Today Dom took off from work and we all went to the New England Aquarium. By “all” I mean Dom, myself, my sister, and my dad who is visiting from Texas. And the four kids, of course. One mom who got on the elevator with us at South Station two children glanced at me and remarked on how I have my hands full. I just laughed. I’m used to it by now.
We took the train, of course. Much cheaper and easier than finding parking in Boston. Plus, riding the train is a part of the adventure. Almost as much of a treat as the aquarium itself. Perhaps more.
We only took the T, not the big commuter train. But the kids don’t know the difference. Honestly, this is by far the easier option.
Next to taking the train, I think Bella was most excited by the walk through the city from South Station. It is a most lovely walk through the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a gem of a city park. Past flowering plants and sculptures and a big fountain. All the tall towers and the hustle and bustle of the big city. I feel a thrill too. I wouldn’t want to live in the city; but I love visiting.
Though we did roll our eyes at the tent city and cardboard signs of the Occupy Boston protesters. Especially when one of them tried to single us out: We love children! The future of our country! or some such platitudes. Eyeroll. Seriously.
The aquarium is such a well-designed experience. I love that there is plenty for the kids to do and see while the tickets are being bought. Usually it’s such a drag waiting and waiting. But with seals to watch, who has time to be bored.
I love watching my kids watch the fish. Bella is so bubbly and effusive. You know exactly what she thinks about everything. She had her list of favorites that she had to see. She brought her sketch pad to draw some of them. She wanted to draw a seal, an octopus, and jellyfish. She didn’t draw the octopus because he was hiding in the corner where it was too dark to sea. But she did a sea lion and a bunch of jelly fish. It was sweet to see her so serious with her crayons and sketch pad.
Sophie is much quieter. Yet I know that she’s taking it all in. She won’t volunteer an opinion unless asked and we often forget to ask. She hides in her big sister’s shadow. But it won’t always be that way. She’ll find her own voice.
Ben is also quieter. Mostly he’s taking it all in. Every once in a while he lets his excitement show. A gleam in his eye as he watches a shark. He loved the salmon. And the little bright tropical reef fishes.
I loved the hands-on exhibits. There was a tidal pool where they could handle starfish and crabs and shellfish. And the touch a ray pool. I think Bella could have stood there all day with her hand in the cold water. She was enchanted.
Sophie is pretty game about getting her hands wet too. Ben didn’t want to put his hands in the water. Oh no not him.
A busy, busy day. I am totally exhausted but very happy. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day.