Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Newport Aquarium

Way back in June my mother came to visit her only granddaughter, bring us a sandbox (which was actually not a reason for, just a happy side-effect of, her visit), and give Matt's mom a break from babysitting while I was in school. On the day I did not have classes, we decided to take Harper to the Newport Aquarium, in Northern Kentucky. If you don't count the time she attended in-utero, it was her first visit. Harper enjoys fish, so it seemed like a good fit.

Before we took her in the aquarium, however, we made her stand in rather intense wind for this photo with Cincinnati in the background. It looks like she's about to be blown down into the river, but never fear, Mugga never would have let that happen.

So the aquarium is a pretty interesting place. My only complaint is that it is designed to flow in one direction so you pretty much go from beginning to end and it is difficult to backtrack and take another look at something. For most visitors this probably isn't a big deal, but Harper, once she learned there were SHARKS! really wasn't interested in looking at much else. We went on turbo speed past many cool exhibits to get to the SHARKS! which, being the most popular attraction, are located at the end of the setup.

We learned something new during our day at the aquarium; actually two new things. 1) Given the one-way orientation, it needs more bathrooms. 2) There is an animal called a shark ray which can be viewed there. There are two and apparently this is the only place they are on display in this hemisphere. I believe this aquarium boasts the only shark ray breeding program in the world. Now, did you know that some sharks are born alive and some hatch from eggs? (Consider yourself educated!) When we were there someone asked a guide whether shark ray babies would be born alive or hatch from eggs, and the guide said, "No one really knows." Um, huh?! I really though scientists had already documented most of that stuff, but I guess not!

Here's what Harper looks like after a long day of fish-gazing. The aquarium gets an A+ for Toddler Poop-Out Factor.


Mommy Daisy said...

Wow, that looks like a great time. I know Zachariah loves the aquarium. Too bad we don't live closer to North Carolina (we have a membership there). Oh well.

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