giant starfish onto my face because I wanted to prove to everyone I was both hilarious AND a daredevil, so a fake starfish is SMALL POTATOES for me). Adam was pleased because he was holding a turtle and we had all discussed earlier in the day that we think turtles would make lovely pets and I would like to get two and name them Manu and Chao or maybe just one and call him Consuelo.
ANYWAY we had BIG PLANS to end the evening at THE OLIVE GARDEN (classy!) but as we were aimlessly wandering around the harbor an odd looking young lad in a giant sombrero approached us and asked if we'd like to join him and his friends on a sunset cruise?
WOULD WE? WE SURE WOULD!
About five minutes later this young lad, Sailor Taylor, had fallen in love with DiTonto and was calling her his future ex-wife. All aboard Captain John's boat, and fortunately they'd recruited some other normal women so in all there was the three of us, the two other ladies, Captain John, Sailor Taylor, Darryl, some dude wearing an NRA hat (he loved freedom but was SCARY) and George, a Native American dude who was on something, but had a biting sense of humor.
We left the harbor as the sun had already gone down so it turned into more of a nighttime cruise. By nighttime cruise I mean drunken boat party that was probably dangerous. BUT AMAZING. Disco ball, tiki torches, Christmas lights, and great jams.
And what do you know, but much like a minister or any Justice of the Peace, both Sailor Taylor and Captain John, being legal boat captains, can marry people. Well as we were dancing to Manu Chao (because I obv took over as DJ) we decided how perfect! DiTonto and Sailor Taylor (who may or may not actually be her soulmate) should get married. And then Captain John, with two bottles of booze tucked into his swim trunks, and a sword in his hand (I was confused if it was a wedding or if someone was being knighted) and the wedding party consisting of Adam and I as maids of honor and the two other chicks as bridesmaids, and to the sweet tunes of the Talking Heads, watched as Ashleigh and Taylor were married.
Adam and I were concerned. Mostly for our safety, especially because at one point no one was steering the boat, and we wondered and if we were going to make it back to the harbor, but also because was this a real wedding? Well she didn't sign anything so the answer is NO... we think....
Anyway, then Taylor married Captain John and one of the other chicks and then it was happiness and jubilee, a quick sail-by of the Queen Mary, some photos on the bow, some waves, the NRA dude passed out, we switched to reggae, and then we were back in the marina.
THEN, I went for a nice kayak around the marina with Captain John and the other chicks and returned about a half hour later to learn that not only had Adam and DiTonto been given a tour of one of Darryl's big pimpin' boats, but that Taylor had invited her to dinner with his parents, aunt and uncle and grandparents.
No, none of this is a lie or exaggeration, I PROMISE.
Why the family gathering? Well, Taylor had turned 25 the night before and it was pre-planned, but now the lucky guy got to introduce his family to his new wife.
So Adam and I went for dinner (dinner = drinks) at a different restaurant and then met up with the newlyweds for... THE RECEPTION! At a karaoke bar. And I, former DJ, now wedding singer, serenaded them with some classics like "La Isla Bonita" by Madonna, as well as Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young."
And then, after we realized this karaoke bar was also some sort of mafia hang out and we were way in over our heads, we slipped away (but not before Taylor's mom, DiTonto's mother-in-law, invited both she and I for Christmas!) and Adam safely drove us back to Santa Monica, with a quick stop at one of our favorite bars in Venice, then back home, where we decided to end our day with...
Planet Earth. "Shallow Seas"--another good episode.