Last Thursday, as Jacob hopped out onto the sidewalk and shut the car door, I found myself back downtown once again. Joseph was with me this time, and I really didn't have a plan. Park and walk? Sit somewhere? The wind was blowing at least 30mph, and it felt at least 15 degrees colder than the 44 that the Suburban's mirror thermometer registered.
"Hey, Joe--do you want to go to the Shedd Aquarium?"
"Are you serious?"
His enthusiastic "Okay!" made it worthwhile. So we drove south on Lake Shore Drive and made our way over to the Aquarium. Many things are the same as they were the last time we visited (six or seven years ago!), but there were some new things.
We walked through the lower level "Wild Reef" exhibit, and Joseph's favorite fish were the first thing we saw. Thick, curved glass does not help photo-taking, but these aren't too bad! I told Joseph I would try. :)
We purchased the outrageously expensive tickets to include the Oceanarium presentation. There have been some good and some bad changes. The loud, "rock-y" music before the show wasn't so great; neither were the disco-type strobe lights at the beginning of the presentation. This was not a rock concert! The whole presentation is designed to show the animals doing things they would do in the wild, not performing "tricks" for the audience. It is meant to educate, not entertain; alas, our culture thrives on entertainment... (I'm done ranting now.)
One of the new good aspects is that they featured a beluga! We weren't able to see them at all this time, except during the presentation. We were glad we could experience these beautiful creatures again.
Also new was the penguin presentation. They have been training these little guys to waddle across the front of the "stage" area in front of the tank. One trainer releases them, and the second trainer tempts them with fish. We couldn't see them very well, since we were on the opposite side of the audience. I snagged one decent shot, though.
Ah. The Pacific white-sided dolphin. These guys were great, and yeah, they were worth the price of the tickets.
Although the brand-new "Jellies" exhibit was set to open the day after we were there, we toured other areas of the Aquarium and saw some neat animals--this sea horse being one of them.
A penguin poses for me. :)
Joseph and I had a great time. He navigated with the site map, and helped me find our Suburban in the parking garage. He even guided me back downtown to pick up Jacob from the federal courthouse. :)
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