Thursday, February 07, 2008

Birch Aquarium

Many years ago when I worked in Atlanta, our company sponsored an evening cocktail party at the most beautifully located aquarium - the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla.

When I heard we were moving to San Diego, it was one of the first places I wanted to take the children to.

The Aquarium was just the right size for a short outing and lunch on the outdoor patio.

We walked in past the explorer submarine which gave us a chance to look at a real one after singing "Yellow Submarine" at home so many times and recently reading the Adventures of Polo were a segment takes place in one.

Lunch was enjoyable except for the talking trashcan next to us which scared Peanut. We had to move tables and unfortunately, it remains one of the most memorable parts of the day for her.

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the Aquarium deck are three tide pools filled with local marine life - vibrant orange, purple and pink starfish, Pacific lobsters without claws, shy octopus, lush sea weed - all for the touching. Water flows in and out, mimicking the ebb and flow of the tides to show how the ecosystem works.

Inside, we toured the dark hallways dappled by glowing tanks of sea creatures. We paused for a long time at the Kelp Forest wall to watch the sharks, halibut and other finned friends swim by as the kelp swayed in the underwater breezes.

The little ones were running into nap-time as we quickly swung past the shark tank and pools of water, tides and sand where children can experiment with these powers of nature.

No comments: