Tag Archives: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

I Was Surrounded By ‘The Fruit of The Sea’

20 Jul

Most days I have only one good moment, not great, but good. Great, spectacular, mind-blowing happens maybe once or twice a year if I’m lucky. So when the good comes, I try to savor it as much as possible because I’ve learned that a whole lot of crap is just around the corner waiting to drop. This is it. This is the Guat existence. So when multiple good things happened in one day I had to do a double-take.

I had to take a wait-a-minute-one-second moment to make sure it was happening to me, and I just wasn’t imagining it.

This is what happened yesterday on my son’s birthday. Now if you tuned in yesterday, you’re aware of the awesome day that took place at The Aquarium and how my nerd factor kept escalating throughout the day. I also briefly mentioned our lunch at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

But I was so in love with the vibe of this joint and the easy family, or lunch date, atmosphere that I decided to go beyond the mention, beyond the casual comment, beyond the footnote. I went into full post for this one.

Forrest. Forrest Gump became part of the reason why I truly enjoyed the dining experience. I’m a big fan of the movie and I’ve watched it so many times that I lost count. So when I walked into a place where quotes, pictures and other fine details from the movie were posted everywhere, the cool factor sort of kicked in. As you can tell I had never been there.

Now what is it that you eat at Bubba Gump? Was I going to be the jackass that has a hamburger at a fish joint? A salad? Please. I mean don’t get me wrong, these items did look tasty, but c’mon now. I was a Bubba Gumps and according to Bubba “shrimp is the fruit of the sea.” And after all there was all kinds of shrimps … shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan-fried shrimp, deep-fried shrimp, stir-fried shrimp, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, and shrimp sandwich.

What kept my kid entertained

I opted for something I hadn’t had before, nor cooked myself. The coconut shrimp. But in addition to all these choices, they had a great kid’s menu, which made the place even better. Not your average fish sticks. The fact that our waiter was awesome increased the enjoyability factor times ten. Not only did he take our order quickly but he brought out my son’s fish n’ chips in a miniature paper boat, a replica of The Jenny. I thought it was hilarious. My son thought it was awesome, so much so that our waiter noticed his enthusiasm and ended up bringing him another one. He had Jenny I and Jenny II and he was loving it.

Jenny I and Jenny II

Now just when I thought his birthday lunch couldn’t get any better, he experienced his first restaurant happy birthday waiter song. I was happy to say it wasn’t crazy obnoxious either. It was just the right level of genuine excitement. I think the waiters and waitresses were into it because my son’s giddiness and expressions were priceless. The fact that my camera’s battery died right before they sang to him burned me out. But one of the waitresses volunteered to take a picture of him and send it to me. Sundae devoured and the evidence all over his mouth and cheeks.

Awesome service, right? It’s no wonder it’s a household name.

I helped him finish the sundae, thanked our waiter for a great time, tipped him generously for the extras he went through to make my son happy, and then stopped by the Bubba Gump store to purchase some merchandise for myself. I didn’t want to forget all the good moments that took place that day. And incidentally, if you know The Guat you know there was no pink shirt for me. Instead a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Baseball Cap and a t-shirt resembling a Football Jersey. Forrest’s football Jersey.

Run Forrest, Run!

 

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Dozens of Argentinean and Chilean Penguins. Eight Stamps. One Nerd. And One Bike.

19 Jul

Today brought together a motley crew of highlights that seemed to blend together at the end of the day and make me smile. It was a fun-filled day, officially my son’s fourth birthday, and an awesome adventure for the nerd in me at The Aquarium of The Pacific.

The Aquarium

I mean really Argentinean and Chilean Penguins? I had no idea that penguins existed outside of arctic, glacier-filled environments, and said stuff like “Oye, todo bien, Che?”

I mean who knew? The Aquarium people knew. They got skills. Mad penguin and ocean animal skills.

Stuff like that seemed to fascinate me, it’s the nerd in me. Apparently there are seventeen kinds of penguins on Earth and most of them live in temperate regions. The ones I got to hang out with today were the Magellanic Penguins, which sadly happen to be an endangered species. I’m glad I got a chance to hang out with the Oye Che penguins.

The Penguins

But this little fact wasn’t the top contributor to my escalating nerd factor of the day. It was the stamps. The eight stamps. White Sea Bass, Pacific Seahorse, Collard Aracari, Whitetip Reef Shark, Magellanic Penguins, Anchovy, Dragon Sea Moth, and the Bonnethead Shark. I mean even before I put my hands on the Map & Visitor Guide I was vaguely familiar with half of these creatures, but by the end of the day I happen to know certain Trivial Pursuit-Jeopardy! type of information. It happens when the nerd comes out. It happens when you get stamp crazy.

As soon as I got that Map & Visitor Guide it was on. I saw the empty circles hanging out on the top-right corner of the pages. I mean I wasn’t a middle-school student trying to finish an Earth Science assignment for my third period teacher. I wasn’t going to get a prize from the aquarium volunteers for getting all eight stamps. But I was still on a mission to get all of the embossing stamps on my map and visitor guide. My son found this scavenger hunt pretty enjoyable, but in truth it was the nerd in me that enjoyed it too. Maybe more than my son.

At the end of the day I was missing just one: The Pacific Seahorse. It was past lunch time. Past nap time. But the nerd in me overpowered the mom in me and I took an extra five minutes to return to the Southern California Baja Gallery to look for the embossing station. And there it was hanging out by the exhibit, being used by elementary and middle school students. I was last in a line of three.

The Guide

As I finished getting the last stamp in my book, I felt a woo-hoo! resonate in my Pointdexter soul. I smiled, excited to tell my son who was hanging out by the Nemo tropical fish tank. As I turned to see other kids waiting to use the station I felt a little out-of-place. But then I noticed two adults holding onto their visitor guides. Page 11 sticking out, ready to get the stamp and then it was all good, because the visitor guide brought out the nerd in everybody.

And yes he was as excited. My son was as excited as I’d hoped he’d be. Maybe not as excited as when he got his miniature scuba diving guy for the bathtub, but nevertheless excited. Mission complete.

But his birthday wasn’t quite over yet we stopped by Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., which is awesome by the way. So awesome that I might have to write a separate post on this restaurant tomorrow. They sang him happy birthday and he dove into a hot fudge sundae.

But that wasn’t even the best part …

The Red Racer

We made our way through traffic, which sort of dazed the excitement factor, and finally made it home. And there it was sitting in the patio waiting for him.

A red Specialized super awesome bike, to replace the one they stole. No SpiderMan decals this time, just a clean read bike. And an ecstatic four-year old with his Lightning McQueen helmet.

Dozens of Argentinean and Chilean Penguins. Eight stamps. One nerd. And one bike. This is what my son got for his fourth birthday.