National’s Trip part 2

When we left brother #5 on Thursday night, we arranged to meet up with him the next day and go to the National Zoo in DC. Unfortunately, his night did not end until 6 AM (problems that needed ironing out with the opening of the restaurant) and he backed out. We got a much later start than we originally planned and didn’t get to the zoo until nearly 11 AM. Surprisingly enough there was no parking at the zoo. Or anywhere within a 5 mile radius of the zoo. (Not too much of a shock as parking in Washington sucks!) We found a spot for one car right outside the zoo but, since we had two cars, couldn’t take it. We finally cut our losses and headed north to find something else to do. Luckily, Baltimore is within spitting distance of DC and we would up in another of our favorite haunts – the Baltimore Aquarium.

They have been doing renovations and you walk into the lobby to be met by this 3 story tall waterfall. For anyone who has read The Valley of Adventure by Enid Blyton, THIS

is exactly how I imagined the cave where Phillip, Diana, Jack & LucyAnn hid out. One of the wonderful things about the aquarium is that you’re not stuck only with fish. They do have the ray tank where you can see turtles and sting rays.

But then we went into the Australian exhibit and saw lots and lots of birds!

There were also lizards and snakes but they skeeve me out so I didn’t take any pictures. I did get a picture of a fruit bat hanging from the ceiling but he was too far away and the picture came out fuzzy.

The aquarium has a 4D presentation of the Shallow Seas from the Planet Earth Series (by the way, if you get a chance to see any of these, they are amazing!!!) 4D means you watch it through 3D glasses and there are interactive parts as well. Such as the whale spouts water and you get spritzed in the face with water. And they show sea snakes slithering through the water and something goes slithering past your legs. Oh and the electric eel zaps something and you get poked in the back. All this while you have sharks and dolphins swimming straight into your face, thanks to the glasses. Lots of squeals and grabbing of the person sitting next to you. There were a couple of times I though my mother might end up in my lap. As long as you don’t mind being startled, it was tons of fun! I would not want to do it with anything really scary … we saw shallow seas and figured it would be pretty tame.

Then we went to the Dolphin show. If there is a dolphin or whale show anywhere in the vicinity, Helen and I will be there. That was so cool! I have some absolutely awesome shots of the water just AFTER the dolphin went back in. Or of the back half of the dolphin as he swam just out of my camera frame. I finally gave up and just enjoyed the show:)

After the show, Dad went off to explore the USS Constellation, one of the war ships docked in the harbor, and we girls wandered the rest of the aquarium.

My favorite part was the Rain Forest where we saw a 2 toed sloth hanging from the upper branches. To see a better picture of him, go to Helen’s blog because her camera is much better than mine.

As we were walking back to the cars, we passed a street performer about to start his act in one of the little mini-amphitheater corners set up in the Inner Harbor. I saw that he had gasoline placed in front of him, and, having just finished reading Inkheart and Inkspell by Cornelia Funke, my mind jumped to Dustfinger. We decided to stay and see his show and he was really good. However, Dustfinger he was not. He did light a torch from fire on his tongue, and he juggled 3 torches while balancing on a 2 foot rubber ball. For his final act, he got out of two straightjackets while balancing on the ball, which was fairly impressive. His act was mostly patter, joking with the crowd, with three or four tricks thrown in. But it was a fun way to spend 20 minutes. And the day was gorgeous … and you’re sitting in the Inner Harbor so if you don’t like the show, look out at the water. What’s not to like?

It was a great two days. We didn’t get home til almost 11:30 PM and we were met by three cats, fainting from hunger. Once fed though, they were VERY glad to see us and didn’t leave our sides. It’s a gratifying thing to come home to, I must say. Yesterday we just relaxed and pottered around the house, and today, we’re expecting a visit from the boys, my parents’ dogs Dickon and Morgun, who will be coming to run and run and run in our backyard. They don’t often get off their leashes so this will be a real treat for them and us, because they are always a most welcome addition to our house.

There were other pictures from the aquarium but they are not showing up in the blog. If Blogger and Photobucket decide to cooperate, I’ll try to get them in later. I’m not sure why some are coming through and others not. This is a love/hate relationship I have with technology:)


One Response to “National’s Trip part 2”

  1. the dragonfly Says:

    This is why I never drive in Washington, DC. I park outside the district and ride the Metro in. In DC you can get anywhere on the Metro and your two feet. 🙂 (And a walk through Adams Morgan to the National Zoo is part of the zoo experience!)(Okay, I’m a little overzealous for the zoo, I guess. Washington DC is my favorite place on earth.)

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