Newport Aquarium

Thanks to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Lawless, we have a membership for this year to (among other places) the Newport Aquarium.  We’ve been saying for months (nay, years – even though the girls have only had 2.5 of them) that Elise and Avery would love it there, and they do… aside from a few apprehensive moments.  But I’m getting ahead of myself…

First, I was pleasantly surprised  shocked that our drive (from our driveway to a parked car on the Levee) took just 35 minutes this morning.  Of course, that did mean killing some time in an elevator lobby to stay warm and checking out the great views of Cincinnati (“Just like the Cincinnati zoo’s name!”) while waiting for the doors to open (and dealing with the incredibly rude staff when they did).

Once we were finally inside, the girls were hilarious.  They’d run from exhibit to exhibit squealing, “Fishies!  More fishies!  I see more fishies!”  That only lasted a few minutes, but their excitement continued throughout.  You’ll have to take my word for it, since I forgot my camera and the pictures from the phone are practically painful to share.  Super annoying.

The aquarium, while small, is pretty nice for little ones.  In the first hallway, Elise and Avery discovered tribal drums to play with in between fish exhibits.  Oh, and there are buttons (of all varieties) everywhere, right at preschooler height just begging to be pushed!

Of course, at some points (ie, the first “tunnel”) Avery decided she just wasn’t coming with us any further.

It just took a second of (literal) hand-holding though, before she regained her courage.  Seriously though, some things in the ocean are downright evil looking.  And I’m not even talking about eels.  More like this guy:

… who, thankfully, had these loveable guys as neighbors.  We liked them much better.

We made our way through various climates and regions of fish, and walked over the most giant alligator I’ve ever seen, whose head was craned upward toward us (through the see-through floor), mouth open ready to devour us.  No, seriously. I didn’t even point him out to the girls.  They have nightmares about puppy dogs and dolphins, God forbid they see that thing right about now, that eats turkeys larger than them in one gulp!  We spent a little bit of time in the Frog Bog, saw some sharks, and touched a Starfish.  At least Elise and I did, Avery wanted nothing to do with it.  Not that we were surprised… 🙂

The girls favorite part of the Frog Bog was was the “froggy in the dog bowl!” (and the one on the wall).  They are kind of silly.

My favorite part?  Giant Frogger.

I can’t wait until we go back with someone to corral the girls so I can actually play without them pushing the pause button incessantly.  Not that I cared, or anything 🙂

I think if you ask them, Elise and Avery would say their favorite things overall were the otters (so cute, despite only seeing 2 instead of the usual dozen playing) and the jellyfish (“Just like I made!“).

And the giftshop.

There is even a great little playground inside that we should have spent some time in while there was literally one other family (another set of twin girls) in the entire aquarium, especially considering I forgot how little the place really is.  We skipped it “to save time”, and then found ourselves at the exit seemingly a few short moments later.  Oh, well.  Next time!

Just before exiting, you know if you’ve been there in the last 5 years or so, is a shark tank where you can “pet a shark”.  Both girls were really excited, and, I swear to you, both girls did it.  Avery wanted to pet him repeatedly, and I was not about to stop her.  So there we stood, taking turns over and over for a few solid minutes.  Alas, I’m sure she’ll forget that it didn’t bite her hand off the next time we want her to pet something similar…. but it was fun for now, anyway!

The entire way home, they wanted to tell Dada all about the aquarium.  I think we’ll have to go back sooner than I anticipated, even – and next time, with a real camera!

(A few more (terrible quality) pictures in the  newly-formed January Picasa album)