Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Georgia Aquarium visit

We finally all got together and went to the Georgia Aquarium on Tuesday, April 25th. The Davidson 6, Lara and her 5, Stacy and the boys, Grandpa and Micah. It was a fun group and we had a great time. This picture... front row - Micah, Bennett, Titus, Briella, Tyler, Lydia & Maggie. Back row- Grandpa, Adam, Marci, Lara, Zack, Emily, Jared, Stacy, Curtis & Ruth.
Here is our crew heading toward the aquarium. Jared is the one in the back getting all ghetto on us. Micah, Lydia and Ruth are in the foreground.

The aquarium is big. Bigger than any other, they say. We spent several hours and could have easily spent more. It was pretty crowded when we got there at 11am but shortly after lunch the crowds visibly thinned and by the time we left it was easy moving from place to place.
We got to spend lots of time with the 2 great big Whale Sharks. They are about 16-18 feet long right now and are expected to almost double in size to over 30 feet long. They are HUGE! And the tank they live in is also HUGE. That is the tank the tunnel goes through and has biggest viewing window in the world. It has stadium seating and is 30+ by 60+ feet. I don't remember the exact dimensions but I'm sure you could find it at if you really wanted to know. ;)

We spent a little time oohing and aahing over the Baluga Whales too. They are on the other side of the aquarium and it seemed quieter on their side! There were 4 or 5 of them swimming together and it seemed like they were doing a ballet show for us. They swam in circles so gracefully and would squish themselves up against the glass as they came around. The pictures just don't do it justice, but I do have some squishing on video!

The kids especially enjoyed the sea lion exhibit. We were able to go outside and stand on an overlook of their habitat. They bark... which made the kids laugh and try to imitate the noise. I think Adam did the best job of barking (we have that on video too). It also gave us an opportunity to get outside for a little fresh air and rejuvinate before lunch.
The penguin exhibit was fun for the kids (and Grandpa) because they were able to stick their heads up into the middle of them and see them face to face. They have a bubble that you can crawl to and take pictures. Here's Stacy with Zack, Adam and Tyler. And then there's Lara with Ruth, Emily and Titus.

One of the kids' highlights was the Georgia Explorer part where they had lots of hands-on touching of creatures and also a tube playground and slide where they could expend lots of energy. The kids were able to touch the stingrays and bullethead sharks (?), horseshoe crabs, shrimp, and some other things that I can't even remember. The tube system went over the crabs and had a looky-loo thing where they could actually look into the water and spin the lens around to look up close at the crabs (not a parascope, but similar... what's it called??) Anyway, the boys liked that.
When we were done at the aquarium it was the middle of Atlanta rush hour so we decided to wind down a bit at the Centennial Olympic park across the street. It was an absolutely beautiful day and the adults enjoyed the park benches while the kids climbed and ran around.

After that the north Georgia crew stopped by the Varsity for dinner. We heard "What'll ya have" so many times the kids started repeating it. Our "hostess" made sure we all had hats to proudly wear and oogled over the kids. Within minutes of pulling out of the parking lot our Suburban was all asleep... except for Micah who was waiting to tell his Daddy all the exciting things he had just seen.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Lara and the kids visit

Lara came to visit!! Woo Hoo! She and the kids stayed 3 weeks while Grandma recovered from various ailments. The kids meshed well and the house seemed to flow well with all 9 of them eating around one table. It was such fun and we made lots of memories... in fact, we're taking two of them again while Lara goes across the big pond to meet Dan in Amsterdam for a vacation on company time! :)
Here are some pictures of our playtime!
Emily is trying to do her school work on the front porch swing. She LOVES to have her pictures taken... don't take the sour look as anything else!

Titus is getting ready to slide. He is constantly on the go... the typical 2 year old BOY! He "drives" whatever is in his hand his "motor" is always running!

Bennett, Jared & Ruth playing in the sandbox after a heavy rain. They were filthy on several different days... but had a great time doing it!

Here Briella and Ruth are swinging together. Funny thing is I don't have a picture of Marci & Maggie. I don't know what they were doing this day but they weren't getting dirty! Marci and Emily were big helpers with Lydia too. They had competitions over who would get to feed her the bottle. Lydia loved the attention and is reminding me of it this week... the "hold me" cries ringing through the house.

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