Friday, March 21, 2014

Dolphins and Horses

Dolphins & Horses? Together? That was a fantastic sight to me.


I wish. Could you imagine executing a show that involved dolphins AND horses? Would you have both in the water or just the dolphins in the water and platforms for the horses? OK, OK ending this tangent now.

No, we did not see dolphins and horses together. But we did visit dolphins and see a horse show in the same day. Close enough, right?

My youngest sister loves to find random combinations of activities for the family to do. Some people have bucket lists for things like climbing mountains and skydiving, etc. Her bucket list? Visit as many zoos and aquariums in the US (and probably the world if we could ever afford it) as possible. So in that spirit we went to the National Aquarium last week before I had to head back to Kentucky to finish my Master's. In reality, Baltimore is only 2 hours (and about 90 miles) away from our home in rural Northern Virginia but for the most part, we have always avoided D.C. and surrounding cities like the plague. Unless we get the urge every 10 years or so to go visit the Smithsonian, or in this case, the National Aquarium.

Now the last time I had been to the Aquarium was probably in elementary or middle school...which was long enough ago to feel like forever.

It is always an adventure revisiting places as an adult. Not only do you see things completely differently but it's like a movie reel rolling in your head as you simultaneously take in your current surroundings and enjoy the memories from yesteryear.

Of course my memories from the Aquarium are slim...especially since the place has changed quite a bit in the last 10 years or so!

One of the things that had changed? No set dolphin shows anymore. Which was really the part I had been looking forward to the most.

But never fear! We wandered the aquarium until we were starving, at which point we left to enjoy some yummy hot food (on that oh so cold and blustery day on the Harbor) nearby. Aren't you jealous of our Puffin stamps for re-entry?? Then we sat with the dolphins for an hour...and got to see some training and play time! Whew I was worried for awhile there.

This particular aquarium goes up, Up, UP before it goes back down so I will try and order the pictures (courtesy of Kelly...check out her page!) by how they were taken in the aquarium. The final stop which was an interesting addition was a small section sponsored by Animal Planet that was Australia (yikes!).

Don't worry I won't overload you with words about our trek through the exhibits, just follow the photos :)

Sea turtles have always been my favorite. Seriously. I have numerous sea turtle rescue shirts and such from years of loving them!

How would you like to be stung by one of these suckers?!
Nemo! Did you know that clownfish are the only ones allowed into anemones? 
Don't mind me...I just grow algae. 
Don't worry this isn't just a crappy cell phone picture of a silly tree. This may be one of the most important trees of's a cocoa tree! Holy chocolate I love you. *sigh*

My name is Mr. Kissy Fishy
I swear somebody painted this fish. Can you say GORGEOUS?
Could you imagine running into this guy in the rainforest? Freaky!
This is the only picture we have from the shark tank area (and this is a sawfish by the way!). Why? Cuz it was dark...and my absolute largest fear is sharks. I walked up to the glass at one point and a shark came shooting into my field of vision and I jumped back so fast my sister almost peed her pants laughing at me. *shiver* No thank you sharkeys. Kayce may have walked around the tank with you while you swam but I stayed far, far away.

The following cave paintings are from the Australia section. Thousands of years of Aboriginal history is painted on the rocks of Australia, often right over top of previous records.  I think the turtle would be an awesome tattoo. Just saying. 

This bat was in the Australia the daytime!
And last but not least...some dolphin photos...arguably my favorite part of the visit (besides the sea turtle of course) :)

As if we hadn't experienced enough for one day, we still had to head to Medieval Times for our dinner and show. Personally I thought the Dixie Stampede was better. I've never seen Excalibur in Vegas but I'm assuming Medieval Times is a cheesier version. But hey, what we don't do for our family right?

We were extremely overwhelmed as soon as we walked in. We were given crowns to wear, teams to support, and had to take a picture with the King immediately. Long live the King! Or maybe not. I don't know. 

I had fun playing with my crown and making strange faces. We got to eat with our hands (nothing out of the ordinary there!) and experience some of the most humorous play-acting I have witnessed. Seriously, I cracked up the entire time at the over dramatized way the "Knights" fought and competed in the "tournament". Kayce and I decided we want this job. It would be awesome. 

This show had it all though, intrigue and danger in the form of a dark visitor from a Northern kingdom, a tournament that ended in the death of quite a few knights, humor, fighting, falconry, and of course enough laughter filled memories to last a lifetime. It was totally worth it, if only for critiquing the riders and horses...and the laughter of course :)

This was our knight...he was terrible. But I think he was new, so it's all good :)
Take that...and THAT! (This was after they had thrown themselves off their horses in dramatic style)
Farewell Willow!

Good eve m'lords and m'ladies! 

No comments:

Post a Comment