A Trip to the Aquarium

Yesterday we took Simon to the aquarium for the first time. Can a child under a year old get much out of the aquarium? I say the photos speak for themselves.


We met up with my friend Renee, her husband Chuck and their 13 children (yes 13).  The last time I was at the aquarium was the summer that we came down for Sam and Chanda’s wedding. I think they have been married for 11 years – and the aquarium has changed quite a bit.  I was really impressed with the giant native fish tank that is the in foyer. Even more impressive was the diver inside the tank who had some sort of fancy apparatus that allowed her to speak to us from inside the tank! She taught us all about the native fish of the Puget Sound.  Simon had fun touching star fish and sea anemones but the best part was fishing for plankton.  I noticed a microscope sitting on one of the tables – it was curtained off so I casually asked one of the aquarium employees how it was used. She told me that sometimes they bring in plankton and allow the aquarium guest to examine it under the microscope but that right now they didn’t have any. I shrugged my shoulders and walked away. A few minuets later a different employee came up to me and said that actually they were going to bring in some plankton now and did any of the children in my party want to come outside and collect a sample with her.  Um – YES!  So myself and several of Renee’s children headed outside and collected some plankton samples.

Renee, Myles,  and Chuck totally missed out because we learned a ton.  I thought that plankton was a specific species – turns out its just a generic term for drifting organisms. According to wikipedia The name plankton is derived from the Greek word πλανκτος ("planktos"), meaning "wanderer" or "drifter". Rachel, the aquarium employee, was so great with the kids. She was really patient and let each of them have a turn either casting out the net, reeling it in, or collecting the plankton in a cup.  All the while answering questions and teaching us about plankton. She taught us that there are two main categories of plankton – Phytoplankton which are the plants that survive using photosynthesis, and Zooplankton which are animals. (There is also Bacterioplankton  which is bacteria but we didn’t talk about it.) The ocean is just teaming with plankton and if you have ever swam in the ocean – especially in a calm water you have probably swallowed some : ) So there you have it the Aquarium is great outing for babies, kids, and adults alike.
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  1. Melissa

    Eric and I love aquariums and have been to the Long Beach (Aquarium of the Pacific), Oregon Coast, and Monterey Bay aquariums (Oregon Coast on a number of occasions). In fact, we spent all day on our 5th wedding anniversary at the Monterey Aquarium – so we agree that they are fun for adults and children alike!

  2. Miss Lila

    Hi Emily,
    I came to your blog from Renee’s. I love reading about their children.
    I am sick in bed with a sinus infection and I started reading your blog. I don’t usually have time as I help our daughter homeschool her four children. Caleb 10, Julien 7, Ilana 5 and Sadie 3. I teach them arts and crafts and etiquette. So you can see I keep busy during the day.
    I got so interested in your blog I went all the way back to 2006, before you had Simon and were practically newlyweds. I enjoyed it so much. It took my mind off my aching head. I will be a regular follower now if that’s OK with you.
    First off, Simon is a darling! He is beautiful! I thought my 8 grandkids were the most beautiful in the world but Simon is pretty close!
    I do have a couple questions. You never explained why you went to Kenya. I assumed it was through your church. Also, are you planning to adopt some children like Renee did? Is this why you went to foster care classes. These may be too personal but I feel that I know you now since I’ve spent the entire day and part of the evening with your family.
    Your blog is lovely and so uplifting. I look forward to sharing everyday.
    I live in Atlanta, GA with my dear, God fearing, husband of 35 years.
    Have a wonderful New Years Day!
    God Bless you and your family.
    Miss Lila in Atlanta

  3. Kay Weaver

    I love aquariums too. There is a fantastic one in Seward,Alaska. Actually it is The Alaska SeaLife Center and they nurture sea animals back to good health and do a lot of research but it is also open to the public. This was quite a field trip and you’ve peaked my interest in going again. Thanks for sharing your positive experience.