Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Fishy Wish

Thought for the day:  My friend told me to blow all the candles out in one breath. What kind of a blowhard does he think I AM, anyway?

I forgot to warn my neighbors, so it's only natural they called 9-1-1 last week when they saw that fiery glow blazing inside our house. Actually, it was rather sweet of them, y'know? Caring. I mean, how were THEY supposed to know it was just my birthday cake?

Oh well, no real harm done. We ended up with a new front door, (The fireman's ax really shredded the old one.) and the carpets aren't nearly as soggy as they were a few days ago. And they needed to be cleaned, anyway.

Yep, last Thursday was my birthday. (yippee)  I'm past the age of getting excited about birthdays, although I've really been enjoying the cakes. (Got TWO of 'em. Hmmm, you think Smarticus had doubts about fitting all those candles onto one...?) By the way, I hope ya know I was just kidding about the firemen coming to the house. After coming the past two years, they knew better...

Anyhow, what I WAS excited about was the article I'd seen in the newspaper a couple months back saying that the Georgia Aquarium gives FREE entrance and dolphin show tickets to people on their birthdays. I mean, woo-HOO, right? You already know what I think about senior discounts so you can just imagine how I feel about FREEBIES. Especially if it involves something as neat as the Aquarium. Our first visit to the Aquarium was in May of 2011, so I was more than ready to go again. Before going, we checked online to see if there was anything we needed to know, like what we could and couldn't bring. No guns, knives, or lighters. Makes perfect sense. But my personal favorite? No fishing rods! That still cracks me up.

Okay, wanta see some pictures?


This is one of the touch tanks, showing a couple of horseshoe crabs, and a bonnethead shark. Last time we went, I touched every critter in every touch tank. This time, I restrained myself. More (ahem) mature, I guess. Nah. I was wearing long sleeves this time.


Isn't this guy too cute? Kinda looks like he needs to pay a visit to the orthodontist. Or not. Obviously, he isn't too self-conscious about his teeth. He smiled for me.



This guy has a lot of personality, too, doesn't he? Looks a tad frantic, like he's late, he's late for a very important date.




Now I ask you... does the fish in front... or does he not... look like Donald Trump? (I had no idea a fish could have a bad toupee, did you?)



This is a garden... of eels. In the wild, some areas are supposedly so densely populated with them, the seabed looks like a wheat field. Um, with stripes.



The seahorses were fascinating to watch...



but not quite as fascinating as the sea dragons. (Sorry about the flash reflection.) These critters are absolutely amazing. And reeeeally fun to watch.


The electric eel is pretty neat, but I've gotta admit, the National Aquarium's display in Baltimore is much better. They have a meter and speaker on their electric eel's tank, so you can actually see the measurements of... and hear... the discharges of electricity.



How about this octopus? Colorful character, isn't he?


In the deep sea portion of the aquarium, you walk through a tunnel, with all kinds of creatures on either side of the path... and above it. I believe this picture shows the underbellies of a couple of guitarfish. Maybe their names are Fender and Gibson? (That's what I'd call 'em, anyway.)

Here's some of the belugas. Really playful critters. So were the otters, both river and sea. But the most amazing animals were the dolphins performing in the Dolphin Tales show.   WOW! The divers working with them have some job! Can you imagine riding on a dolphin's back... or being pushed through the water at high speed by one... or "surfing" on one's back? One guy even stood on two of them... and rode 'em like a pair of skis.

Oh yeah, a group of Weeki Wachee mermaids put on a show right before the Dolphin Tales, too. That was okay, but a little bit of that went a long way for me. What I would have liked more of, though, is the animated 3-D movie... complete with special effects. The movie only lasted about fifteen minutes or so, but I was grinning like an idiot the entire time. I LOVED it! (The first time I felt a little splat of water, I thought it was my overactive imagination...)


Four whale sharks are cruising around in the deep sea exhibit. In spite of their massive size, their tracheas are only about the diameter of a dime, so they don't pose much danger to the other fish in the tank. At feeding time, divers get into the tank in four rafts, and each raft has a different color feeding bucket... a specific color assigned to each shark. The whale sharks have been trained such that each seeks food only from the properly colored bucket. So no feeding frenzy. Quite civilized.

Bottom line? We enjoyed our visit to the Aquarium just as much this time as we did before. Even more.

And look what I found! Sorry y'all couldn't be with us last week, but how'd you like to take a virtual tour? I found quite a few videos on YouTube, but this one was my favorite. There's even a great shot of a sea dragon in it. Check it out:

Pretty neat, huh? And lucky YOU, I even found some videos taken of the Dolphin Tales show. Not sure how those folks got away with it, because no one was supposed to take any pictures or videos in there. But like I said, lucky YOU...


(sigh) It was a wonderful way to spend a birthday... to spend ANY day. I can hardly wait to go back.

                                        Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


          You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.

51 comments:

  1. I seem to have found some far-flung clubs of fellow Sagittarians lately. Yours has the best field trips. Happy birthmonth to US. And thanks for the great pictures!

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    1. I hope you have a super duper birthday, too. It's never too late to enjoy a good field trip.

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  2. Happy Birthday!
    Thank you for these wonderful pictures.
    Australia has an aquarium, somewhere over on the East coast. I plan on going to see it one day.

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    1. Oh, you've gotta go! I'll bet they even have a duck-billed platypus or two there. (That has GOT to be one of the coolest critters on the planet.)

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  3. We Sagittarians are indeed very special (*smile*) - -
    and those of us who happened to be born on December 13th don't need any damn candles because we're ageless.

    A visit to the Aquarium was a unique birthday gift (especially since it was free!). I haven't seen any horseshoe crabs since I was a kid. They were all over the New Jersey coast, but I don't remember ever seeing one in California.

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    1. Ageless? Okay, works for me!

      A day at the Aquarium was a fantastic gift. If you have anything similar in your neck of the woods, you should treat yourself. (They might even have a horseshoe crab for you to fondle!)

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  4. Hi Susan - happy birthday for last week - two cakes .. that's just greedy! but enjoyable and scrumptious ... love the shots of the aquarium ... some friends have just got seahorses .. and they are quite delightful to watch aren't they ..

    Just realised Dec 13th .. good day I have a great friend born on that day too .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks. My husband bought two cakes because he couldn't decide which one I'd like best. (So he'd better not complain when I get too broad to fit through the doorway!)

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  5. I'm jealous. Not of the birthday but the freebee. I love aquariums, been to Chattanooga and Tampa and Boston but dying to see the big tank in Atlanta. Someday that will be a good excuse to visit for a cup of coffee.

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    1. Well, now ya know! Treat yourself to a day at the aquarium for your next birthday!

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  6. Happy Birthday, Sue! I too no longer get excited about birthdays, but I love going skiing for mine. So I'm glad you got to spend your birthday doing something you love!

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    1. Thanks. I've never been skiing before, but I'll betcha I'd be quite talented at drinking a hot toddy beside the fireplace in the evenings.

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  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! The aquarium pictures are awesome. I have always been so fascinated by aquariums. It probably stems from my childhood dream of being a marine biologist :)

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    1. THANKS!! Hey, it isn't too late to become a marine biologist, ya know. Or if there's an aquarium in your area, you could always sign on as a volunteer.

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  8. Happy birthday! Love the Georgia Aquarium, been there once but I want to go back.

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, going to the aquarium is kinda like eating potato chips. Ya can't just settle for one.

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  9. Happy Birthday! Personally, I stopped counting candles years ago. Now I just enjoy the glow. It helps if you're lit before the cake is. ;)

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  10. Happy birthday! This is why I just buy my husband the candles shaped like numbers instead.

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    1. Thanks. Great idea. (To tell the truth, we didn't light any candles at all... shhhh)

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  11. What an awesome way to spend your birthday! And those sea dragons, wow, strange creatures...

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    1. It really was an awesome way to spend the day. The sea dragons are something else. They have cilia on their backs that's constantly moving, and fins that rotate like high-speed gyros. (Just think if those critters got really BIG...)

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  12. Happy Birthday...hope your eyebrows grow back in lol. Thanks for taking us on the tour.

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    1. HA! In the meantime, there's always eyebrow pencil, right? (NOT! I'd rather be eyebrowless!)

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  13. Happy late Birthday Susan!!! (haha now you're on my calendar wait til next year...) Thanks for the aquarium visit. I love the sea dragons, so exotic. Glad you had a good birthday day.

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    1. Thanks, kiddo. The sea dragons are so bizarre looking, it makes you wonder how something that looks like that could even be real.

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  14. Happy belated birthday! And those pictures are amazing.
    I think I'm getting to that age where there isn't enough room on the birthday cake, to put the candles and where after I've blown them out, I have to go and lie down for 10 minutes. :)

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    1. Thanks, Lily. Yeah, I know whatcha mean. But then, there's the pay-off: after you blow them out, there's CAKE to be had.

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  15. Happy belated birthday!

    How cool, getting a free visit to the aquarium. We always wanted to go when we still lived in South Carolina, but somehow never did, and then we moved to Florida. That's what you get for putting fun stuff off all the time!

    We've been to the aquarium in Tampa - last year's Christmas party from work took place there - but the Atlanta aquarium is a lot larger.

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  16. Thanks. It was definitely the best freebie I ever got... beats the heck out of a free cup of coffee! Too bad you never made it to the aquarium when you were living up this-a-way, but you've got lots of awesome stuff to see there in Florida. Like the manatees! (I THINK we saw them in Tampa.)

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  17. You had me going there for a minute--I thought you were serious about the fire----only because I thought I was the only one with waaaay too many candles on the cake this year. But hey, lucky you ---two cakes are always better than one!
    Loved your pics of the aquarium--gosh, I haven't been to one in YEARS and looking at these photos makes me think it's time to go again. I love watching sting rays--so graceful and beautiful in the water. Thanks for sharing the virtual tour--at least I can live vicariously through your pictures!

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    1. Sorry to get ya with the bit about the fire; I have a weird sense of humor. Glad you enjoyed the virtual tour, but it's SO much better to see in person. You should go again.

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  18. Touch tanks!!

    I would love to touch a sea turtle. Or a manatee. Or the guy that rode on the bus next to me this morning. Wow but he was good-looking...

    Huh? Sorry. :-)

    Happy birthday!

    Pearl

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    1. We didn't get to touch any sea turtles at the aquarium, and there were no manatees, but I'm quite sure that good-looking guy from the bus wouldn't mind a bit if you touched him just a little... (If he doesn't like it, he can get off the bus!)

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  19. Belated happy birthday. I got a little nervous about those firemen. Thanks for clarifying!

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    1. Thanks. Sorry to agitate you about those firemen. What can I say? I have a sick sense of humor.

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  20. Cool stuff! I love going to the aquarium. Hope you had the best birthday ever :)

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    1. Absolutely... it was the BEST birthday I had all year!

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  21. Oops, happy rather belated birthday wishes to you, good lady. You must forgive me but I'm now typing from another dimension and I'm struggling with the keyboard I now seem to have. Yes, it was December 21 and then...anyway....I can tell you all about fire....

    I promise not to attempt any fishy puns. I know my plaice. I wonder if I can purchase an electric eel on my charge card in this dimension....

    Take care and nice knowing you...

    Gary

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    1. Thanks, Gary. Purchase an electric eel on your charge card, huh? (You always manage to get a good one in, dontcha?) Well, looks like we survived the Mayan apocolypse, so I reckon you'll have to know me a little longer... Merry Christmas!

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  22. Happy Birthday! The fish who resembles Trump even has his mouth open. Quite appropriate.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, how true. (But he really DOES look like Trump, doesn't he???)

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  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. Hope you had a great birthday Susan! Amazing photos! Happy New Year to you and your family!
    Julie

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  25. Love the new cookie picture on your home page. Happy belated birthday! Hope it was everything you wanted!

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, those cookies look good enough to eat, huh? It was a loverly birthday, thanks. Happy New Year to you and your family.

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  26. Happy (belated) Birthday and Happy New Year - thanks for this, and all the other fun posts, over the past twelve months - have a great 2013 :-)
    XX K

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  27. Thanks, Karla. And a very happy new year to you, too.

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  28. I didn't see bow and arrow on the list!

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