Marine Life

April 28, 2007

The kids and I decided to go to work with Jeff again. So we all got up early, got ready and headed out. Last time we went with him, we got a membership to the zoo that has reciprocal benefits all over the place. One of the places that we can use the membership for a discount is at the local aquarium. This was one of my favorite places to go as a kid, so I, of course, like taking my own kids there. We arrived just in time to see the penguins being fed. Kyle really likes penguins, so this was very cool.

The feeding was supposed to begin at 9:30, so we went over and stood in front of the enclosure at about 9:25. Within a minute or two, one penguin went and stood by the door waiting for his food. By the time the man came through the door with the bucket of fish, there were 6 or 7 penguins awaiting his arrival. He had a bucket and a Tupperware type container, both with some fish in them. He handed out the fish in the plastic container first, one at a time, to each penguin. Well, some were more insistent than others and came back for more, so he would gently push them back, or push them into the water and they would back off. I had several different kinds of birds growing up but all of them would peck at us if they were angry or scared. These penguins just waited patiently, or at least calmly and never pecked at the man feeding them or at each other. Every now and then one would try to steal another’s fish, but it would only grab at the fish, not the other penguin. All in all, they were very cool little birds. We really enjoyed watching them. Penguins are probably my second favorite wild animals (after giraffes).

Erin took the picture of this poor gal. She looks half bald, but a sign above the enclosure informed us that they are simply molting. I sure hope she gets her feathers back soon, cuz she looks baaad! It’s a really good picture though…yeah Erin!

The aquarium is quite small, so the largest animals they have are Sea Lions, but they have a lot of smaller fish and other marine creatures. They also have skeletons of much larger creatures hanging up in a few places. The girls decided to have their picture taken in a shark cage that sits in front of a giant shark hanging from the ceiling.

Sarah protects Erin from the impending attack. Doesn’t Sarah look scared?

Erin shows how scary the shark behind her is!

There was a really cool tide pool exhibit there. It was about 10 feet long and about 1 foot deep with about 8 to 10 inches of water in it. The top was open and the whole thing was about 3 feet off the ground. It was the perfect height for kids to peer into it from above and for adults to look down onto it. I, being short, was able to lean against it and use my arms as a tripod to take pictures from above.

The crab in this picture is pretty obvious, but do you see the flatfish? I believe it is a Sole.

Watching this Sea Star, we were able to see the little tube feet moving. The little, tiny bubbles in the picture were created as the tube feet moved around.

I thought the coloring on these Sea Anemones was really pretty. Can you see the Sole hiding half in the sand under the anemone on the right? There were about 7 or 8 of these guys hiding in the pool. They should have had a “Where’s the Sole” game going…LOL!

In another display, there was a tank full of different kinds of Sea Anemone…

…and apparently Kyle, sticking out his tongue at his sister while I was busy snapping a picture! NOT a terribly attractive picture of him! He would be mortified if he knew I had posted it here…shhh, don’t tell him!

When a field trip of about 30 preschool aged children showed up, we decided it was time to go, but not before we saw Diamond perform for us…

Diamond is a Sea Lion, who likes to clap, nod yes to lots of things, and hide her head under her flipper in shame. The show was very cute, but the preschoolers were very loud, so we decided to go some where else.

After leaving the aquarium, the kids were hungry so we went to Dairy Queen. We do not have them where we live, so the kids find it to be quite a treat. I have nostalgic memories of going to PA with my grandfather to help him mow the property they own there and then walking over the tracks and across the street to DQ for lunch. He always got a chili dog and a root beer float and I always got a foot long hot dog with ketchup. Even though I have been watching what I eat and have managed to drop 15 pounds over the last 2 months, I decided to have a foot long dog and a root beer float for old times. It was almost as good as I remember it. Perhaps if I smelled like cut grass it would have been better, haha!

As we were finishing lunch, Erin was complaining that her tooth hurt. She had a loose tooth that was half out, but she wouldn’t pull it because it hurt too badly. I had listened to her complain about it for two days and was tired of the whining, so I decided to pull the darn thing. I grabbed a wad of napkins and when we got outside, I grabbed her, tipped her head back, and yanked on the tooth. She started wailing, but the stupid tooth didn’t come out. I decided I better leave it alone, lest someone call child protective services on me for torturing my 7 year old. Erin was really crying and yelling at that point. As I turned around to get in the car, I looked up and saw two construction worker types sitting in the front window of DQ, eating ice cream, and laughing at our little display! Good thing Erin didn’t see them, she would have cried even harder!

It was only about noon when we finished lunch, so we still had 5 hours to kill. We are members at our local science museum, so again, we can get into other science museums for free or for a reduced price. The kids decided they would like to go to the science museum, so we went there for a few hours and checked things out. It isn’t the greatest science museum, but I like it because it has tons of samples of minerals. The earth scientist in me gets excited about such things! I didn’t take any pictures there, as there wasn’t good lighting and there wasn’t really anything I wanted pictures of.

There is a really cool playground that I was going to take the kids to after the science museum, but our plans were foiled. We still had about 2 hours before Jeff was done at work, so I headed towards the park. We decided to stop at Office Max along the way to pick up something Jeff was looking for and while we were in there, the sky opened up! The forecast originally had called for a relatively nice day, becoming cloudy in the afternoon, with a slight possibility of a shower later in the day. Well, the forecast was right on! The rain sounded like a band of drummers on the roof. Obviously, the playground was out.

Eventually the rain stopped, so we drove around looking at different neighborhoods, trying to find houses for sale to see how expensive the housing in those neighborhoods is. It wasn’t the most fun we have ever had, but we did find a few nice neighborhoods and some affordable houses.

Finally, we picked up Jeff, grabbed dinner, and went home. I fell into bed at 10 pm, exhausted and achy. When Joe woke up at 4, I told him it was too early. Fortunately, he listened and settled right back down. Good thing, because I was just too tired to deal!


  1. Wow! You guys had a FULL adventure, didn’t you? What a fun day this must have been. I LOVE the pictures of the penguins!!!! I am not sure if I like puffins or penguins better…they are both so cute! The picture of Kyle with his “exposed” tongue? It looks like the anemone has a FACE! Take a good look at it! hehehe Kyle has a twin…You made me think it is really time for another field trip for our kids, as we have not had one it quite a while. I love getting out, and so do the kids.

  2. OMG, Carly, did you see Happy Feet yet??? Last night mom and dad and Ben and I were watching it, you’ve gotta see it… anywho, yeah, dancing penguins, how can you not luv em? You need to convince mom to take us there now!!!!

    Much Luvs~Shell

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