Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Georgia Aquarium

This past weekend was our second to last weekend down South and we decided to make a final trip down to Atlanta to visit the Georgia Aquarium. It is located in the same complex as the World of Coca-Cola, so we noticed it when we visited that back in April. We wanted to wait until Brady was a little older so he could enjoy it.

We watched Finding Nemo on the drive down, so Brady was primed to check out the fish and the first ones he saw, he ran to.

Reaching down to "pet" the stingrays. Unlike when we went to the Pittsburgh Zoo, he didn't almost end up swimming with them ;)

Time to try petting the horseshoe crabs.

Two horseshoe crabs came right up to me. Notice the jumbo shrimp on top of the one on the left. It actually jumped up at me and scared me half to death. Andy said I'll get my revenge when I'm eating its cousins on Christmas Eve.

Coming down from the awesome whale slide. You had to enter it from the level above. Brady loved it. He was too short to play in the main play structure and once he saw the area to play, he didn't want to do anything else. We didn't realize this area house the play area, so we should have saved it for last.

Look! The elusive Brady fish!

Brady checking out the albino alligator.

Piranhas. They're a lot larger than they're portrayed on television.

Japanese spider crabs. They can have up to a 13 foot leg-span. My mom would just love to sink her teeth into these babies.

Beluga whales. They kept charging at the glass and stopping short. It was really cool to see.

Manta Ray.

A little over a month ago, we were watching 19 Kids & Counting, and they actually were in Atlanta and made a trip to the Georgia Aquarium. This is when we learned that they actually have whale sharks there. They are the largest sharks and and is a filter eater. Growing up, my brother, Alex, LOVED sharks. His favorite was probably the whale shark and my mom even made him a whale shark costume for Halloween one year. So when we found out we were going to get to see some, I immediately thought of him.

We learned that in the wild the eat completely vertical, but since they can grow up to 40ft long, they would scrape the bottom of the tank if they ate this way. They have to be trained to eat horizontally.

The coolest part was that they didn't have just one whale shark, but three! I never thought in my lifetime I'd get to see one in person. I've seen them a million times on Shark Week and thought that was the closest I'd ever get to one. It was surreal to see them overhead and realize how truly large they are. Truly amazing creatures.

We wanted to commemorate our trip and the once in a lifetime opportunity to see whale sharks. We pulled this guy out and showed him to Brady, who instantly fell in love. The sticker price on this guy was $40 and there was no way I was going to spend that, no matter how cool our day was. Luckily, there was a smaller, much cheaper one, so we ended up with that one.

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