Sharks, Shrimp, Pumpkins, And Parties

I had a really good weekend. It started when I left work a couple hours early on Friday to hang out with one of my best friends and his new girlfriend. They invited me to attend Shark Lagoon Nights at the Aquarium of the Pacific, a free after hours event where you can touch the sharks and rays in the outdoor shark touch pools. Long Beach is pretty far, and the Shark Lagoon Nights are only on Fridays, so that’s why I had to leave work early to attend.

The Shark Lagoon Night wasn’t actually all that exciting. It was definitely fun, but it was a very small section of the aquarium (that’s why it was free, I guess). We hung out there for a while (maybe an hour), and then decided to get dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., which happens to be across the street from the aquarium.

I always wanted to eat at Bubba Gump, but I never had a chance before! I’m not the biggest fan of Forrest Gump, but I did like it. I think it was a smart idea to make a restaurant out of the concept from the movie. The atmosphere was great, the “Run Forrest Run” and “Stop Forrest Stop” signs were fun, and the food was really good! I took a lot of pictures.

We had more things planned for the weekend, so I spent the night at my friend’s house that night. My friend has a four bedroom house. He sleeps in the master bedroom, and he rents one bedroom to his cousin. The third bedroom is unfurnished, and the last one is a guest room (where I stayed).

In the morning, we went to a nearby ranch where there was a pumpkin patch for Halloween. There were rows and rows of pumpkins, as well as a corn maze, petting zoo, and pony rides for kids. It was really nice to walk around and see all the families having fun.

At the ranch, my friend and his girlfriend met up with some of their mutual friends (I didn’t really know them), and my friend invited them over to his house for the afternoon. We ordered pizza and played the Wii. Two of the friends were married and had a (almost) four year old daughter and a six month old son, so it was really fun to watch their kids smile and play. Actually, the son didn’t play any Wii, of course, but it was cute to watch him do anything, like spit up after his meal or take a little nap.

In the evening, my friend had another party planned. He invited a few of his coworkers (who I also didn’t know) over for a BBQ and game night. We played Trivial Pursuit (way too difficult for all of us), Cranium (difficult, but some things are doable and funny), and Taboo (just hilarious).

I’ve known my friend since junior high, and I was the only one from that era to be at all of my friend’s events over the weekend. I sometimes felt a little out of place (especially at the game night), but in the end I got into it and my friend’s coworkers were really nice about including me in the fun. The party actually went on so long (3am) that I ended up staying in the guest room another night instead of driving home. Overall, a very good weekend, except that I’m exhausted now.

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