THE STOMACH KNOWS ALL: It seems as though there are about 37 different aphorisms and wink-wink sayings that end with the words "through the stomach." As for the implication of each and every one of these tried-and-true, oft-repeated chestnuts? That to know a person, an animal, a being, through and through, you have to be schooled in what they prefer to sup upon. If you want to bargain with them, have their favorite food ready. If you want them to sit up and speak, keep their treats near. And if you want to know what keeps that being ticking, talking, swimming, squeaking, barking, or some combination of all of the above, get educated in their eats. Turns out that decades-old sayings do have some footing, now and then, or, if you prefer in this case, finning. (We imagine "finning" is to fishes what "footing" is to we humans.) The Monterey Bay Aquarium wants to give devotees of The Deep a closer view as to what is fed to the denizens of the world-famous Cannery Row institution. Not just what is fed -- you can probably guess mollusks and critters of the sea are on the menu for many residents -- but how often those beasties dine, the nutrition, the crunch (or non-crunch -- slimey, to our human eyes, seems to be one of the most-sought-after consistencies), the everything. Food and fish -- and non-fish, like otters -- is a fascinating topic, one that is delved into during the Feeding Frenzy tour.
IT'S A SPECIAL TOUR... with a special time: before the aquarium opens to the general public on "most" Thursdays and Sundays. This means you'll be on "morning rounds" with staffers, who will take guests ages 8 and older around the building, and outside, to for a "private viewing of a sea otter feeding and training session." You'll also see the food prep area, which "rivals any restaurant," says the aquarium. Last of all? You'll feed those breakfasters that boast fins (they will be so happy to see you, and whatever goodies the bucket next to you contains). Again, this is all before opening, so you and your party will feel mighty special indeed as you see later guests stream in. Telling them about what you've done may halt the flow of their aquarium day, but bet that you'll regale your foodie friends, and nature-loving friends, with stories of your food-themed visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a long time. Cost? It's sixty five dollars, plus admission.