Monday, July 16, 2007

If I had kids I would put them in front of the TV and tell them I'm going to go take a nap

I don't know how you do it. If I had kids I would put them in front of the TV and tell them I'm going to go take a nap.
My almost 14 year old nephew was talking to me. Boy and Girl were pinging in and out of their car seats while said Nephew was trying to help me strap them in and contain them. We were attempting another journey, this time to a "local" (read, 45 minutes to an hour drive) small research aquarium.

We reached the aquarium in Panacea with weakened ear drums from the frequent yelling in the back seat, but without any bathroom stops! It was amazing.

As soon as we entered the facility, I knew we had scored. It was a place run by people who love sea creatures and enjoy having children visit. The biggest attractions were the touching tanks. We spent a long time with our hands in shallow pools filled with ocean critters. A child friendly place, there were milk crates for the children to sit or stand on that could be dragged from place to place. Boy and Girl stayed forever in front of a tank that held small starfish, hermit crabs, and sand dollars. The tiny creatures fit perfectly in their little hands. Girl loved holding the starfish, watching the legs bend and curl. Boy took great delight in lifting the hermit crabs and watching their heads and claws dart out and back in again to the comfort of their shells. When placed back in the shallows, both starfish and hermit crabs would then race away across the sandy bottom.

My favorite was the seahorse tank. Seahorses wrapping their tails around a nail, several clustered on a pole, and their graceful drifting movements as they swam across the front of the tank. Varying colors of brown and also vivid orange.

The kids also enjoyed seeing giant lobsters, a couple of sand sharks, skates, rays, and an octopus who entertained by scooting around the glass tank seeming to watch us.

I was so relieved that Girl loved the aquarium. Although she didn't pick up any crabs, and screeched a bit when Boy picked some up - fearing that he would be bitten, she wasn't overly cautious or uncomfortable. We're making progress...

We leave this beautiful island in 3 days. Viewing the sunrise over the ocean is something that everyone should experience. Our two weeks have flown by. We head across Florida to another beach for time with more family and hopefully no crabs...

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