On Saturday, Bob and I decided it was time to take the kids some place fun. Since the weather was a little chilly, we decided to forgo the zoo in favor of the aquarium. The boys LOVE fish. They could spend hours in the Cabela's fish area, so we figured that the aquarium would be perfect for the kids. On Friday, I kept telling the kids we were going to go see the big fish. I think they were pretty excited. Bob and I took the kids by ourselves (rather than bring our normal entourage that helps us patrol three very mobile toddlers), so we decided to bring the two seater wagon so as not to have to struggle through with two strollers.
Daddy did wagon duty, and I took over wrangling Michael. I think the music and people were a little much for Michael (this is not unusual - he doesn't like crowds - wonder which parent he got that from). So while we stood in line to get in, James and Ryan checked it all out.
Thankfully, there were some birds and fish outside, so that the kids weren't too grumpy about having to stand in line. Once he realized there were fish and birds to look at, Michael calmed down and quit making this face.
I'm pretty sure that Michael will want to kill me for this picture, but I absolutely love it! He did enjoy himself, but it took him a minute to get into the spirit of things.
Ryan and James checking out the birds. It's very difficult to hold onto one kid with one hand, try and make sure the other two kids stay in the wagon, and take pictures, but I did my best.
Ryan was fascinated by everything. He kept pointing at things and saying "what is it?" He and James spent most of the day in the wagon. They did great! Michael walked along beside us and was very good. All three of them really enjoyed looking at the birds and the sloth in the rain forest area of the aquarium.
Daddy did a great job maneuvering the wagon around the tight corners and masses of people. As long as they were moving, James and Ryan were very happy to sit for the ride, but as soon as we stopped for any thing, they both wanted to get out and see what was going on.
The best part of the aquarium was the penguin exhibit. As it was pretty chilly, the outdoor penguin exhibit was pretty empty. We let the kids run around and check things out. They absolutely loved it. They were obsessed with the penguins. James especially was fascinated by one particular penguin. We couldn't get him to move and check out the others for the longest time.
James watches "his" penguin. He kept sticking his head through the bars to get closer. That made his parents a little more than nervous.
Michael mugs for the camera while watching the penguins.
Ryan kept running from place to place looking at the penguins. He was always on the move (much like at home). He was more than happy to stick his head through the bars, say a little bit to the penguins and move on to the next.
Michael shows us where the penguins are. He was more than happy to tell us where we should look.
James is still focused on his penguin. He was extremely unhappy when we made him leave the penguin exhibit.
Ryan points out three penguins. I wonder if he thinks those are triplet penguins.
James is so excited that his one penguin has gained two friends. He knows what it's like to have two friends always hanging out with him.
Ryan admires the turtles. Michael loves to say the word turtle. He holds up his bath tub toy turtles and makes me identify them over and over again. In the manatee tank, Michael was really excited by the turtle who was hanging out against the glass near him. He didn't even really care about the giant manatee hanging out in the tank.
The boys really enjoyed the shark tank. It was PACKED. We managed to time our entry into the tunnel at feeding time. The boys really liked watching the big sharks swim around and over them. I don't think that they realized that the poor squids were lunch, but they really liked it. Michael finally took a turn in the wagon in the shark tank. He protested until he got inside and saw all those "big fish" swimming around.
The second biggest hit of the day was the ocelot. I was not fast enough to get him on camera, but the boys loved chasing him around the glass enclosure. He just looked like a big cat, and they laughed like little lunatics every time the ocelot ran past them.
James takes a minute to tell Ryan all about it. Ryan kept running from place to place trying to get a better view of that big kitty.
Around the corner from the ocelot were the flamingos. The boys thought they were pretty funny looking. We spent about two hours at the aquarium. After we saw everything there was to see, I think both Mommy and Daddy were happy to be leaving the crowd behind. The kids did absolutely wonderful. They really enjoyed themselves, listened well, and pointed out a ton of things they found interesting.
Michael asks, "can we come back again soon?" I think a trip to Sea World is probably in our future.