Shedd Aquarium outing!

Our babysitter had to take the day off last Monday so Justin and I took advantage of the opportunity to take the babies to the aquarium — one of our favorite places in Chicago. Our thought process went like this: It’s a Monday. Not a holiday. Not Spring Break. The place will be deserted!

We showed up to find this line:

And this is after we had been waiting for about twenty minutes. What the what??!!? Why aren’t these people at work? Did ALL of their babysitters call in sick on Monday? We waited for over 30 minutes, when we suddenly started feeling like this guy:

So we got a brilliant idea: we would buy a membership. You know, because we’re really rich. Justin darted up to the membership doors and came out ten minutes later with wristbands for all of us. We got to hustle right in the side door! I’m trying to feel okay about spending all of that money by rationalizing that we would never be able to take them here if the wait in line is always over an hour, and, if it’s over an hour on a random Monday, it’s probably always that long.

But you can bet we’re going to be seeing a lot of the Aquarium to make that expense worth it.

Of course, we’re going to have to do some triathalon training to try and keep up. I pictured us taking the babies out of the stroller and them standing, transfixed, in front of the awesome aquariums. The eerie blue and green glow from the tanks would light their faces just so and I would get some amazing photographs of my children, taking in the ocean’s beauty for the first time.

Those of you who are experienced moms are laughing about now.

THEY NEVER STOPPED MOVING. They were so thrilled with the novelty of being free to run about a new environment that they lost their minds and barely glanced at the fish around them. ¬†For example, here’s Jack enjoying the massive tank you hit when you first walk in the door:

“What fish?”

They really had fun in the little submarine down on the lower level, because they got to punch all the buttons which led to flashing lights and beeping noises.

But probably the BEST moment of the visit was when we spotted a penguin that looked EXACTLY LIKE EMME. Like, seriously, you will die when you see the resemblance.

There she sat on the cliffs, foraging for food. And she had a brother that looked like Jack! And a Daddy Penguin desperately trying to hold them both still so the Mommy Penguin could take some crappy photos in the bad basement lighting!

Justin was seriously bummed when he spotted these costumes by the penguin exhibit (he said all he could think about was how many kids had had their grubby hands all over them) but he had to admit that these babies looked pretty cute with them on. They have this new section of the penguin exhibit where the kids can dress up, climb up on the little cliffs, and slide down these little slides. Too cute!

We will be going again, many times this year, but I think they’re still a little young to enjoy it as much as we want them to. Still, it’s great to get them out of the house and stimulate their little brains.

Katie - March 14, 2012 - 7:43 am

LOVE the aquarium – we have been members for years (even with our long haul drive into the city,) Things to know: check for free days and don’t go on those days. Go in the side door every. single. time. Get dolphin show tickets as soon as you walk in. You’ll a bunch of free coupons for the shows and guest passes with your membership cards in the mail, so take advantage of them! Go to the Christmas dolphin show beginning around November – Santa will be there, too. Go see the sharks and the downstairs/ocean section first, they only get busier as the day goes on. Check the big tank feeding time so that you get a good spot to see the diver. Maybe we’ll see you there!

Janie Hightower - March 14, 2012 - 12:41 pm

I have been sitting here laughing for five straight minutes at these pictures. Emme is like a wind-up toy that never winds down, and she really does look like a little smiling penguin. The picture of Justin trying to corral them is priceless; Jack, alarmed, is caught in the middle. And no pictures of fish in sight! I give this entry an A+, well, usual.

Shannon - March 14, 2012 - 4:27 pm

Love the little penguins! Emme kept her clip in too!

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