I've really been thinking lately that Caroline is getting to an age where she'll really enjoy things like children's museums, the zoo, the aquarium, etc. She's never been a great traveler without someone riding in the back with her and for us to go to any of these fun places, it takes at least an hours drive and would most likely be just the two of us since I'm off with her during most of the day during the week. It's my goal to do one of these fun day trips with her each month in addition to other activities she's been or is starting to get into like Story Time at our library and the gymnastics class I'm enrolling her in come April (also driving an hour for those classes...small town problems). So I decided that we'd give the aquarium a whirl on this past Friday. I made our snacks and lunch on Thursday and got out the stroller to pack up so that I could just get us dressed, pack the car and hit the road Friday morning. Best laid plans...
Can you tell from that look on her face up there that she's guilty of something pretty ornery? Well, I finally got everything together and packed up in to the car Friday morning and came back in to sit Caroline on the potty before we left. After I sat her down, I noticed some hair that seemed out of place, hanging really long down her shoulder. When I went to brush it back, I noticed that it wasn't attached! I was sort of freaked out and looked at her and asked her what happened to her hair. She then tells me that she cut it. When I asked with what, she looked at me like I was slow and said "scissors". Where on Earth she got her little hands on scissors I couldn't imagine. Well, turns out, she used her stool and got some nail trimming scissors from a drawer and cut her dang hair while I was packing up the car. I really could not believe it. It's like, just when you think your child is smart and of an age to not do certain things, they prove to you just how wrong you are to be the least bit complacent. Well, I got on her and explained that 1) she never touches any kind of scissors 2) she NEVER EVER cuts anything, especially her hair! I still can't believe she did it. I guess I'll save it and put it in her My First Curl keepsake box. Not really how I envisioned filling that box, but stuff happens.
After that fiasco, we finally made it to The Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky. Our timing was perfect because they were running a special for winter where one full priced paying adult = a free child admission, so I saved the $15 that Caroline would have normally cost!
The quality on these photos is pretty awful, but I didn't take my good camera. I ended up having to carry Caroline around or let her walk holding my hand the whole time. She has never been one to ride well in a stroller (i.e. she screams her face off and draws as much attention to us as possible so as to embarrass me enough to get her out and carry her. It's been this way since she was little bitty), so I couldn't figure out how to open the umbrella stroller I'd packed when we were heading into the aquarium. Nothing makes me feel dumber than trying to operate baby gear like strollers. It's probably for the best, she wouldn't have wanted in it anyway.
The picture doesn't do it justice, but this crab was enormous! Like probably two feet or more across. If I ever came across one of these in the ocean I'd never go near water again.
Caroline really loved the monster crocodile. She stood by the glass for the longest time just looking at him and talking to and about him. She said "awww...he looks sweet!" Apparently, she's a terrible judge of character!
The Galapagos turtle however, she didn't care much for. Can you tell? This was part of an exhibit called Turtle Canyon and it was so neat to see one of these monsters in person! I just can't get over how big it was.
Parts of the exhibit are behind glass so that you can see both under and above water. This little turtle was under water chowing down on some apple slices and she just loved watching him eat. This exhibit wasn't really crowded either because it was sort of tucked away from the rest of the aquarium.
She was so excited to pet this turtle! He really liked her a lot, too. He kept trying to climb over the glass while she was petting his shell.
The next exhibit was the Frog Bog and there were about five of these huge frogs. You could push buttons on their back and hear the sounds they make. There was also a little playplace type of area in this exhibit, but it was jam packed with a lot of bigger kids so I decided not to let her play in it. She didn't mind at all since she was so excited to see some penguins.
I really loved the hallways that went under the fish and shark tanks. They are literally swimming all around and on top of you. These sort of freak me out too because of that scene in Jaws where the people get trapped under one of these and it starts flooding. Caroline thought they were so cool though. She'd just look up and around and say "wowwww". It was really cute.
Speaking of Jaws! They also had scuba divers inside these tanks that would interact with the kids as they'd walk through. Caroline waved and blew one a kiss. She's such a ham.
Penguins found! The penguin area was not what she was hoping for or what I was expecting. They had a show that was standing room only so we couldn't really see what was going on with the penguins and it only ran once an hour. This was at the very end of the aquarium so we'd been there a little over an hour. Caroline looked up at me and said "I'm ready to go. I'm so hungry". So after making our way through the strategically placed gift shop/ exit, she immediately spotted a Cold Stone Creamery and asked for ice cream. That sounded awful good, so we had a little treat before heading back home.
Overall, it was a really great trip. I think she lost interest towards the end because you can only look at fish for so long before it stops being interesting, but it's definitely a trip we'll make again, and hopefully bring Juston along, too. I think our March excursion will be to the Explorium in Lexington. It's a children's museum.