Guys! What an exciting weekend it's been! If you missed Photo Friday, make sure and check out one of the best Flickr stream finds of all time-- the woman in the pictures has identified herself as Maria Daddino, and was kind enough to pop over to the original post and comment back on everyone's comments! A real life brush with one of our vintage photo celebrities! Isn't the internet amazing? :) You can see more about what she's up to today on the Facebook page for her book, Maria's Duck Tales: Wildlife Stories From My Garden. Thanks for dropping by, Maria!
Friday early afternoon, as promised, Matthew and I headed down to Chattanooga to see the Tennessee Aquarium for his belated birthday celebration. It was crazy fun! We drove down to grey, grey skies, hit up an incredible vegetarian restaurant called Sluggo's (Rae from Say It Ain't So suggested it, and when I say incredible, I mean i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e...), and proceeded to the aquarium. After shelling out $9 to park and an ungodly amount of money to the ticketing agent to admit both of us to the actual facility, I was starting to feel a penurious pang of regret. Should we have stayed home and just watched a ding dang screensaver, thus saving us from the exorbitant cost of seeing fish in real life?
|Matthew with his real family|
My mom, veteran of many, many family vacations to crawling-with-other-people's-kids historical and educational tourist attractions, kept saying in response to our planned trip, "Oh, I hope when you go there's hardly any people there" and "It's a Friday afternoon post-summer, so I bet there won't be any people there" and "Maybe if you drive down early there won't be so many people there". Me: "Enough with the 'hope there aren't any people there'! I'm sure there will be some people there! I'm sure it will be fine!" Little did I know, in my exasperation, that my mom's prayer did not go unheeded, and we saw maaaaybe four people who didn't work there the entire three hours we were there. Oh my goodness! It was one of the most amazing, amazing feelings to wander around the exhibits like you were in this enormous, silent, abandoned building with three stories worth of marine life in it! Spooky? Oh yes. AWESOME? Oh yes.
Speaking of screensavers, how unreal does our proximity to some of this wildlife seem?
|TOO CLOSE. WHAT DID I TELL YOU. TOO CLOSE!|
(My best friend the) SEA TURTLE!!!!
|The aquarium people lowered a weighted tray of broccoli down on a rope and this guy ate it-- definitely a highlight. I really loved how the animals would come right up to the glass.|
TERRIFYING CRABS THE SIZE OF A TRUCK TIRE!
|Matthew looks like a hologram in this picture, but it's just something to do with the lighting. Or his presence in outer space. DON'T LOOK AT ITS MOUTH, BABU! DO NOT!|
An American Alligator!
|The one thought running through my mind was "oh my God, if this thing so much as blinks at me, I am probably going to run screaming from this fine establishment." I was THAT close!|
Some weird turtle!
|Matthew loved how much these looked like dinosaurs or something out of one of his Japanese cartoons. Aren't they just little pals?|
And Sting Rays!
|I wasn't going to touch one of these, but one came right up to the surface, like a puppy wanting to get its head scratched! I couldn't believe it.|
IT WAS THE NEATEST AND BEST TRIP OF ALL TIME. I can't wait to go back and check out everything else in Chattanooga! Happy birthday, Bab!
Seeing all these sea creatures in real life made me think about welcoming one into my home. Is that the dumbest? I was impressed by how many twenties' and thirties' people, from the pages of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science, shared my interest in fashioning a domestic marine habitat. Click on any of the links to go straight to the horse's mouth on how to build these dew-dads and gew-gaws.
|Popular Mechanics Apr 1931"Auto Glass Used to Make a Large Aquarium"|
|Popular Science Nov 1934 "Illuminated Aquarium Set in Bookcase"|
|Popular Mechanics Oct 1933 "Lamps Inside Copper Cover Heat Aquarium"|
|Popular Science Sep 1927 "An Aquarium At Low Cost"|
|Popular Science Jun 1931 "A Unique New Aquarium"|
Have you been to any museums or tourist attractions that just knocked your ever loving socks off lately? Taken any short or long trips worth gabbin' about? Which of these aquariums looks the most ambitious or most worth putting in your house? Do tell!
That's all for today, folks; see you tomorrow!