Thursday, June 26, 2014

Swimming With The Fishes

Monday, June 16th...a work day under normal circumstances but not for us. We took a vacation day! We have been trying to make sure we use our vacation days to make sure that we have at least one extended weekend each month. Our day in June had come!

We decided to go to Atlantis Marine World Aquarium which is located about 45 minutes from our house. When it first opened, in 2000, it was simply an aquarium but it has expanded into so much more. The weather was beautiful and the aquarium was a place we really wanted to visit so off we went!

Our first stop was always going to be breakfast. The Star Confectionery seemed like a perfect place. It was just down the road from the aquarium

It has been around since the 1920's and serves breakfast and lunch every day. They have a soda fountain and make their own ice cream.

You can eat at the old counter if you want but we chose to sit in a booth. Since it was still morning, we skipped the ice cream and went straight for the breakfast! It was great!

On the way down the street, we saw this great old neon cocktail lounge sign. We stopped to take a picture especially since it next door to The Salvation Army!

Although the day was not about saling or thrifting, you can't ignore obvious opportunities! We found two Christmas records to take home with us!

Just moments later, we arrived at our destination...

Atlantis Marine World! 

There was a truck with fake sharks...

...and a fake whale in a fake pool.

There were also real creatures outside. This seal was swimming towards us

Monica loved the seals but she thought they looked like giant slugs!

Once inside, there was a lot to see. The butterfly exhibit is only in its second year and you can walk around freely amongst the butterflies and moths

There were lots of plants and flowers for the butterflies and moths to enjoy. They were all over the place!

These giant moths were pretty fond of oranges

A close-up of a giant moth

There were really beautiful butterflies...

who were also pretty fond of oranges!

Just outside the area that had all the fishes, there were tanks with manta rays and 
skates who were very friendly...especially when Rob was feeding them

Rob made a big splash with them!

There were turtles too!

Next, it was time to see all the fish and Monica was ready. This is a close-up of the pattern on the vintage fish shirt that Monica wore to the aquarium. Very appropriate! 

We knew we were getting close because there was a giant fake whale...

...and a giant fake shark...

...and a fake deep sea explorer! 

We got to the giant tank and thought "You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!" And, uh, then we remembered where we were and that neither of us were Charlton Heston!

There were big sharks in that tank!

Big AND mean looking! 

There were lots of other fish with far better dispositions...

...and more fake sea creatures with no dispositions at all!

We met undersea royalty! Monica is posing with Neptune.

Rob posing with the goddess of the mermaids

The aquarium was not about aquatic life and butterflies. There were so many more interesting characters to see!

We saw The Penguin...

...and all of his penguin cronies

We even saw Batman (bottom left) along with his friends the hedgehog and the sloth

We saw lots of colorful parrots

Lots of them! 

We saw an otter...

...and we saw monkeys. Some were very diligently guarding their temple...

...while others were deep in thought

All the while, Dr. Zaius kept an eye on all of the monkeys

We had a really fun day togetherat Atlantis Marine World and we learned so much!

#1 - Sharks do not always have to be feared

#2 - Some fish are very frightened by our presence

And #3 - Some fish wear the same facial expression as Edward G. Robinson

After a long day at the aquarium, we went to Snowflake Ice Cream, just a few miles up the road. It has been around since 1953 with just two owners during that time. Monica practically ran inside. It was hot and we were thirsty! 

It was a perfect day off and, although we weren't exactly swimming with the fishes, the magic of the day sure made us feel like it. 

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