We learned, very recently, that Florida residents get a big discount on admission to the Mote Aquarium on September Saturday's! Discount? Oh yeah, that sounds like me. I'm all over that.
Which is why, this past Saturday found us at the Aquarium! We had actually been there before but it was a very long time ago. At least 15 years, perhaps more. Honestly, I didn't remember much about it which says to me that it wasn't an E-ticket kind of experience. I always have a good time, everywhere I go, but some experiences are just more of a standout than others. Apparently that one wasn't.
I recall visiting the Mystic Sealife Aquarium in Mystic Connecticut. I remember wandering through the big New England Aquarium in Boston. I even remember visiting the Aquarium in Maui! But this one just slipped through the holes in the sieve I like to call my memory banks.
So obviously we weren't, "Woohoo! Hurrah! We are going back to the Mote!" No it was more, "Well, we haven't been in a long time and it's something different to do and it's only 7 bucks". So Saturday, roughly mid-afternoon, off we went.
I must interject here that I am always a little ambivalent about visiting zoo's or aquariums or anything like that. While on one hand, I love seeing the animals (or sealife or whatever), I hate that they are in cages regardless of how lovely and well thought out and carefully constructed those cages are. And honestly, this visit was no different, I still felt that same twinge. But I also was delighted to see some of my favourite sea creatures there. So my emotions the entire time kept struggling back and forth. Having a conscience can be exhausting!
Still, I could sit and watch the moon jellyfish forever. Scientists believe that watching fish is very soothing and stress relieving. It doesn't work for me with all sealife but moon jellies, absolutely. I don't even know why really. It's almost hypnotizing. (If I start clucking like a chicken mid-sentence you will know that's it's more than "almost")
Another favourite of mine are the river otters. Oh my goodness. Those funny little critters just amuse me to no end. There were three of them frolicking and playing and swimming together. They are the clown princes (and princesses) of the animal world. And such high energy! They just gogogogogo all of the time! I understand that they sleep lying on their backs in the water, holding paws with their fellow otters. How cute is that?
We enjoyed all of the exhibits actually (with those guilt tinges mingled in). The seahorses are fascinating. They never look quite real to me. Manatees, those dear, sweet, friendly, giant creatures, look like stuffed animals that have been rather the worse for being hugged too much. Sharks are still terrifying.
We got to "pet" sea rays and teensy gold sharks. I absolutely didn't pet the sea urchins! Nopenope. My mama didn't raise a fool. But I did enjoy the star fish! And the octopus! And, and, and...well almost everything.
The one thing I did not enjoy one single solitary bit were the screaming, shrieking, out of control children. Now, I adore children. Everybody's kids. Mine, yours, theirs. all of them. BUT honestly! People were wincing, holding their ears, walking around with their shoulders up to their earlobes and racing through certain exhibits trying to escape the sound. And it wasn't just one or two kids. It was scads of them.
We would leave one exhibit breathing a sigh of relief, move to the next one and yikes...more screaming and shrieking! I understand that kids get excited, but why weren't the parents trying to help them calm down? Nope they were on their phones. Probably didn't notice it at all. I took my three boys with me nearly everywhere I went and there is no way I would ever have put up with that behaviour. To be fair it wasn't all of the kids. Some of them were just awesome! Enjoying everything just like we were. But those other ones....yikes! Ok I'm done complaining about that!
We went, we enjoyed and at some point, we will probably go back. Maybe I"ll bring noise cancelling headphones! Before I go, here are some of the other awesome stuff we saw. Hope you enjoy it, even if, like me, you feel just a tiny bit of guilt doing so.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.