I know, you've all been waiting for this post all day right? :) We've had quite a busy day with a t-ball fun day for Kieran this morning complete with pizza and medals, another birthday party this afternoon and family over for supper. Phew, I'm beat! I might need another vacation...one where I get to sleep a lot rather than get up at 5am every morning.
Last Sunday we visited the New England Aquarium in Boston. The drive took about an hour and a half. We figured we'd head in on a Sunday to avoid too much traffic but then had to suffer the crowds. It wasn't too bad but there were quite a few people.
This was one of Riley's favourite parts of the trip. If you haven't been to this aquarium, it's really cool. When you first get there, they have seals swimming around outside. You can kind of watch them while you get your tickets. Then when you go in there is a large penguin exhibit with many different kinds of penguins. I think they give talks about the penguins periodically throughout the day, but we didn't really stick in any one place too long. In the centre of the building is a HUGE tank that is surrounded by a ramp, so you kind of walk upwards around the tank and you can look in at the different animals in it and also take in smaller tanks on the outside edge all the way up. So many cool animals, fish, rays, anemones, electric eels, piranhas, crabs, sea dragons (so cool, btw!), starfish, just to name a few. There's also a really big, fun touch pool where you can pick up sea stars, crabs, clams and such. That was a big hit with the kids...we had to drag them away so the kids behind them could have a chance :) The big tank in the centre (which I actually read somewhere was put in place first and the rest of the building was built around it, cool) has sharks, rays, sea turtles, many species of big fish. It's so captivating that you could just sit there for hours and watch them. Oh, there's also a really cool jellyfish exhibit!
We had a really great day visiting there. There were only minor meltdowns. Kieran got sad a few times because he wanted to keep going back to see the penguins. They were definitely the highlight for him. All in all the kids were pretty happy and entertained. After the aquarium we had lunch at the Quincy market. It was so crowded that the kids and I just sat on the stairs while Kevin grabbed some sandwiches. I'm sure they had much better food but we had to make it quick and easy with 3 hungry kids and we couldn't keep going back. The sandwiches were ok though and we got some yummy cookies for dessert. As we were walking back to the car we kept running into walking tours of the city and I really wanted to join in, lol. Ah, someday we'll get to do stuff like that on vacation, but not anytime soon :)
Here are some (ok, a lot) of my favourite pictures from the day:
Not sure what this ray (or skate...not sure about the difference. Maybe if there wasn't always a kid or three hanging off me I could read a sign or two, but I digress) did to cause Bridget to give him the finger. Looks kinda cool all stuck to the glass like that.
Ray? Skate? Ray? Skate? I should really research before I blog so I can impress you with my knowledge. Here, if you really care, read this. This was taken at the top of the giant, centre tank.
I assume this is a lungfish since he kept popping up to breathe. Or maybe he was just having fun... No, wait, I just googled lungfish and this looks nothing like one. I have no idea what this is, but he was amusing.
Ok, this one I am *pretty* sure is a sea turtle. He kept popping up to breathe too. He is so big and amazing to watch.
Riley, about to get eaten :) I have the jaws theme running through my head, but that's hard to type so imagine it for yourself.
Token penguin picture for Kieran.
Jellies!! They are mesmerizing.
Kieran with his penguin stuffie from the gift shop. Perry for short, Perry the Penguin for long, as Kieran would say.
Can you believe this? All three of my kids looking happy at the same time! All looking at the camera! Boston must be magic, haha! I'll spare you the other 10 shots that didn't turn out nearly so well :) This was taken in the Quincy market and all the while there was a guy singing kids songs (the only one I can remember is Old MacDonald, but he sang many) just down from us. Kids like him, Mommy and Daddy, not so much. Bridget's hair is a little wild because I had pigtails in but she took them out and lost the elastics :)
And, one of the best parts of the day, my view looking into the back of the van on the way back to our 'United States house' as we took to calling the condo so as not to confuse the kids when we said we were going 'home':
Ok, Boston really is magic! A good picture of my kids and all of them falling asleep in the car! Wow! Riley NEVER sleeps in the car. He didn't doze once on the 8 hour ride to NH. I was shocked to see him sleeping. Oh, and that's his ray (skate?ray?skate?) that he bought at the gift shop. In case you were wondering, Bridget picked out a pink, stuffed, dolphin purse. Guess there's a little girl in here even with 2 big brothers.
Back in NH we stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up a few things...water, bread and we also bought a set of 8 Disney puzzles that we planned to do with the kids. Only the pieces were small and the kids not so interested, so over the course of the week I think Kevin and I did about 6 of them, often yelling at the kids to not mess them up, haha. One of them did fall on the floor but only after we had finished :) Yes, aren't we exciting, but it's not like we could go anywhere with the kids asleep. We watched a few bad movies too :) Oh, I also read Eat, Pray, Love and it was amazing! I'm heading to see the movie on Tuesday and hope it lives up to the book.