Though I’ve mentioned the National Aquarium before, along with Hubby’s love of sea creatures, I realized I have never really, really posted here about the National Aquarium*. While New Jersey does have a phenomenal aquarium, the reason I think we enjoy the National Aquarium has as much to do with what is inside the aquarium as is outside. The view of the harbor, along with the sights of the city, make for a perfect day.
*Here lies the reason for the my confusion.
In the last two years, we’ve gone five times. We’ve visited in the summer and winter, on crowded and light days, and regardless of the circumstances, the aquarium never disappoints.
We thought Jon would love it as much as we do.
Anything experienced through Jon is greeted with eager anticipation, wild curiosity, and, occasionally, a slight hint of hesitance. I love watching how his brain works, seeing how he processes and immerses himself into new experiences.
Moments after entering the aquarium, you are greeted by the Black Tip Reef of breathtaking enormity, filled with sea creatures of all shapes and sizes. Though the spark of curiosity was present, Jon timidly leaned towards the railing. We encouraged him to go closer, assuring him that he would not fall in, while he, in turn, reassured us that he was fine where he stood.*
*We met this same kind of apprehension when we took him to Niagara Falls a few years ago. Our hotel window looked out into the falls. For the first day or so, Jon refused to go anywhere near the window.
He eventually warmed up a little more to the railing, as he did with the window in Niagara.
Once we reached the enclosed exhibits, he was much more adventurous and interested in just what exactly an aquarium has to offer.
And he was far braver than I at the please touch exhibit.
I know they aren’t going to hurt me. I know that little children plop their hands into that tank daily exhibiting no fear whatsoever. I know the aquarium staff are watching to make sure everything is going accordingly.
Still I can’t reach my hand into that tank.
It amazes me that even with the growing number of times we have visited the aquarium I still continue to see new things each time.
Though I’ve seen these teeny little sea horses before, I’ve never seen them quite so relaxed and incognito as this…
This sea urchin, who I suppose I may have seen before, stood out quite vividly to me this trip:
This guy always cracks me up. His face makes me think of Flash the sloth from Zootopia. He looks so happy. I suppose it was no small wonder that Jon instantly called him, “Bubba fish” referring to our older brother, Justin, who is mild mannered with a cheery personality.
These monkeys? Never, ever saw them before.
Calypso is my absolute favorite part of the National Aquarium. When he was just a little guy, he had an infection that caused one of his fin’s to be amputated. He was donated to the aquarium and has gone from a 6-pound baby turtle to this magnificent 500-pound beauty:
I wish I could take him home with me.
The jellyfish exhibit, though just a small area near the food court, brings me the most relaxation in the entire aquarium. The beauty of the jellies against the simple blue backgrounds makes for quite the calming view.
Here we go again with railing fright…
We managed to catch a dolphin show, as well as, a Spongebob 4-D movie that Jon insisted on. If you’ve never gone to one of these 4D museum movies, be prepared for mists of water at unexpected moments, along with a little lever that kicks out from your seat into your back.
Even though the day was pretty hot, we spent some time walking around outside the aquarium. Here lies the reason I love this aquarium! You can walk around and get a view of the harbor, go visit one of the ships, go shopping, or grab a bite to eat.
Unprompted picture, Jon style
I stinking love this kid.
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