Last week the girls and I picked up Grandma Sue and embarked upon day trip to Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. It was thoroughly enjoyable for all involved and I took a truckload of pictures, so get ready.
We arrived about 15 minutes before opening so we had time to take this picture at the entrance. We also had time for the girls to engage the employees out front in a very involved conversation that included such diverse topics as the release date of the newest Little Mermaid movie, one staff member's trip to Sea World, and the twins lost teeth.
Above are the hermit crab, various types of coral, scorpion fish (?), and seahorses.
Does anyone have any clarified garlic butter? This guy was HUGE incidentally.
Mommy look! It's Marlin, Nemo, and Dory! It's Marlin, Nemo, and Dory! Look, Mommy, look!
Psychedelic Moon Jellies
Lion Fish. Unfortunately, this fish always reminds me of the movie Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo. What makes it unfortunate is that I have actually seen that movie.
The touch tank was the highlight of the day for the girls. Here they are petting a horseshoe crab who turned out to be quite friendly. He actually followed E. around the tank and would try to climb up the sides looking for her to pet him. He would hold very still while she stroked his shell and as soon as she stopped would start trying to climb the tank again. It was rather bizarre.
Grandma holding a pencil urchin. It was very cool. You could feel it's spines(?) legs(?) moving against your skin.
The only way to get out is through the gift shop, clever people. Here is N. posing with a new friend.
E. is a bit more...adventurous. Here she is under attack by rubber snake, but she recovers nicely and totally dominates that gator. Note how she holds his mouth shut so he can't bite, just like a pro.
And here is my baby A. all made of sugar and loving on her all-time favorite animal, the manatee.
She is so sweet you just wouldn't believe it if I told ya.
We wrapped up our visit at the turtle and manatee area. If you have never seen these animals up close and personal I highly recommend that you do. Their enormity is impossible to convey through words and 2-dimensional imagery. It is awe-inspiring to be so close to them.
Thus concludes the longest blog entry in existence. Hope you enjoyed the pics. What is your favorite ocean animal and/or aquarium? Inquiring minds want to know, at least my inquiring mind wants to know.