As soon as I decided we would go for my birthday I also decided I would have more fun if the adult to child ratio was a little higher so I invited my dad to come with us. Turns out he had NEVER been to the aquarium! My mom went out of town on my birthday (the nerve!) so it worked out perfectly.
The kids were really excited. This is not a cheap outing for us so we only get to do it every few years and the boys had never been. I kept telling the boys we were going to see the fishies. In fact when I woke Bunny up the morning of I said "You ready to see fish?" and he signed fish. My little smarty!!
As you can see I did not get much sleep the night before. Boogie had a bloody nose in the middle of the night and Buddy woke up at 5:00am. Fortunately, everyone behaved themselves and we had no major meltdowns. It helped that Daddy brought me Starbucks in bed to start the day!
My favorite is always the seahorses. I think they are amazing. Bunny and Buddy were not all that impressed with them. The jellyfishes were by FAR Bunny's favorite. I would hold him up to the aquarium and he would get the HUGGEST smile. It might have helped that they were doing a groovy theme with jellyfish and had lots of lights and mirrors....two of his favorite things. I myself just think "ouch" when I see jellyfish.
Our aquarium has a few activity/learning centers for kids and we went through one of them and smartly avoided another one (splash zone? I learned my lesson the hard way a few years ago. $30 is a lot to pay to have your kids splash in water for hours on end!). Buddy and Baby had a fabulous time at the touch pools. The Bat Rays were not close enough to touch this time but they were fun to watch.
Towards the end of our short but productive time there it did get quite crowded. My mom always says she hates the aquarium and that she is scarred from overseeing field trips there. I totally get it now. They keep most areas very dark so you can see the tanks and when there are a million people and it's dark it's easy to lose people. I had a few mini heart attacks.
It really was great fun. I love doing stuff like that and it's fun to experience it through my children's eyes for the first time. But we weren't done having fun yet!
Baby, however, is completely traumatized from our last trip and she would get nowhere near the water. Boogie got bowled over by a sleeper wave a few years ago and she is still a lover of the ocean. The last thing I said before we got out of the car was "If your clothes are wet you are not getting back in my car". She rode home in her shorty shorts.
Bunny, lover of water, was also a huge fan. I didn't get a picture of him with his feet in the water because I was the one holding him but he loved it and even stood holding my hands for 2 minutes watching the water.
It was a perfect first beach experience because we weren't there long enough to get burned and super sandy but long enough to make a good memory. It was also a perfect way for me to confirm that there is NO WAY I am taking all 4 kids to the beach by myself. So hopefully the boys hold onto this memory for a good long time.
It really was a great birthday. Daddy kept telling me today what a fun time he had yesterday. We may just have to do it again next year.