This past weekend, in the midst of our zombie state of sleeplessness, we decided that we needed to get out of the house. It was the perfect opportunity for some quality family time.
What better place to go on a Saturday afternoon than the aquarium? With this visit we covered the expense of the annual membership. With a few more visits we'll come out ahead.
So we got the munchkin ready and threw the carrier in the car for Elliot and we were off. The whole way there Andrew was happily exclaiming "I go see fishies!". We got down there, found some free parking, got Andrew into our cheap umbrella stroller, I strapped Elliot to me and we headed to the aquarium. On the way in they take a picture of each group that you can purchase on your way out. Normally I don't buy it, but this was our first trip there as a family of four so I got it:
J went to store the stroller while Andrew and I hopped on the escalator to go upstairs. He was a little hesitant to step on, but once we got going he was fine. J joined us at the first exhibit - the eagle:
We headed in to see the otters, but they were sleeping (again) so they weren't very interesting. Instead we headed over to the touch tank so Andrew could explore some sea creatures. Last time we tried it he showed no interest in anything in there, but this time he was all about it. He picked up a hermit crab, poked a starfish and looked at a sea urchin:
Then we headed outside to look at the stingrays and fish out there. Again, other times he showed little interest in any of them, but this time he was intrigued. It was so fun to watch him running from tank to tank and exclaiming "Look at that!".
We made our way through to the little play area for kids and he begrudgingly sat on a turtle for a photo op:
Then we walked over to the Great Ocean Tank and they sat and watched the sharks and the other big fish:
I loved the fact that Andrew as more into it this time. Sure, we still had to chase him around a bit and he spent some time climbing on things and jumping off, but he was genuinely excited about watching the fish. I think our annual membership is good through March, so I see several more trips there in the future.
On the way out we let him run around a bit in the sun and get out a little more energy. I could resist putting him up with this frog so I could snap a picture. The expression on his face cracks me up:
All in all it was a great trip exhaustion notwithstanding. And as an added bonus Elliot slept through the entire thing so there was no squalling newborn to contend with. We even made it out to dinner that evening with no meltdowns and were able to go browse at Hobby Lobby afterward for a little bit. It was a nice day spent as our little family of four and it made me so grateful for everything in my life.