You may notice in the bottom left hand corner of this picture there is a little blue sign. That sign says "Please do not sit or climb on the alligator." Whoops. I didn't actually see that until after I took the photo. I thought the kids looked pretty cute in it, anyway.
We got to pet sting-rays...slightly disgusting.
You know, ever since we returned home from our beach trip, I've been contemplating and analyzing my oceanic fears. And I've realized something - I don't think I'm really scared of ocean life (I'm actually quite fascinated by it)...I think I'm more fearful of the unseen ocean life. I loved snorkeling and swimming in the clear waters of Hawaii, where I could keep an eye on the open waters around me while snorkeling, and where I could easily see where I was stepping while swimming - but add a bout of cloudiness to the water and I'm a panic-attack waiting to happen.
One of my fondest memories is one where I literally swam with a wild sea-turtle for a few minutes in Hawaii. He was playing just outside the breaking waves, but the energy soaring through the swells was enough to carry us both in a rhythmic sort of dance. I didn't quite dare to touch it - it's beak looked a little intimidating - but it sure was fun to watch it glide so effortlessly in the water. Contrast that to one of my most terrifying memories: swimming in the vision-thick waters of Emerald Isle last year two days before the triathlon. I couldn't even see my hand clearly as it sliced through the water just more than a foot in front of my face. Each time I put my face back into the water I couldn't help but envision gaping jaws, with rows of razor-sharp teeth, invisible to my eye until it was mere inches from my face. By then, it would be too late. My breathing was extremely strained as I practiced in that ocean for those few minutes. I had to breathe every-other stroke, as opposed to every 3rd or 5th stroke I had practiced in the pool. I seriously had to coach myself with encouraging words as I felt a panic-attack coming on.
Anyway - long tangent to maybe explain why I liked the aquarium. :)
Merrill actually found one of these on the beach - we mocked him for thinking it was something cool when it was, for sure, just a piece of man-made plastic. Looks like he was right! This is a skate egg sack - the skate's 'wings' (like a sting-ray) are all rolled up inside, and as it breaks free from it's sack, it unrolls in the water, swims away, and the egg sack washes up on shore.
Carson's favorite animal was the baby octopus...and McKenzie's favorite animal was the jelly-fish.
And, completely unrelated: I have this small problem with chocolate chip cookies. One of my best friends makes the most outstanding chocolate chip cookies...so, you can imagine my excitement when she gave me the recipe. The only problem is, I can't seem to make them right. Every time they come out of the oven, they're flat as pancakes. I've heard it might be because I'm mixing them too much...but I'm fairly certain there was no extravagant mixing today. Does anyone have any ideas on how to make beautiful chocolate chip cookies?
Well, we made some chocolate chip 'pancakes' for you tonight, Daddy. Can't wait to share them with you!