Last weekend, Little Miss and I took a trip to the coast with my Mama. Just a quick jaunt. We were celebrating Christmas with my brother since we were scattered to the four winds for the actual holiday. Since Uncle Lucas ('Ca-cas' - yep, that's what she chose to go with! :-O) had to work until 6, we went to the Aquarium.
Lily Ruth LOVES fish ('Ish'), and even has a crib soother that looks like a fish tank and makes water noises. She go to sleep with it every night. She even occasionally asks to have it out in her playhouse. We started talking about our impending visit to see 'ish' several days in advance, but she remained unconvinced about the concept of a place where she could see a lot of fish all together. In all fairness, our zoo has a crummy excuse for an aquarium, and we haven't made it out to Sea World yet, so she knew nothing of the wonders that awaited her.
When we pulled into the parking lot, Mama and I debated about bringing in the monkey-backpack-leash. I know that a lot of people think that those are just awful, but honestly, she loves that thing and since I had not brought a stroller or a sling, it was carry her or leash her... or just leave her loose and hope for the best... She decided the issue by squealing 'monkey!' and demanding to wear it as soon as she saw it. She even makes me hold the leash end while she has it on - she's definitely a kid after my own rule-following heart.
We started out with the dolphins ('dau-fin!'). They were having a closed training session (no sitting in the stands), so we ventured into the underwater viewing area. Honestly, I could have stayed there aaallllllllll day...
It was beautiful in there. The only light comes from the tank.
After hanging out there for a while, we moved on to sea turtles. When we walked up to the tank, two of them swam over and stared at Lily Ruth for several minutes. She squealed with delight and wriggled between the fence and the glass for a better look. I would swear that the three of them were flirting ;-)
Then it was time to pet rays. Oh my! I had never touched a ray before. It. was. awesome. I wanted to pet each and every one of them, but they had other plans - like lunch - and Lily wasn't about to let one of those strange looking things near her fingers, so we strolled inside... and hit the mother-lode.
There was a room of jelly fish and cool light effects that made Lily want to stand near the wall and dance. Then there was a room of small fish. That's when Lily went into overload. She would ask me to hold her up to the glass, then she would 'walk' across the ledge around the tank and babble about fish excitedly (and loudly). Then we moved on to a room of BIG fish. We sat in a glass alcove and watched the groupers and sharks go by. Two of the groupers kept coming back (against the current) and actually brushed the glass in front of us like they were trying to get closer. This time, they weren't flirting with Lily Ruth though - they were flirting with me. We hung out there for a while...
There were lots more really neat things after that. Sea horses and birds and crabs... it's a really great place. Those things were viewed at a jog since my darling one was bottoming out fast. When she started to tug on my shirt and mutter 'urse', we decided to finish out our visit by retuning to the underwater viewing area. We watched the dolphin show from in there while Lily Ruth nursed. Then we stayed while she ran and danced to the piped in music. It was great. In fact, it was a great day :-)