Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dallas World Aquarium

For an early birthday celebration and some family togetherness, we decided to take Audrey to the Dallas World Aquarium this weekend. She has never been to anything beyond the fish and bird department at the pet store, so this was a first for her. We decided to go as close to opening as we could to keep Audrey's attention span as fresh as possible (and to avoid the inevitable weekend crowd!), and we arrived at the Aquarium a little after 9am. Our plan worked- we didn't have to struggle to find parking, and we didn't have to wait in line to buy our tickets or get in.

Audrey started out in her stroller, but it didn't take much more than 5 minutes before I unstrapped her to lift her up to see the amazing birds and fishes all around us. Every bird was a "duck" or "bird, tweet tweet tweet!" to her, and she loved every minute of it. She wasn't really able to focus on the smaller, quieter, more still exhibits (like bugs, lizards, and frogs), but she really loved the swimming, flitting, flying, chirping, and splashing creatures! Between stops, she also loved pushing her own stroller. We had to employ the monkey leash towards the end of our visit, because Audrey had gotten so comfortable in the DWA that she was actually running between fellow visitors, cawing like a parrot. Since the crowd had slowly grown throughout the morning, it was a matter of safety that our little monkey wore her own little monkey.

We ended up finishing the entire experience in a little over 45 minutes, but what a 45-minute experience!

First stop: toucans that you can reach in and feed

Next: turtles and arowannas from the Amazon

Audrey spots a turtle...

...then notices the huge fish swimming near by

Watching ducks and storks at the base of the waterfall

Ready to move on...

Showing Daddy the manatee and huge fish tank

Huge fish

Audrey notices the bottoms of ducks swimming up above

The super-cool concave portal into a saltwater fish tank

Fish and bubbles... what more could a girl want?

She looks like she's posing for Vogue or something...

Audrey notices that Daddy has taken the camera to the other side of the aquarium

Audrey pointing out Daddy to Mama

How'd he get in there?

A long nosed saw shark rests on the top of the tunnel through the shark exhibit

Audrey crowd-watching while a shark swims by

Despite the speedy run-through, we all had a really great time, and vowed to come back again and to expand our family excursions as the weather allows. What a great pre-birthday weekend!

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