Hi Heidi –

First let me say thank you for arranging our trip to Long Beach and to the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was a great! We appreciate everyone’s efforts and contributions, making it very memorable. My husband is a marine biologist turned environmental chemist. Prior to his brain tumor, he would have been able to identify and tell our daughters the names of the all the creatures, fish, sharks, and other sea creatures, etc. He loved taking them to the ocean, visiting tide pools, scuba diving and snorkeling.

We got down to Long Beach late Friday afternoon and were met by Nusrat Mirza, the General Manager from the Renaissance Hotel. He provided us with information about the hotel, the area and the aquarium. The hotel suites, accessibility, food services, Steve the concierge, valet parking, Starbucks, and everyone at the hotel was so pleasant, inviting, and helpful.

We met JC at the aquarium will call, who gave us our tickets and provided information about the behind the scenes tour of the aquarium. This was our first visit to the aquarium and we were all very pleased. Andie (from the aquarium’s education resources) gave us the behind the scenes tour. She was very friendly and knowledgeable, answered our questions and even laughed at our jokes. We got to see the sea otter pup, go above the tropical reef, feed the fish, watch the penguins swim, understand what it goes into keeping the aquarium operating, see some behind the scenes such as the seahorses and other aquatic life. We also got to meet Tito the South American porcupine. Who would have thought, a porcupine at an aquarium?

Also, please note, Nusrat informed us that the owner of a nearby restaurant, George’s Greek Café invited us to dinner at the restaurant, but my husband was completely exhausted both Friday (after the drive) and Saturday (after the visit to the aquarium), we decided to order room service. So we do appreciate his offer but were not able to visit the restaurant. I have only heard great things about George’s.

Again, thank you so much! It was an outstanding weekend!

Janis, Steve, Anna and Emily