Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tennessee Aquarium

Last Wednesday we decided to surprise the kids and take them to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Anytime they are driving us and each other nuts we know we need to stop the business of life and spend some time together. Not only that we wanted to support Weslee's long time career goal of becoming a Marine Biologist. So on Tuesday Steve and I plotted and planned. We decided not to tell them but to wake them in the morning and surprise them. I left a series of hints and arrows around the house leading to an envelope filled with "Top Secret Documents" (pamphlets from the Aquarium). Shocking that I was able to pull something that creative off isn't it? Needless to say they were surprised and delighted and mostly stoked that they didn't have to go to school.

If you've never been to the aquarium it is definitely worth checking out. Downtown Chattanooga is darling and very clean. The aquarium is right up next to the river and next to the river is a series of piers and parks with big grassy areas for picnicking and playing. There are lots of great restaurants and cute little shops and street performers everywhere. It's a great walking city.

We started out the trip in the Ocean life building where we got to pet rays and sharks. There were a few kids running through the exhibit and running over my kids that I was tempted to "bump" into the shark tank but I controlled myself. My favorite moment was when a Ray swam over to me, I reached down to pet it and it came up out of the water and splashed me. After that we inhaled some lunch (have you ever seen Joshua eat!??) and went over to the River Life building. It is filled with long ramps that stretch between the exhibits through dark corridors. Translation, "run"ways of death. We survived with a few bumps and bruises and inspite of that they loved it! We saw lots of sea horses and snakes and every size turtle you can imagine. We also petted some sturgeon.....caviar anyone? After that onto Ben & Jerry's, in order for Joshua to enjoy himself we must feed him often or it's just not pretty. Next, over to the IMAX theatre to watch Sea Monsters in 3D, VERY COOL! I highly recommend catching an IMAX 3D flick if you can handle it. Apparently some people (Kimmels) get motion sickness....wussies! It was so fun to watch the kids duck and sway to avoid the various sea life swimming at them and to watch them try and grab the little babies swimming by. After that we had dinner at Friday's where the kids had "Worms and Dirt" (Chocolate pudding topped with crushed oreo's and loaded with gummie worms) for dessert. The manager and our waiter took bowls outside where the loaded them up with fresh dirt and squirted some whipped cream on top. My kids stared out the window in horror. Joshua said, "This is the best day of my life!"

Check it out if you get a chance.

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