Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Visit to the Audubon Aquarium

Well, my blogging train completely derailed last week with all of the sickies. I'm crossing my fingers that I won't jinx us by saying that we're all better and are hopefully sicky free for the rest of the summer. Being sick in general is no fun, but in the summer it seems like extra torture. Why is that???

Anyways, back to blogging.

I knew when I decided to up and drive 12 hours to Louisiana by myself with the boys, that I wasn't going to waste the opportunity to visit some of my favorite childhood landmarks. Growing up in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, we visited the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium quite frequently. I didn't really realize how much we'd been spoiled till we moved to Arkansas. There really isn't a decent zoo close to us, and the closest aquarium is in Tulsa, and let's just say that I left realizing that there's no comparison to Audubon when we last visited Tulsa.

We had actually planned on going to the zoo, but with a forecast of rain, decided to take the safe route and just do the aquarium. The boys were SO excited once we finally got there (traveler tip: don't rely on the GPS to get you around New Orleans. We ended up getting off of the interstate too soon, and then had to drive around till we found another on-ramp).
Ty was less than amused that he had to sit in the stroller for the first several minutes. This is him making his opinion known about not being able to get up close and personal with the fish.
the older two would not hold still for a picture, so this is the best I could do with this awesome display. Fish just amaze me.
the Audubon aquarium is set up by different climates. The Amazon climate is really neat, and has a little tree house that you can go through. The boys loved it and thought it was like Swiss Family Robinson (they even had a real anaconda. Y'all. I already don't do snakes well. But that thing just about made me pass out. So nasty!).
towards the entrance to the Mississippi River/Gulf section, they had fishing boats set up so that kids can pretend like they're driving. This was probably my boys favorite spot the whole day. A few of the boats have huge LCD televisions set up with video of the Gulf, so it looks like you're driving through some of the swamp/marshlands in Louisiana. Connor thought that part was awesome, and kept telling me "hold on mom, I'm taking you to Baton Rouge!"
Connor getting ready to cast the nets
When we went to the Tulsa aquarium, the boys fed the sting rays, but it was really just putting a small bite of food on a stick and then feeding the rays via stick. The New Orleans aquarium actually gives you the fish to hold, and then you have to submerge your hand under the water for the rays to swim over and eat. Brayden wasn't so sure about the entire feeding thing, but Connor LOVED it. Connor ran up to me after it was done and said "that was so awesome! And they didn't even bite my fingers off!" ha!
another favorite... the kids thought it was SO cool to be able to "stick their head" in the water.
this picture cracks me up. It was the best attempt at a pic of the boys with the grands. Tyler was clearly not amused, Brayden had his "mean shark face" and Connor was in a rare sweet moment.

The only thing I was a little disappointed about was that we weren't there on the day that they fed the sharks. On the shark feeding days they will feed them, and also have a diver in the large shark tank, which is really neat to see. The boys did enjoy seeing the sharks, in addition to the GIANT manta-rays and the large sea turtles.

We ended up spending the entire day at the aquarium, and then highlighted the evening with a quick stop for some seafood poboys. It was such a fun day, and I'm so thankful that we took the time to venture down there. I'm hoping next time we go that the boys will be a little older so that we can also explore the city (and maybe get a bite of beignets!)

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