Monday, May 30, 2011

Fish, Fish, & More Fish!

     As I blog this morning, it's almost 9 a.m., and Everett is still snoozing. To say we wore him out on our little weekend adventure may be an understatement!  We left Saturday morning at 7 a.m. and drove to Atlanta, Georgia to visit the Georgia Aquarium.  One of Jeremy's passions in life is fish.  We have visited several aquariums over the years, and this is our 2nd trip to this one.  Since we were there last, they have added a dolphin show, which we were all excited about.  This was Everett's first long trip in the car, so I was a little anxious about how it would go, but he did great.  I think he was just proud to be there with the big kids!  We drove with very few uproars from the backseat and made it to Atlanta just after lunch.
     When we walked up to the aquarium the line looked awful, but luckily we already had our tickets, so we walked right in.  Our dolphin passes were for 2 p.m., so we looked around a little, then headed to the theatre.  I think we were all expecting more of a Sea World type of show, where they tell you all kinds of random facts about the animals, but this was a full out Disney production with a story line, singing, lasers, shooting water jets, the works.  To tell the truth, I was a little disappointed that it was like that, but the kids loved it.  They encouraged audience participation in the songs, which Parker was all over.  Jackson just rolled his eyes and said it was "so embarrassing", but he enjoyed seeing the dolphins perform.  We wandered the aquarium for the next few hours looking at all the exhibits.  We didn't think about it being so crowded, but it was packed!  I guess with the holiday weekend everyone was looking for entertainment.  And I didn't expect to see so many naked women.  Ok, not completely naked, but good grief, some of them might as well have been!  I just wonder what goes through some women's minds as they are getting dressed.  I mean, geez, there are kids here!
     Jeremy knows tons about fish, so every time the kids said "what's that", he could answer them.  Everett loved it.  He kept trying to grab everything through the glass.  The biggest attraction they have is a huge tank with Whale Sharks.  They are supposed to be the largest living fish species in the world.  The biggest one they had was 23 feet long.  I stood up in the back with the stroller (and sleeping baby) while Jeremy and the other kids sat up close.  Jeremy said every time the shark would go by Parker would say "wow".  We are used to fish at our house, but the kids had never seen anything so massive.  They also had penguins, which Mia loved.  The kids could sit right up beside them and the penguins would come up to them and peck on the glass.  Honestly, they were probably just trying to break out of there!  There were freshwater and marine life exhibits.  They even had an indoor playground with an eel slide that the kids loved.  After we had looked at every single exhibit, we left to find our hotel.
     We are avid priceliner's, but with all 6 of us traveling I think those days are over.  We needed space this time, so we found a Residence Inn, which is more like an apartment than a hotel.  We had 2 bedrooms so we could close some of the kids off (hoping everyone would sleep well).  After we ran around the room and jumped on all the beds, we headed to the mall.  Not just any mall. North Point mall.  That's right, the American Girl mall, as Mia calls it.  She picked out some accessories for her girls and we grabbed some dinner.  After such a long day I had my fingers crossed that the kids would rest well.  They crashed right on cue and everyone actually got a decent night's sleep.

Everett trying to get in with the dolphins.

 Quick, everyone point at something!

Whale shark

Manta Ray

I guess Everett's never seen a phone plugged into a wall.  He was captivated!

 Jackson still finds time to read!

     The next morning we headed to Montgomery.  As we passed Georgia Tech and Auburn we started talking about colleges.  Mia loves animals and I told her Auburn was a good school for her.  She said she might want to work with sea life, so she might go to Florida.  Jackson thinks he wants to be a detective, but he said he will probably just go to Yale ☺.  Parker said he wanted to be a Transformer when he grew up.
     We got to Montgomery around lunch time.  Jeremy's dad, Jerry, and his wife, Debbie, live here, and they were having their annual get together, so we got to spend some time with them.  Their neighborhood has a community pond behind the houses and the kids fished all afternoon.  Parker actually caught his first fish and he was so proud!  He liked it on his line, but he did NOT want to get close to it.  Jackson caught a couple too, and Jerry showed him how to get the fish off of the hook and throw it back.  Mia ended up catching 4 fish and winning the prize, which was $20.  She was so excited that she beat out all the boys.  Needless to say, Jackson was not happy.  There are also geese, turtles, and ducks that live around the pond, and Everett really wanted to squeeze them, so we had to keep an extra eye on him.  Many times he broke out in a sprint toward the water.   I guess he was just going to fling himself into the pond with all the wildlife!  The kids fed the animals some bread and the geese and turtles would actually fight over it.  It was so funny to watch!  After a few hours we said our goodbyes and headed toward home.  I knew it had been toasty outside, but I couldn't believe it when we saw a sign that said it was 99 degrees.  Hello Alabama Summer!

Feeding the geese, ducks, and turtles

BBQ face!

Trying desperately to get in the pond!

 Parker's first catch!

Jerry and Jackson

 Everett's ready to be home.
     Everett didn't get fussy until about an hour before we got home, but we gave him a paci and his monkey, and that settled him in until we got here.  We made it home and Grandma was waiting in our driveway to take the big kids home with her to spend the night.  Nana saw us get home, and she walked over and took Everett for a while.  That gave me time to get the car unpacked and cleaned up, and to start some laundry.  Thank goodness for grandparents! 
     I would say we had a very successful trip.  It's always hectic trying to get everyone packed, making sure everyone is occupied in the car, trying to get everyone fed and in the car on time, etc., but it's completely worth it to have these experiences with my family.  I hope our kids will look back on their childhood's and not see a stressed out mom, but see parents that did their best to do as much as we could together.

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