Saturday, August 27, 2011

Road Trip - Day 2

We are still at Hard Labor Creek State Park and the plan for the day is to hit the Georgia Aquarium! We had heard such great things, we were excited to check it out! I had hoped to be at the aquarium by 9am, when they opened…hahahahaha. We were an hour’s drive away, plus no one even stirred until 7:30am.

Then we re-heated the breakfasts that we’d cooked the previous night, which seriously looked like zombie brains. Eggs, sausage and grated potatoes. They were all gray and the cooked eggs looked like mold. Nice, huh? Oh well, it was tasty.

We finally got on the road, but I knew I had to stop off and get some shoes—I had packed everyone’s kazillion pairs of shoes, except my own. All I had were my flip flops that hurt my feet. So we ran to the nearest Wal-mart where I went crazy looking for all of the random things I needed (chocolate was a high priority). When I finally got to the shoe section, I realized I’d forgotten to bring socks…so back to the socks section. Back to the shoes. Found a pair. Put them on, tore the tags off and went in search of other things I needed, only to find that the shoes were awful. Fast-forward through 3 more pairs of awful shoes (who am I kidding—I would have found better fitting shoes next door at Goodwill) and found one that wasn’t horridly painful.

Finally we got to the aquarium around 11am. SO glad we went on a Monday. There weren’t too many people there until we were getting ready to leave. It was pretty neat though. There was kind of a tunnel of these fish at the entrance, funneling you inside.

There were 5 main areas, and we ended up picking the kids area first (although all were very kid friendly). There was a big shrimping boat with a shrimp touch-tank, a couple of kids play areas, and a big whale slide. Russ and Sam decided to try their hands at operating a shrimping boat.

There was also a hand-cranked lighthouse.

The shrimping boat is on the left, the play area (one of them) is in the back middle, and Brooklyn’s at the bottom of the whale slide.

Entrance to another section of the aquarium (and proof that yes, I really am on this trip as well).

These goofballs…they sure do have a complete love-hate relationship. One minute they are screaming at each other, the next minute Sam’s wrapping his arm around Brooklyn and saying, “I sure do love you, Bookyn.”

They had lots of little tunnels, most with viewing windows inside, for the kids to climb in.

In this area, the tanks were all around you—you can kind of see the fish up above.

Sea dragons!


The kids loved this—they would drag their finger across the glass and the penguin would follow it.

Beluga whales—they had at least 4 of them. I was bummed we didn’t get to see the dolphin show, but everyone was starting to get a tad cranky at this point.

I busted out my stash of fruit leather and we snacked before hitting the second half of the aquarium.

This was the entrance to the main tank—a huge tunnel you ride through. This tank holds 6.3 million gallons of water and is the biggest in the world.

This is the other side of the tunnel. It’s a huge show room where you can just sit and watch. It’s quite amazing. The kids were a bit restless, but Russ and I would have liked to have sat and watched for another hour or so. There were 4 whale sharks, 2 manta rays (the only contained ones in the world, I thought I heard the guy say), all sorts of sharks, large groupers and tons of other creatures.

This is the last exhibit. It was pretty neat—the top simulated waves crashing on the beach.

This is one side of the main area in the aquarium.

And the other side…complete with Russ wrangling two tired and hungry kids who were falling apart at the seams.

While I paid for parking, Russ took the kids to the top of the parking deck for a minute.

We then went in search of food, although Russ and I had differing ideas on where to find it, which was fun….sigh.

I laid down for a quick nap while Russ took the kids on a hike. Then we had a lazy rest of the afternoon, sitting by the fire, roasting marshmellows, showering in the hose...ahhhh, good stuff.

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