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» Saturday, August 08, 2009So Here We Are...
...the four of us, sitting in the living room, watching Remember WENN, and three of us on chat.
We're relaxing from a long day. We started by being up at eight and going to the farmer's market. Had some wonderful fruit samples and also some pot pie and pesto and smoked chicken spread, and James and I got breakfast. We picked up breakfast for Jen and Meg on the way downtown to the aquarium. Since the freeway was undergoing repavement, we went through Northside Drive and wandered around for a few minutes finding our way. But shortly we were parked and in the short line, and entered the aquarium just before eleven.
I'm not much of a "fish person," but this was "swell," as Betty Roberts would say. There are different galleries and we visited each in turn; the first was "Tropical Diver," a tropical reef, of course, with myriads of colorful fish. "Ocean Voyager" is the next attraction, with the largest tank. This includes four whale sharks and hammerhead sharks. This gallery features an impressive overhead view of the tank (several of the galleries have these overhead passages), with manta rays and other fishes swirling overhead.
Next was "Coldwater Quest," cold water and arctic sea life. This included not only some impressively large grouper, but otters. The female was gliding around her pool on her back, contentedly sucking on one paw. She moved so quickly I never did get a decent photo! James did get a very dark picture of the whiskery face of the male. There were also smaller, Asiatic otters later in the gallery, but they were all asleep in a pile, like a litter of kittens.
"River Scout" was freshwater river fishincluding some whoppers of catfish. At this point James' blood sugar was beginning to flag, so we decamped to the cafe in the center of the aquarium. Luckily we didn't care to have anything from the grill (burgers or hot dogs or pizza) which was hip deep and got sandwiches instead. We really had to hustle for a table, though, as the place was packed. I'm not sure if this is a normal crowd, or because Monday is the first day of school and everyone's having a last fling.
We finished up in the "Georgia Explorer," which is what it sounded like: a gallery of fish species native to Georgia. But first we joined the crowd at the tank where you could pet several different varieties of manta rays and also small hammerhead sharks. Meg seemed to develop quite a rapport with themand she has with Schuyler, too, who loves to listen to her whistle. Anyway, this gallery had a shy loggerhead turtle and a large school of lionfish, plus some shrimp that would never see the inside of Red Lobster.
By then it was almost two o'clock, so we went upstairs to get in line for the "Titanic Aquatic" exhibit. This was pretty cool. The story of the ship and its sinking were shown through artifacts recovered from the site where the ship ended up. You start at the shipyard with Irish music playing in the background, and as you proceed through the artifacts through each class of travel and the workings of the ship, the "soundtrack" changes. When you go into third class, for instance, the engine sounds get louder, as they would have been on the ship.
During the iceberg collision part of the exhibit, they have an actual large piece of ice to show you how frigid the water would have been, and also a computer simulation to see if you could have diverted the ship from hitting the iceberg. It's sort of like the Kobiyashi Maru test. :-)
You are given the card representing a passenger when you enter, with their name and a little about them. As you leave the exhibit, you see the roster of passengers who survived and who died, and you find out if you made it or not. All of us ladies made it, but James didn't. :-(
When we emerged back into the heat (after leaving, as you must, through the gift shopit's a state law...LOL), and finally left the aquarium, it was still too early for dinner, so instead we had our dessert first and then took Jen and Meg to Richard's Variety Store. This is the closest thing to an old-fashioned five-and-ten that's left, with unique items. I think they enjoyed it. :-)
Then we had dinner at the Colonnade.
Yes, of course I had the turkey. :-)
And then we sat down and watched Remember WENN...oh, and got on chat, of course. What better thing to do on a Saturday night?