Monday, August 07, 2006

The Tennessee Aquarium

These pics are from our trip to the Tennessee Aquarium. I'll post more pics later- I would do a bunch at once but Picasa will only post 4 to a blog (in my experience at least) and I can't get Hello to work. It's probably best like this anyway so you don't suffer from picture overexposure. If I see too many I start just scanning them- I'm sure you're not like that.
So the first pic is of Amanda and Chloe outside the aquarium. I wasn't expecting the fountain and "river" but it was very cool- and hard to keep Halle out of. I let she and Chloe play in it while waiting for Travis to buy tickets but then she wanted to dive in and I hadn't brought towels and wasn't ready to let them get their new outfits soaked. Yes, they were wearing new outfits because Grandma and Grandpa were coming.

We went to the aquarium on a Saturday and I don't think I would do that again. We were meeting Trav's parents there but arrived a couple of hours before they did. We hadn't purchased tickets beforehand so Trav had to wait in line for about 35 minutes. Then we headed to the freshwater side of the aquarium figuring the saltwater side would be much better. We were instructed to go down a level first and then head to the 4th floor and make our way back down. So we headed down to the seahorse exhibit and it was miserable. There were so many people that you had to wait in line for every exhibit. The girls were tired and hungry and so we decided to head down the street and grab something to eat.

We'd never been to Chattanooga before and instantly fell in love with its charm and with the amount of things to do. We didn't have time to explore though and settled on The Mellow Mushroom for some pizza. We had to wait quite a while for our pizza but it worked out great because Doug, Joyce, and "auntie 'Lyss" found us just as we were finishing up our meal. Everybody was excited to see everyone else and I'm sure we were the loudest bunch in the restaurant so we tried to catch up as we headed back to the aquarium.

Thankfully the lines and crowds had dissipated while we were gone so we headed back down to the seahorse exhibit and were able to enjoy things much more this time around. Of course we were trying to take in the whole aquarium- which I was thoroughly impressed with- while trying to reconnect with the Grandparents/Parents/Sister/Aunt. Halle of course didn't remember Grandma and Grandpa and was standoffish as usual. But Grandpa in his great wisdom remedied that by grabbing Halle and throwing her in the air two or three times. Seriously, she was hooked and I was shocked- I didn't expect her to react well to that, but she did and I was very thankful. She was Grandpa's girl after that and Chloe was Grandma's girl so the aquarium experience was much more fun for Travis and me. We actually got to look at exhibits and walk while holding each others hands instead of the little ones.

The aquarium website says that you should expect it to take 2 hours to see it all but it took us every bit of 4 hours and we could have probably spent another 2 hours to really take it all in. I'm sure it was the size of our group but we had a great time. I'd definitely love to go again but I'd like to stay 2 or 3 days and actually take in all Chattanooga has to offer. Maybe next summer.... Posted by Picasa


mary said...

We haven't been to the aquarium since they opened the salt water exhibits. I'm looking forward to it and I know we'll do it eventually. We may try to heed your warning and go on a week day. Did you see the Chattanooga Choo Choo? It's sort of cute.

Amy said...

I totally loved the aquarium and was really surprised at how big the saltwater display was in the river section. I was also expecting the saltwater section to be as big as the river and it isn't. I would say it is about half or maybe a third the size of the river section. There is a great petting section for stingrays and sharks that we had a blast in as well as a butterfly conservatory. I'm gushing so you know I loved it.

We didn't get to see much of anything else. There was the kids exploration museum a block away from the aquarium that looked amazing and I saw some shopping featured in Southern Living that we didn't get to either. So I'd like to actually spend a few days exploring it all.

Tisra said...

Um...don't go the day after Thanksgiving, either. OR a day with field trips. Well, they pretty much always have field trips!

It is a beautiful place, but with crowds it is impossible to read the plaques or absorb it all. The time we went with Eric's parents the day after Thanksgiving, we decided to ask for passes to come back another time.

I'm wondering if the first few weeks of school would be good for going- not many schools start their year off with field trips and "vacationers" will be winding down, I'd think.