Hannah and I were asleep when the new year rang in, but we celebrated this morning by turning Hannah's car seat around to face front. I was trying to hold out for as long as possible since it's safer for her to be facing backwards, but the kid has long legs and folding them into that small space has grown increasingly difficult since the summer months. So I gave in and gave the go ahead to flip. As expected, she loves facing forward. I'm thinking (hoping) this will make riding in the car a less traumatic experience for all parties.
With her car seat facing forward, we drove down to the aquarium for the second time this week and had a ton of fun. Here's what happened:
1. We learned that the 3-legged turtle's name is Calypso and that she was found in New York with frost bite on one leg, which they had to amputate. Apparently there are lots of rehabilitation centers now so if they were to find her today, they would have rehabilitated her back into the wild, but those weren't around when she was found so she'll live out her life in the aquarium. (She is about 18 years old and should live to be about 80.)
2. We got to touch and take home a sting ray tooth. It's short and wide and ridged like a comb, not sharp.
3. I got spit on by an archer fish who was aiming for a grasshopper perched on a stick that the staff/fish feeder person was hanging over the tank. This particular archer fish had poor aim and hit me instead of the grasshopper.
4. While watching the archer fish spit at and then eat grasshoppers, I discovered a super-cute-in-a-funny-looking-kind-of-way animal: the pig-nosed turtle. This turtle is now in competition with the cowfish for my favorite aquarium animal.
5. We got to be among the first people to see the octopus move for the first time since it got put on display (I think they said he's been in that tank for about a month). Apparently he is shy and has spent his time on display hiding out and inking his tank, so the staff were concerned for his happiness (or lack thereof) and were about to move him to the back where he seemed happier, but today he moved and he did it right as we were walking by! We stared, mesmerized, as he stretched his long, pink tentacles across the glass and blubbed around in a blubbier octopus kind of way.
I think that's it. Suffice it to say that we are loving our aquarium membership and look forward to a fish-filled 2011, at least until the weather is warm, at which point we'll be trying to get some use out of our zoo membership.