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20 November 2014 @ 02:16 pm
Underwater Zen Garden. With Sharks.  
So, the whole Chicago trip turned out much different than planned. It was suppose to be 2 different fangirls, Sis' college roommate and then hiyacynth and her family. But one fangirl had classes and the other had a family emergency and College Roommate had to go out of town at the last minute - and though we missed seeing her, that worked out well because it was soon enough to cancel the hotel and stay at her handicap accessible apartment instead, saving me some serious cash. It ended up just hiyacynth, Geek Husband and Munchy P - (who is 3 ½ now, wtf?!) So we left a little later than planned on Friday, got there, settled in, had Hiyacynth and Fam over for dinner and then sat around watching Harry Potter because we couldn’t make the very outdated Tivo work!

On Saturday, we grabbed breakfast at the diner down the street and then we went to the aquarium, where I have never been before. Hiyacynth and Munchy P joined us there. We did everything! My sister and I went through the entire place. Munchy got tired after a couple hours and they went home and The BFF went to one of the viewing areas and sat for a long while, but my sister and I kept going. There was SO much to see and I honestly could have stayed there all day. My sister was obsessed with the jellyfish and they were very cool - trippy as hell, but super cool. There were ones as small as a contact lens. And translucent ones that had a light that rotated colors in the tank, so they changed colors with the light. The seahorses - I have never seen before and they were so tiny. But they looked exactly like all the picture books I had as a kid. And the sea-dragons were even cooler. (I told Munchy those were dragons in there and he laughed and laughed at me. Auntie is so silly!). And then I got to pet a sturgeon - there was a tank you could stick your hand right inside. And we saw the otters play - (I want one!) - and the Belugas and we went and saw the dolphin show, which was adorable.

But the best part was the tank area where you went underground and the fish were on either side of you and also you could see them overhead in places too. And it should have been claustrophobic, with all those people down there and everyone talking and squeezing up to see along the glass - (this is where the sharks were as well!) - but it wasn’t. I tuned out all the human noise and just stared at the blue water lapping back and forth and watched the fish and sharks swim, like gliding, like flying, through the water, and only let in the sound of the water and the smell of it all and it was so zen and peaceful. I could have stayed there, right there, watching the blue, blue water, all day.

We went home early in the morning and - though it didn’t end up like we had planned and it will sadly be a long while before I get a chance to go back and catch up with the friends I missed - it did end up being a really nice, relaxing, pretty perfect weekend.
 
 
 
Shireboundshirebound on November 20th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
I would love to see sea horses and sea dragons! There's an aquarium not too far from me that I should visit.
dodger_sister: creaturedodger_sister on November 23rd, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
I would love to see sea horses and sea dragons! There's an aquarium not too far from me that I should visit.

You know, I don't think I'd ever been to a real aquarium before. Ones that were in connection with zoos, but not an aquarium that was all on its own and just filled head to toe with marine life. It was quite something. I would love to try my hand at painting some of the things I saw there.
Abyssisabyssinia4077 on November 20th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Glad your trip was good, even with the changes in plan. And I haven't been to the Shedd in forever - it's good to hear it's still awesome. Also, how is Munchy P that old already!??!?! Clearly I need to get myself some Munchy P time next month.
dodger_sister: traveldodger_sister on November 23rd, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
Glad your trip was good, even with the changes in plan.

It really was, even though I missed my other friends, but it was nice to have Munchy n CO all to ourselves!

Also, how is Munchy P that old already!??!?! Clearly I need to get myself some Munchy P time next month.

IDEK. She mentioned that'll be his 4th birthday in March and I almost fell off the couch. I actually told her she as wrong, like she wouldn't know how old her kid is! lol
lindahoylandlindahoyland on November 21st, 2014 03:47 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed your trip.
dodger_sister: traveldodger_sister on November 23rd, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
I really did enjoy the trip to Chicago quite a lot, thank you! I wish we could get there more often, but I have been thinking of maybe arranging a chance to take The Nephew over his spring break.
Trigger Warning: Life: ottersmatchboximpala on November 23rd, 2014 08:42 am (UTC)
That sounds just fantastic. Unfortunately, the only time I was at the Shedd it was absolutely jam-packed with schoolkids and it was completely chaotic. But I loved what I was able to see -- especially the penguins.

If you ever come to the Bay Area (and you should), I will take you to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I could spend all day just watching the sea otters.

And so can you: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals-and-experiences/live-web-cams/sea-otter-cam

OMG I love them.
dodger_sister: creaturedodger_sister on November 23rd, 2014 09:48 pm (UTC)
That sounds just fantastic. Unfortunately, the only time I was at the Shedd it was absolutely jam-packed with schoolkids and it was completely chaotic. But I loved what I was able to see -- especially the penguins.

It really was! Oh, yeah, we went on a weekend, so while it was packed, at least not with schoolkids. The penguins were awesome - I completely forgot to say that they were being fed while we were at the exhibit for them and they were swarming the feeder - it was hysterical.

If you ever come to the Bay Area (and you should), I will take you to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I could spend all day just watching the sea otters.

Oh man, I wish. I have a lot of travel 'wants' and I know given my energy levels that the overseas ones would probably be way too much, but the other side of the country might be doable someday. I have a list of CA places I want to go.

There is a baby otter (5 weeks old) at the Shedd right now, but unfortunately not old enough for the public yet.