February 17, 2018: The Georgia Aquarium

Saturday. Everyone has been telling us that the one thing you have to do when you are in Atlanta is visit the Georgia Aquarium.  We have been saving it, but this is our only weekend here so we pretty much have to do it either today or tomorrow.  The girls are excited and I have wanted to do it for quite a long time.  We are all looking forward to this educational excursion.

We did breakfast in the hotel lobby.  We are really making use of the facilities here.  We are getting our money’s worth.  A Homewood Suites is a deal for the Miller Family.

Early afternoon we got in the car and I drove us downtown to go to the aquarium.  It was rather a long drive, actually, and dealing with traffic and parking by the aquarium, even on a Saturday, was pretty awful.  It is too bad that there is no public transportation from the Norcross area down to there, that would have been really nice.

Dominica had taken care of tickets and even paying for parking online ahead of time so that all we had to do was show our receipts for everything.  That saved a lot of time and money.  The aquarium still was not cheap, that was a nearly three hundred dollar activity!  But a very special one for the girls.

The moment that we got to the aquarium, Luciana pulled me aside and said that she wanted to get a stuffed otter for Dominica, as she knows that otters are Dominica’s favourite.  So we conspired to get one for her.

The Georgia Aquarium is set up a little bit like Walt Disney World’s The Land.  There is a food court, gift shops, and all manner of different indoor activity areas.  Some are just walk through areas, some are shows.  Each is heavily themed.  It was an interesting way to do it all.

We started with one of the walk through areas, one that showed off dangerous river fish like the Congolese tiger fish like the Ralstons used to eat.  Then we went to the sea lion show.  They warned us that we might get wet and Luciana thought that that would be great fun, but when we did not get wet she was very upset.

We did some more walk throughs, and then we got dinner, which was not cheap at all.  Then, towards the end of our time, we did the dolphin show.  Here they also warned us that we might get wet, so we made a real effort to sit up front to make sure that Luciana would not be upset.  We could not stay dry twice.  That ended up being a mistake.

The sea lion show is just “they might splash you” a little.  It’s nothing.  Even the wettest seat was essentially dry.  With the dolphin show, it is nothing like that.  The dolphins go up to the edge of the tank and throw as much water as they can at the audience over and over again.  The entire ten front rows have the equivalent of a fire hose turned on them, several times.  You aren’t just wet, you are drenched from head to toe.  And with dirty, smelly water, too.  So we were beyond wet, it was quite uncomfortable.

We did just a little more as the aquarium was getting close to time to close.  Then we hit the gift shop on the way out.  Luciana picked out a giant, rotund penguin for herself.  Liesl picked out a stuffed sea horse.  And Luciana sneakily got a otter for Dominica.

It was a good, but expensive, time.  The penguin exhibit was the overall top hit with the kids.  The girls loved that there was a tunnel that they could climb through beneath the penguin exhibit with little peep holes there they could pop up inside the exhibit right next to the penguins.

They all really enjoyed the two otter exhibits as well.  And the sea lion show was really cool, but Luciana was really sad because the one sea lion was a rescue who had been shot in the head and it made her sad that he had had a hard life.