a day at the aquarium

5.19.21 ~ Mystic Aquarium ~ Mystic, Connecticut

Oh what a joyful day it was when our grandchildren and their parents finally arrived for a post-quarantine visit!!! We hadn’t seen them in 18 months. Katherine, who is now called Kat, arrived with an injured foot, which put my dreams of a long walk in the woods or on the beach on hold again, but we managed to have a good time in spite of the challenge. Kat wanted to go to the aquarium so we borrowed a wheelchair and made a day of it.

beluga whale

While she was here Kat attended school (first grade) remotely which was fascinating to observe. When her teacher heard she was going to the aquarium she suggested Kat create a presentation for the class of the things she would see there. So she used her iPad to take videos and stills, as you can see in the picture above. Of course Finn wanted to ride along with his big sister. 🙂

Steller sea lion, the largest of all sea lions
Steller sea lion, napping in the sunshine
Steller sea lion, napping in the water
African penguin
Kat still loves her penguins, filming them swimming underwater

The outdoor marsh habitat was full of life…


We spent some time at the Ray Touch Pool…

Larisa and Finn touching stingrays
Kat mastered the touching technique

And took in the California sea lion training show…

I think Kat got better pictures than I did!
California sea lion

So many creatures to see in all the tanks. Tim & I were amazed at all the new exhibits they’ve added. There was some disappointment that the Jurassic Giants exhibit, ‘featuring giant animatronic dinosaurs, two 4D theaters, and visits with frogs and reptiles,’ was closed for renovations.

lions mane jellyfish

We’ve been bringing our own children (sometimes along with their grandparents!) since they were little ones, when this research aquarium was so small it was all in one building. It opened in 1973 and we moved down here in 1976 so I’d say we’ve been coming here for 45 years! Now it’s a sprawling complex, almost impossible to fit all of it into one day of exploring.

Amazon milk frog

The next day I listened as Kat made her virtual presentation to her class. It was fun listening to the voices of the other children as they asked her questions and made comments. She answered them like a marine expert! Her teacher thanked her for taking them along on such a great field trip. 🙂

28 thoughts on “a day at the aquarium”

  1. Barbara, I’m soooo happy for you! As always, your pictures and writings are beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much, Susan! I still can’t believe all of them were actually here! Seems like a dream…

    1. The little photographer was definitely in her element. 🙂 Something we had in common! So many hugs and little voices, getting to know them again…

    1. Thank you, Kathy! I sure got a lot of practice being flexible and going with the flow. 😉 Staying present there and then…

  2. How wonderful that you could see them all again, finally, even if not in the woods or at the beach. The aquarium trip, especially since it dovetailed into Kat’s schooling, was an excellent substitute (although too bad about no 4D animatronic dinosaurs).
    Aren’t grandkids great?
    Lovely photography as always! 😀

    1. Thank you, Timi! 😀 Grandchildren are the best — I am constantly amazed at how much love and longing I feel for them and how much they love us. Since Kat was born we had seen her at least every three months so the eighteen months was just awful. But we’re all safe and it was very interesting watching Kat attend school remotely. Our pandemic story…

  3. Oh, 18 months is much too long to be apart when it comes to little ones growing up so fast. So glad you had a great visit. Young kids are such naturals when it comes to computers, by comparison, I am left in the dust!

    1. It was way too long, Eliza! Finn didn’t really remember us but by the time he left we were getting hugs and being called Grammy & Grandpa with fondness. I’m with you, I had no idea how Kat was operating that iPad. 🙂

  4. Hasn’t education changed, Barbara? How I’d have loved having an iPad when I was Kat’s age!! Thanks for taking us along on your visit to the aquarium. I can easily spend an entire day at one of those facilities (and have, ha!!)

    1. Education sure has changed! I don’t remember being so sophisticated about stuff in general in first grade. 🙂 We had “show and tell.” I guess they call it a “presentation” these days. It will be interesting to see how Kat adjusts to an actual classroom next year.

    1. That African penguin was such a show-off! 🙂 And I couldn’t get over the size of those Steller sea lions. But watching the little ones enjoy themselves was the best. 🙂

  5. This looks like such a fun trip Barbara – I would have liked to tag along too. I’ve not been to an aquarium since Marineland back in the 60s. You have some great close-up shots (my favorite was the sea lion snoozing in the water), but I was fascinated with Kat’s iPad. I have never used one before, so was surprised that she was able to capture the day in images and video and then show her class. To me, who just complained that my 3G flip phone had to be upgraded to a 4G phone as AT&T no longer will support it in February, I now feel like a dinosaur. (Sorry for such a tardy reply – we lost our e-mail at work last Thursday and I’ve spent multiple evening hours and part of Sunday with the computer guy … I lost all my e-mails and had important info in there. It’s been a bit of a zoo.)

    1. Wow, Linda! I was starting to wonder if anything was wrong over there… I hope you and the computer guy have sorted things out. I’m a dinosaur when it comes to cell phones and laptops, too. I don’t know what I’d do without my husband. I’m not even sure if I could communicate effectively with a helpful technician.

      I love that snoozing sea lion, too. He had the best of both worlds, water and sunshine. 😉 Where is Marineland? I don’t have or know anything about iPads, either. Apparently this one was issued by Kat’s school complete with the needed software to participate in remote classrooms. It was amazing watching her operate the thing and then later listening to her interacting with her teacher and her class.

      1. It was all messed up for a week Barbara and we are now on a hybrid type of Office 365 … I’ve been using my old Word just because it is easier as the e-mail was lost. I had lots of court info there on how to access, etc. And then the SPAM here. I hate being so behind in Reader and am not going to get there tonight either. I got home late from walking (6 miles) as I went to four parks hoping to see ducklings or cygnets – got umpteen duckling shots and will look at them later in the week. Tomorrow and Monday are all penciled in for yard work to make it look presentable again. I hope to catch up fully through the week.

        1. At least you’re keeping up with your walking and yard work, which I imagine are a welcome break from the tedium of dealing with the email and spam ordeals. Sigh…

          1. Yes, I really enjoyed yesterday and will likely have a short walk tomorrow. I really needed the diversion. I didn’t walk today as I wanted to get out and work as it was so refreshing out there. I worked eight hours and probably will do that Monday as well. By afternoon, it was getting warmer. Hope your soggy weather improves for you Barbara.

          2. It stopped raining by this morning but is expected to remain cloudy until late this afternoon. I’m happy we got so much rain even if the timing was less than ideal. Helping the body with a little fresh air and moving around is so good for our mental well-being! Hang in there, my friend!

      1. Thank you Barbara – I didn’t see it until it went sailing off the screen. The Happiness Engineer went in and put a bock on that SPAM coming from the same place, as they are mostly all th
        . But the bulk delete will till need to be done, one page at a time and there are more 50 of those!

          1. It continues to be and I checked in at work tonight to see if the computer guy fixed my boss’ e-mail and he did not and he sent me a two-page document to type Tuesday … but as a PDF as he can’t figure out how to type it in Word and send it. Frustrating.

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