On a whim Tony and I decided to take Des to the New England Aquarium today. It was cloudy and rainy out, so we were looking for a fun indoor activity.
The fact that it was the first icky weekend day all month should have tipped us off to stay away from any 'fun indoor activity,' unless it was in our own home. Ahh hindsight...
We found cheap parking in the city and walked around the waterfront. We don't venture to that part of the city often, so we took our time watching the boats and seagulls and tourists.
By the time we arrived at the aquarium there was a massive, snaking line from the entrance alllll the way back to the street. This can't be the ticket line, can it? No, it's probably for a duck tour or whale watch or I dunno, is Harry Potter himself here?? No such luck. It was the ticket line. We thought we planned it so we would miss the rush!
There was no way Des was going to sit still in this line. So we pushed the stroller over to the exterior seal exhibit, trying to decide what to do. Des LOVED the seals. Well, at first he was scared. He nearly jumped out of his skin when one of them swam by. It was really funny. We are the kind of parents who find our child's initial terror of harmless situations side-splittingly hilarious. But after that, he was pointing and yelling at them, like, "HI THERE, I SEE YOU SEAL, YOU ARE SWIMMING AND I LOVE YOU," kind of yelling. Aww, look he loves them!
Despite the fact that we were thinking of nixing the aquarium idea and walking around the city for the afternoon, Des's adoration of the seals made me want to take him inside. How much would he love the penguins and turtles and shiny fish as far as the eye can see? But that line. No effin way, is what I said to that line.
"Damn, we coulda bought tickets online and printed them at home," Tony said. "I wish I thought of it."
"What if we went to Kinkos?" I am truly brilliant sometimes. FedEx/Kinkos was just a couple blocks away. We'd be there and back before most of these people even make it halfway to the ticket window.
So that's what we did. And I was so proud of myself for coming up with that plan. All those people waiting in line are clearly not as smart as we are. But as we made our way back to the aquarium, printed tickets in hand, I had a thought. All those people waiting. Those hundreds of people... they're going to be inside eventually. Every one of them, in those dark aisles and along the edges of tanks, congested and crowded. The wind went out of my sail. Ohhh crap.
See, I'm not so good in those situations. I like bright, under-populated, wide open spaces where me and my kid can run around. So umm.. what was I thinking again?
Welp, we paid $50 for this, we might as well go in at this point. And as soon as we walked in the doors, my fears were justified. Wall-to-wall people. The last time I had been here I was in elementary school. I recalled it being A LOT bigger. But maybe that's the claustrophobia talking.
Despite the crowds, it wasn't all bad. Des actually enjoyed himself for the most part, and that's what it's all about, right folks? Unfortunately I had a minor anxiety attack in the middle of the starfish exhibit where it felt like the walls were closing in on me and I was going to be sucked spinning into the tile floor. So for the most part Tony handled Des, and I handled the stroller and the arduous task of keeping my shit together.
When I was breathing at a normal pace, it was so fun to see Des's reactions to all the surroundings. The penguins were his buddies. The shark scared him to death at first, as it did ME, and the turtles were as a big as cars. But he loved it all. And it's always an amazing experience to see this world from a fresh set of eyes. Especially when my old eyes are polluted with stupid anxiety.
Check out these ooh's and aah's (if you listen past the crowd noise):
These pics are a bit blurry due to poor lighting, constantly moving subjects, and my piss-poor photography skills. But you get the gist.
Just like St. John
I love coral
"Oh Holy Jesus!" was my very loud reaction amongst the crowd of young children.
"Rawr!" was Des's.
Sweet, sweet fresh air
Moving freely is awesome
Me and my turtle boy
Side note: Best of luck to Auntie Jaclyn on her trip back east from California!! We can't wait to see her. And her 'lovie' is going to give her the biggest most excited smiles and hugs ever. She has no idea.