A while back I bought some tickets to the Florida Aquarium off of Living Social. I had never been there and was pleasantly surprised that according to my GPS it was only 37 minutes away in Tampa. And as Monday was a teacher work day in our county, I figured the place would be empty over there. And it was! As a side note, I am declaring myself as a professional Florida "Off-Season Ninja." When you live in a tourist attraction, there is just no reason not to be. Here is what we found....
Horseshoe Crab Lagoon. We were all too wussie to touch one. Too bad Grandpa Bingham wasn't there. He would have to picked one up and held it in the air. And guess what, they have 10 eyes. True story!
Even though I have seen plenty o' gators in the wild, this guy totally gave me the willies and reinforced why no one ever swims in a lake down here. Those gator hands look like they could strangle a guy. 'Cause that is how gators kill you, actually.
Luke and the Goliath Grouper (which can grow to be 800 pounds).
Shark Tank, Ooh-ha-ha! Cindy loves sharks.
Actually, Luke really does love sharks. He especially loves hammerheads. I learned during this visit that Luke has read a bunch of books at school about underwater animals. I was pretty shocked at all the different facts he was telling me.
Cindy finally got the courage to touch some starfish in the "No Bone Zone."
|It's a miracle she will even go in the ocean.|
I think of all the animals in the entire aquarium, this guy gave me the biggest case of the heebie jeebies. He was in this very dark part of the aquarium and it was dimly lit and he was kind of glowing and it is a giant Spider Crab that will grab your legs and chew them off. I got dizzy just looking at this guy, which is what happens when I see real spiders in real life. Man, I hate spiders.
Here is the "Finding Nemo" tank. Always a crowd-pleaser.
The jellies were pretty sweet, they had lights that changed their colors. And the river otters were pretty much the cutest, playful things you ever saw in your life! Forget swimming with dolphins- otters would be way more fun.
Here are my children shaking fists of courage at the rat snake.
Glass makes you feel very powerful.
This is a video of the "bait ball" at the aquarium. Also known as "that giant school of fish in Nemo that made shapes and gave him directions."
And when you go outside the aquarium, you see this! Mocking you! My kids were pretty obsessed with the ship. When we went down to the water park they were staring at the ship and waving to people getting on. Take me with you!!! Seriously, Linnley. March 21st. Bahamas. Plan on it.
The best part of the Florida Aquarium had to be the splash pad called Explore a Shore, which my kids loved. It was scorching hot outside and this was the perfect way to cool off and a good way for me to "rest my eyes" and not worry about them drowning.
Cindy achieved her lifelong dream of becoming like Merliah Summers, the famous Barbie surfer. Luke achieved his lifelong dream of riding a plastic dolphin.
Best day ever!!!