Truth be told, the gift was Cory's idea. And it just so happens that he is a full-on freak when it comes to ocean life. You do the math.
Calvin's a pretty big fan though, too. He took his almanac so he could "study" on the way.
We put on our bravest face and brought Siley along. It stuns even me to see that he really is growing. He's learning. Progress is slower than frozen honey at times, but I'll take it any way it comes. He did a fantastic job at the aquarium, though he was there more to push those informational buttons than to actually look at the fish. Whatevs.
As for the ocean life: Why are fish so dang freakish looking? It's the lips that do me in. And the bug eyes.
But mostly, it's the lips. The whole mouth region, really.
She's not so bad...
There was one fish that reminded me of my favorite pin striped shirts. He screamed J Crew. The rest of them weren't pageant winners, that's for darn sure.
Haven's gonna love this picture.
(Do you love it, Havis?)
When the much-anticipated show finally started, it was 75% "This is how we train the fish" and 25% "Watch these dolphins do synchronized tricks!"
Seriously, know your audience, Shedd. Hundreds of pre-schoolers don't give a hoot about the trainers. No offense. Also, I don't really give a hoot. I just want to see fish do tricks. Lots of flips and tricks and the blowing of water out of blow-holes. And maybe it's true that dolphins aren't fish. And maybe it's true that I should have taken the opportunity to actually learn something.
But at the end of the day, that's why I have Calvin.
:: DON'T DO IT! ::
(Holy cow, I did learn something!)
Upon review, it was the penguins that Ruby and I loved best, all barrel-bodied and quick-stepping. Calvin picked "touching the sea star" and "the pretend submarine" and the sharks. Cory holds closest to his heart the sea turtle. Silas loved the buttons. I have no earthly clue what Haven liked best, but she did seem fond of the many strategically-placed benches.
There was something for everyone and we saw a ton in just a few hours. But what I really love the most is that we all did it together. We did it a little crazy and a lot happy. We were cranky a time or two. We were hungry and funny. There may or may not have been some barfing involved.
It wasn't perfect, but it was perfectly us.
*All photos courtesy of CMB.