Sunday, January 18, 2009

Family Day At the Aquarium

Two Mondays ago, we made our first family venture to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Don and Jan (Dave's Louisville folks) sent us a generous gift for Christmas, and we used part of it to become aquarium members for the whole year! We are so excited about this. For a family our size, buying a membership (so that we can go any or every day for the whole year) is cheaper than paying for two days' admission. So we figure, hey, if we make it there three or four times this year, we'll have gotten more than our money's worth. And that should be no problem, since we are always looking for fun family day activities!

I think this was my first time ever going to an aquarium. Yes, in my whole life. I remember that my family had planned to go one summer when I was a teenager, but when we got to the city we ended up nixing it. Don't remember why. (Maybe because of the cost.) Anyway, I would not have exchanged the chance to go for the first time with my very own kiddos. Soooo much fun.

Matthew, especially, truly loved it. He was in awe, standing at each tank, staring, pointing, exclaiming, "Da! Da!"
Aquar 1

Meg liked it too, but she was afraid of some of the strange sea creatures, and that had some adverse effects on her attitude later.
Aquar 2

Here is a real, honest-to-goodness diamondback terrapin, in case you ever wondered what they really look like. Now you know why they say "fear the turtle," right? Um... right?
Aquar 3

This was probably Meg's favorite moment of the day save one. Can you tell what she's watching?
Aquar 4

It's this guy. Nemo, in the flesh.
Aquar 5

The top floor of the aquarium is a rain forest. (I don't envy the aquarium staff members who have to stay up there in the humidity all day.) Here's the exotic pink bird who welcomed us.
Aquar 6

Here's David saving our son from throwing himself overboard.
Aquar 7

And here's Meg being angry. (This picture has been modified to protect the... um, guilty. OK, not really. My camera just didn't auto focus.) Like I said, Meg was having some attitude issues that morning. But that wouldn't last too much longer...
Aquar 8

This is another terrible picture, but it's the best I could get of the sloth, who made a rare public appearance during our visit.
Aquar 9

Here was Dave's favorite creature of the day: tiny, blue, poisonous frogs. They were exquisite.
Aquar 10

More teeny, weeny frogs--some were no bigger than the tip of my thumb!
Aquar 11

Now this... this is my husband and my daughter at the dolphin show, highlight of the morning.
Aquar 12
Looove those identical, fake grins, guys. Thanks.

Despite Meg's pasted-on smile above, she was quite happy once we got to the dolphin arena. Bye-bye fear, bye-bye anger! And how could we not be happy while we were watching this?
Aquar 13
It was my first dolphin show as well as the kids', and we couldn't get enough. Matthew even remained still in my arms the whole time! Now, David, whose grandparents used to live in Florida and regularly took him to Sea World, is a dolphin show veteran. He said that this show wasn't quite as spectacular as some of those he's seen, and I can easily believe it. But I couldn't help enjoying the beauty of these animals, and their love of fun (or is it fish?). I have no idea how an animal that weighs 500 pounds can vault itself out of the water and 20 feet into the air. Spectacular.

Dad and Jan, we had a blast on our first trip to the aquarium, and we are looking forward to many more! Thanks for making it possible!

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