Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Something's Fishy in Atlanta

Thought for the day:  What does a grape say when you step on it? Nothing. It just gives a little whine.

Yesterday, our forty-second anniversary, was absolutely rosy. My hubby isn't from Texas, but he should be, because he certainly believes in doing things in a large way. He gave me a kazillion flowers. Three bouquets of roses, and three big bouquets of mums. Gorgeous. To tell the truth, I would've been just as happy with a single rose, or a small bouquet of daisies, but you know what? There are sweet-smelling bouquets all over the house, and every time I look at one of them, I smile. He really is the wind beneath my wings.

Our trip to the Atlanta aquarium was fantabulous. Wind was happy to stand back and smile like an indulgent parent, but I joined the kids, and stuck my hand into the water at every touch tank so I could feel the sea anemones, sea urchins, horseshoe crabs, starfish, skates, and a bonnet head shark. Heck, why not, right? He didn't particularly care about touching any of them directly, but I very kindly shared as much of the wetness with him as I could get away with. I'm generous like that.

Nope, this isn't us. It's another couple. 

There were soooooo many cool creatures at the aquarium. The picture above shows a pair of wolf eels. The male looks like an old old man with no teeth. (Reminded me very much of a friend of ours.) Another tank had what they called a garden of eels. Looked kinda like grass at first, but it was actually a bunch of slender eels backed into the sand, with only their heads and parts of their body visible.

Sea nettles, or jellyfish, are no fun when they're wrapped around your leg, but when they're on the other side of a thick slab of acrylic, they're amazing.  Beautiful, delicate, and graceful, as though they're performing a slow motion ballet.

beluga whale
In spite of their size, the beluga whales are quite graceful, too. And their faces really make them look friendly, too, don't they? Kinda like a cross between a dolphin, a manatee, and a canary. (Don't you see something bird-like there?) And I know ... a cross between THREE different things? (Musta been a menage a trois.)

The whale sharks are the largest fish in the world. The four at the Georgia aquarium are about twenty-four feet long, but they can grow to more than forty. (So, yes, thank you, I DID look quite svelte in comparison.) One thing I found particularly interesting about them is that, in spite of their enormous size, their esophagus is only about an inch in diameter. So they pose no threat to the other fish swimming around with them.

sea anemone
fish swimming around coral

sea dragons

 Have you ever seen a sea dragon? They're even cooler looking than sea horses. Tiny ridges of cilia on the side of their necks and rumps move so quickly, they look like miniature helicopter rotors.

The Georgia aquarium is the largest in the world, and without a doubt, there's enough there to keep anyone enthralled for a day. Or more. (I can hardly wait to go back!) But here's the funny thing. As I was walking through this incredible place, loving every minute of it, I was also imagining it as an incredible setting for a book. Consider:

  • The aquarium hosts sleepovers. (ooooh)
  • Huge tanks of water, and all kinds of critters in those tanks. (ooooh, all kinds!)
  • Beautiful light play and reflections from the water during the day. Imagine how eerie it must be at night. (scary!)
  • Huge critters gliding past the enormous acrylic windows. Imagine that nighttime eeriness. (scarier)
  • Divers go into the tanks to maintain and clean them. Imagine if one of them finds, say, a human foot in one of those tanks after a sleepover. (oooh, something's fishy)
  • All we need is a title. How about "Trouble's Afoot"? 

So, are you ever guilty of imagining the incredible places you visit as a setting for a book? Surely, I'm not the only one. Do tell. And if you have another idea for a funny title for a mystery based in the Georgia Aquarium, let's have it. (Oh, and you're welcome to the book idea, too. Just mention my name in the acknowledgements, if you would ...)

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


  1. I have been to the Baltimore Aquarium and that is really nice also. It is amazing seeing the different life under the sea

    Congratulations on your anniversary. It sounds like your husband is an awesome, kind, sensitive person.

    Next month we celebrate our 44th (married at 12). For our 40th anniversary, hubby got me a Buddha for my Zen garden. Very thoughtful, then he ruined it for me and told me he had gotten a bargain because the head had fallen off. The store gave it to him free and then he used epoxy to put the head back on. I had to look closely to see the fix, and I did appreciate his efforts. Besides, I love a bargain also. However, everytime it rains hard and Buddha happens to tip over, I always expect to find him headless again. Not quite Zen.

  2. Happy anniversary.....sounds like a wonderful day.

  3. Awww. Sounds like your hubs is a real sweetie-pie. I think you should keep him. ;)

  4. What a wonderful day! Love the pictures too.

    Hubs is a sweetie! Happy Anniversary. :)

  5. Hi, Ladies. Thank you so much for your comments. (Yippee! Looks like Blogger is finally gonna let me make a comment.)

    Starting Over- We've been to the Baltimore aquarium a number of times, too. You're right; it's pretty terrific, too. In fact, the whole inner harbor is quite beautiful, and a hundred times removed from what that area looked like when we lived there. I can believe you were 12 when you got married. Personally, I was but a mere zygote. Love the story about your hubby and the Buddha, because it sounds exactly like something my hubby would do. Gotta love 'em!

    Karla- Thank you. It was.

    Linda- Yeah, he is. We're aiming for 75 years, so we have a ways to go yet.

    Skippy- It was wonderful. Thank you.

  6. Wow--your hubby knows how to get into a lady's good books, doesn't he? Congrats on the anniversary!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  7. Happy Anniversary! It sounds like you had a wonderful time! I've been to the Baltimore Aquarium -- and I've snorkeled in the Living Seas Aquarium at Epcot! I hadn't heard of the Atlanta Aquarium, but clearly it's worth a visit!

  8. Hi, Angela. He sure does. Thank you, dear lady.

    Hi, Dianne. We'll have to check out the aquarium at Epcot the next time we visit Orlando. And yes, the Atlanta Aquarium is definitely worth a visit. They have a program for people to snorkel, too, but I'm not that adventurous. Take care.

  9. Congratulations!!!

    Aquariums are wonderfully spooky. I set part of a mystery novel at the Chattanooga Aquarium.

  10. Sounds like you had a wonderful anniversary! I like the idea of an aquarium mystery novel, kind of an Agatha Christie meets Jacque Costeau. Your husband has lovely taste in flowers! He's a keeper! Julie

  11. Hi, Julie. Yeah, I think an aquarium mystery would be pretty cool. Definitely an eerie setting, especially at night. And you're right. I believe I'll hang onto Wind for another fifty years or so.

    Take care.