Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Penguins and otters and sharks, oh my!

We took William to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga on Saturday. I so love aquariums. I've dragged David to aquariums all over the West Coast so I could see/pet sharks, but I somehow had never made it to the aquarium in Chattanooga, even though it's been open for at least 15 years. So Diane bought tickets, and away we went. We saw (and unfortunately also smelled) the new penguin exhibit, and we saw the beautiful phosphorescent jellyfish. We saw the "Nemo" fish tank, and we wandered through the live butterfly exhibit.

Unfortunately, the lighting, while nice and dim for the fish, didn't make for very good photos of people. But I'd say the trip was a definite success. DeeDee and Grandaddy Aaron joined us, along with our friends Chip, Cindy, and Ella. William thoroughly enjoyed seeing the river otters and running up and down and up down and up and down and up and down the ramps connecting each floor. Poor Diane. She did most of the chasing. What a workout!

I did get one funny picture here, though, when William crawled up a plexiglass tube to see inside of one tank of fish:

And of course I enjoyed seeing the sharks. I have this weird thing about sharks. I just like them. I'm just fascinated with them. They're so cold and fearsome, yet they're so elegant and sleek. They're predators, but their existence is so precarious. A few years ago, I got to pet sharks and rays in the Long Beach Aquarium, so I was delighted to see a similar exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium. Unfortunately, the sharks didn't want to have much to do with me this time around. Still, I got to see them. And I got to see the big tiger sharks swimming around in the massive saltwater tank, and oooh, that's what I always like to see.

I kept saying, "OH, look, William! Look at the big shark!" when the sharks smoothly glided by, baring their rows and rows of teeth. But in a foreshadowing of what he might be like as a teenager, William didn't seem overly impressed by what his mama liked. Hmm. Perhaps I need to spend some more time making sure that he understands how cool sharks are while he's still little enough to think that my opinion matters...

On a warmer, fuzzier note, William also got to see the baby rabbits at a nearby store that always has a live Easter Bunny display.

Honestly, he wasn't all that excited about the bunnies either. But what can you expect when there are electric model trains, clickety-clacking around their tracks mere yards away from the bunny yard? He's a little boy. He loves trains. Bunnies, even cute little cuddly baby bunnies, are no comparison for trains. Especially not trains that go woo-woo! and clatter by just inches from his nose!

And on the warmest, fuzziest note of all, here's William playing with his daddy after dinner last night:

(That was William pretending to sumo wrestle, by the way.)


natalie said...

Yay for the aquarium! I love that place. Did you see the giant snapping turtle? Pretty amazing. I love it that y'all went from pointy-toothed sharks straight to the bunnies. Watch out, buns! I've got sharks and shark conservation on the brain right now...

Anonymous said...

Ella is just an amazing little girl! She showed us all her favorite exhibits in the aquarium and William had lots of fun looking at everything. He seemed especially intrigued with the river otters and said that he'll be swimming very very fast like them this summer!

With love, Dee Dee