Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 2: Relaxing with the fish

Some time ago when I started thinking about the possibility of a westward migration, I decided that I would want to visit Katie and her cute family and also visit the Atlanta Aquarium again.  We came here in the spring of 2005 when it was brand new, and I had loved it then and wanted to visit again.  I don’t think I ever imagined what a perfect outing it would be for my exhausted post-move self.

We started our day by sleeping a little late, which was nice.  Then we ate some delicious home-made granola for breakfast (must get that recipe!) along with some protein, of course.  We had a relaxed morning, I think all 4 of us were enjoying not having work that had to be done right away. 

We left Katie’s about lunch time and headed first for a landmark in Atlanta, the Varsity drive-in restaurant where we were given hats to wear while we ate.  IMG_2337

We all had their famous hotdogs, and three of us had the “fully-loaded, heavy dog.”


We also had a yummy icee drink that was like an orange creamsicle.  Our general consensus was that the hotdogs were good, the chili was ok, “heavy” was too much, the fries were blah, and the onion rings were terrific.  The whole experience of having the food delivered to our car was fun.

From there we went to the aquarium.  Right at the aquarium entrance they have these tanks, one on either side of the entry.  They are so huge, but they look just like the fisher price aquariums we used on the kids’ cribs when they were little. 


I told the kids that one day when I’m old and need entertaining they can just get me a wall like this one.  (Except maybe with prettier fish…)  Seriously, this would keep me watching for hours.

We had a few minute to kill while waiting for the 4D movie, so we walked through the frog exhibit.  My favorite frogs were the poison dart frogs that are so brightly colored that they look like they’re made out of plastic.  We also saw the frog on the right, which is the most venomous animal in the world—this tiny frog has enough venom to kill 9 people.  Although once they take him off his local diet of toxic ants and toxic termites he becomes less deadly…(let this be a lesson to you: you are what you eat!)


After the frogs we went into the movie.  We were excited to see what the 4th dimension was, and we were not disappointed.  Rachel had been afraid it would just be smell (she has no sense of smell), but instead we were sprayed with water, shaken in our seats, felt puffs of air, and had confetti fall on us. 


After the movie we went to wait for the dolphin show.  Because we got there early we had great seats—close to the tank and right in front.  These were the oddest shaped seats we’ve ever seen,


and we have never had such upright posture.  (We think they were so odd because they were just bolted onto bleachers.)


The dolphin show was really beautiful, even if the kids thought the storyline was kind of lame.  I wish I had any pictures or video but I was obedient to the rule that said you couldn’t take any. 

Before the dolphin show we learned that one of the beluga whales is pregnant and due within the next month.  We were excited to go and see her, and she was truly massive.


We spent almost all of the rest of our time at the BIG tank.  And when I say big, I mean BIG, BIG, BIG!  As in, big enough to hold 4 whale sharks, which are the largest fish alive.  Really big.

To get to the big tank you first walk through the tunnel.  I have to say walking under sharks and whale sharks was very cool.  I could have sat and watched the fish in the big tank for hours, but the kids got restless after about half of an hour.   I loved seeing the different groups of fish swim by, the manta rays turning flips in the distance, the sharks, and of course the star of the tank, the whale sharks.  I was mesmerized by the whole thing and found it incredibly soothing for my so-recently-stressed self. 

Isn’t this wonderful? 

When they announced that the aquarium was getting ready to close we quickly went through the coral reef exhibit.  I always love these exhibits since they mimic the snorkeling experience so well.  This time I loved the tank with the jellies in it.  The colors were so striking.


I must have been super relaxed when we were done because when we exited through the gift shop (very clever, Aquarium designers!) where I had planned to let each kid spend about $5, I ended up letting them buy tshirts!  Not sure how that happened, but hopefully they enjoyed that rare experience.


  1. So glad you got such an enjoyable experience in the midst of your sad goodbyes!

    I forgot to verify with you the dates of your Nampa leg, so I am hoping it's NOT this Friday May 4th or Saturday 5th since that's when we'll have a full house for T's baptism. But even if it is, we'll happily find a place for you and the more the merrier, right? And if it's Friday, you'll get to see my Mom, Jamie, Katy, and Bethany all in one swoop. =D Safe travels!!

  2. Ahh... jealous, jealous, jealous! Looks like you guys are having an awesome time. I want to go back to that aquarium!!! And I totally did not know that Rachel had no sense of smell.