Sunday, September 11, 2011

Vacation Day 2: National Aquarium

One of the main things Lilli wanted to see on this vacation were dolphins and sharks. Luckily for us, we crossed both of those off pretty much as soon as we got to the National Aquarium. The National Aquarium is way up there with some of the best aquariums in the country (actually #10 according to Parents Magazine, but we've been to several others ones on the list that I don't think are as good as this one). We bought the full package, so we got dolphin show tickets, admission, and 4-D movie passes. We went to the dolphin show pretty soon after we got there.It was about a twenty minute show of the standard stuff, and Lilli was just frozen watching them.
Afterwards you could walk down and see them through the glass. They were definitely a highlight for her.
The whole aquarium was like a big, live production of Finding Nemo for her. Nemo has been on loop in my car since Easter, and I guess I didn't realize she had the whole thing pretty much memorized. She started acting out the whole scene where Dory and Nemo are jumping around on the jellyfish when she saw them in the tank, and every tank had some sort of fish that reminded her of Nemo in it.
We went to the 4-D Dora and Diego movie. This was the first movie she's been to, and the first Dora/Diego anything she has seen. We've got some of the toys as hand-me-downs and consignment stuff, but she's never actually seen it. She was so light we had to keep a leg on her chair so it wouldn't flip up. She did great keeping the glasses on and really loved all the bubbles and other things that sprayed down for the 4-D Experience. It was only about a 12 minute movie, so not really long enough to have any major action going on.
The aquarium set up was very cool. The main building started with sting rays and sharks on the bottom, with a large shark tank in the middle. You went up and around through various exhibits, then once you got the very top you came back down through the middle of the shark tank.

Then we found the mother load! The actual Nemo tank. Dory, Nemo, Marlin and lots of their friends. Someone had an almost heart attack she was so excited! She watched them forever. In this one you can almost tell she has on her little dress with fish all over it.
People came and went, and other kids got excited, but she held her ground right there in the front spot for quite a while.
Once we got inside the shark tank she kept calling the sharks Bruce and getting so excited every time they came by. It took us a while to figure it out, but she was also talking about Nemo - the main shark in there was named Bruce. Now she has a little shark toy, named Bruce, that regularly attacks her princesses.
Some of the aquarium keepers were feeding the sting rays and they'd swim up to the glass and wave at the kids and really put on a great show.
Afterwards we walked around the Inner Harbor a little. It turned out to be a gorgeous day, once the Hurricane was gone it was a bit windy but otherwise sunny and gorgeous.
Someone was a little tired though and fell asleep in the stroller.
Too bad she missed our stop at Subway for a cookie break!!!
She'll never know. =)

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