Monday, March 17, 2014

One fish two fish red fish SHARK!!!

Batman Up!

Originally we had planned on going to the Zoo on Sunday... However it was a little colder than it was supposed to be, so we decided to go with our contingency plan The Dallas World Aquarium.
  We got all suited up, packed all of our luggage, and headed to IHOP for breakfast, they were packed so we went back to Denny's. Had some breakfast and headed to the aquarium.  

I loved the entrance, except for the fact it felt like we were walking on a snake with as mush twisting and turning as we did, and it went on for what seemed like a mile. I kinda felt like Dory in Finding Nemo. "Just keep swimming." I was excited to get there but I had to keep repeating to myself just keep walking. 

They had big cages setup for animals, we seen some birds in a couple of them. It would have been nice to be able to actually look at the habitats they had setup but the walkway was really skinny and people were about pushing each other to go up the ramp. It felt like walking into a forest, then out of nowhere the ticket counter appeared. Almost 80 dollars to get into the place

It was pretty cool walking in and around the corner is this waterfall, The atmosphere was great, a wide open area with birds flying around and monkeys hanging out in the tree's.
 I counted at least 6 monkey's jumping around in the tree, these guys here and another smaller monkey I wasn't able to get any pictures of.

This area was pretty cool, but like the entrance the only path through it was a tight squeeze. It was also over crowded with people it was hard trying to get up to the railing. I really didn't feel comfortable letting Ryder walk around even holding one of our hands. There were just so many people it was crazy.
 these guys were hanging out by the bottom of the waterfall, and granted they are not fish... they do spend a lot of time in the water.

It would be interesting to see how well the ducks and monkeys got along over a extended period of time. I would be willing to bet the monkeys give the ducks hell.

Though the ducks would probably have the protection of the birds.
For instance fluffy here looks like he could probably take a chunk out of someone. 


  Are you kidding me look at the size of these beasts, we found them as we made our way around a lower level near the bottom of the waterfall. I was thinking it must be nice to be a gator. Nothing is going to mess with you except humans. you can chill out where you want, and if something see's you coming it Shits itself and gets out of the way real quick... Even a lot of humans.

 "Happy" was downstairs near the gators, just look at the grin on him. You know he's been eating the good greens. It put a smile on all our faces to find such a happy turtle.

 We had been in the aquarium for over a hour and still hadn't seen any fish... They did however have some sloths up near the food stand cafeteria area.

I caught this guy out of the corner of my eye so I snapped a picture, 
I'm not sure what he was supposed to be doing. I do know however he is most certainly not a fish.

interestingly enough they had flamingos as well. Anna wouldn't let me take any home for yard decoration, 
so I didn't even bother to ask. But if you ask me they would look a lot better than the plastic kind. It just came to me, what is the deal with the plastic flamingos anyway what kind of person would it take to put something like that in their yard? I would be willing to bet there are some people out there with whole flocks of flamingos in their yard.

check it out the second pair of hooters I was able to take a picture of on our trip. Aren't they beauties.

We came around a bend to see these uh animals standing in the middle of the walkway right before the entrance to see the fish. Ryder wouldn't take his eyes off them for fear of having his soul eaten. Rebel was much braver to turn her back upon them. But you can tell she isn't happy about it.

Yay Fish! Unfortunately the tank areas were even more crowded than the rest.We tried for a photo with mommy and the kids, but Ryder had seen a fish, and Rebel was also hypnotized by the tank. 
Seahorses how cool is that, you can also participate in classes at the Aquarium 
to learn underwater equestrian skills and techniques.

 Me and Anna had a spirited debate about this fish. She said it wasn't an Angel Fish. I say it is, It's obvious of the left angel where it's mouth is. If it had been swimming the other direction it would have been a right angel fish.

So far the whole aquarium aspect of this building isn't looking too hot. they had a few fish and a few different tanks. But the tanks were all small and didn't have a lot in them.

The big tanks they had were filled with a good bit of river fish. We did catch a glimpse of a manatee but it was only after someone had already shouted manatee and everyone started rushing to the glass.  They had two tunnels where you could walk underneath the fish. The first one wasn't all that great. There were a couple big fish in it but nothing spectacular. However the second and obvious crown of the whole aquarium trip was the sharks!

This tunnel made the whole trip in my opinion. It was awesome seeing the sharks and stingrays gliding around the tank. There were some sawtooth sharks as well. Though it was crowded if you stayed in one area it wasn't too bad and the fish were swimming all around us. There was also a outdoor penguin exhibit. we didn't check that out though due to the cold and the crowds.

After the shark tank we came out and seen this leopard looking cat.It wasn't a leopard and I can't remember what it was, but it wasn't a catfish either.

We had a great time at the aquarium even though we were fighting through crowds to see the little bit we got to see. The aquarium may be worth the 80 dollar admission if it weren't as crowded but I still wouldn't call it an aquarium there were more birds and other animals than fish. And not a place you want to go when it is crowded. the walkways were way too small, it just felt like there were too many people in there.  

  We walked out with smiles on our faces and at the end of the day that's all that matters I can see us going back, but I will most certainly trying to find a coupon or something to get in with, and it will most certainly not be on a weekend.  

  This wraps up the three part trilogy of  Family Trip 2014. If you would like to read more check out: 
       Which is about our trip to dallas and back

        About our trip to the Perot museum.

 Thanks for reading, I really hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to share it with your friends or comment below. Have a wonderful day.

Science is the poetry of reality.

The title of this blog is a quote from Richard Dawkins. Our trip to the science and nature museum, was one where my reality had turned to poetry. One of those that really tug on something deep inside, and though only words. It can release in you emotions from laughter to crying, bringing them to the surface. Where you can feel the author's pain or joy. Over the weekend my reality had turned to poetry, Flowing beautifully from one incredible moment to the next. I felt as a kid again running around with our children, laughing, playing, and gazing in wonder at some of the things we seen.

 We had agreed to get up at 7:00 am on Saturday to get a good jump on the day, however when the alarm went off it got shut off. We ended up sleeping till about 8:30, when everyone had gotten ready.

Everyone ready to go!
Captain America shirts, check!

 We tried for a nice family picture three different times. This is the best one even if Rebel had her tongue sticking out. You can see the excitement all of us are ready to go, we had breakfast at Denny's then headed to the Perot Science and Nature Museum. Parking sucked because there was nothing close. The museum had signs up saying it was sold out until noon. We had to walk about two blocks so it wasn't too bad.

Watching and waiting they were both so anxious. 

 After we got our tickets it was just a matter of waiting in line for 10 minutes because they weren't letting in the 12:00 crowd yet. They had some pretty cool stuff set up in the waiting area. A fossil dig to keep the kids entertained. They also had  a couple of small exhibits in the waiting area. They also had a place that give's you a tablet to take with you through the museum. We didn't try it out because we didn't see it till we were on the way out. On our next trip we'll be getting one for sure. 

   For every action there is a reaction... The action we slept till 8:30 and got a late start, the reaction was us getting to the museum 10 minutes before they opened the gates. If we had left out on time we would have waited over a hour to get in. I love it when a plan fall's into place, and yes I did plan it right after the alarm went off at seven I planned to sleep some more. 

"The fourth floor"
  The highest Ryder had ever been, We took a escalator train to the fourth floor. I say escalator train because it was three different escalators which you had to take straight to the top. and there was none coming down either. The layout was designed to start your tour at the top of the building then work your way down. Going through all the exhibits as you go.

First up was our trip through space. In the Expanding Universe Hall. Our trip through the final frontier!

Mommy teaching about Gravity.

 We learned about gravity and how a ball spinning would affect gravitational pull. and the staff was awesome there was alw
ays someone close by who was glad to help you or talk with you about the exhibit.The kids got to do an experiment with two steel balls where turning the wheel would bring one of the steel balls to the top and it would slide down a ramp onto the other one which you put a piece of paper over. After the ball dropped and hit the other one you could pull out the paper and smell a burnt smell from the transfer of energy. Pretty frigging neat if you ask me.

Rebel and Ryder seeing how kinetic energy works.

They also had many other thing's to see and do, including a little planetarium. It looks like a command post on a space station with  all of the other exhibits floating around outside. My only problem was they didn't have a whole lot of stuff to do or see in this area, and it was so crowded from everyone being let into the museum with even more coming up the escalators constantly. 

After the space exhibit we made our way to the T. Boone Pickens, life then and now hall

That turtle was HUGE!!!

Look we found bones

 I think this was Ryder's favorite exhibit, Rebel was also staring around at all the old fossils and bones. It was awesome to watch the new discoveries in their eye's, and the shear size of the dinosaurs boggled Rebel's mind. She couldn't believe how big they were. Ryder even tried climbing into the exhibit, no fear in that boy.  
   An amazing assortment of prehistoric skeletons, from Wooly Mammoth to a huge T-Rex, an Alamosaurus. The Alamosaurus is the really big guy standing next to the T-Rex. We also had the chance to see some pretty cool sea life skeletons as well, but this side of the hall was pretty crowded so I wasn't able to get any good pictures.

Velociraptor foot print

 The Fossils were incredible, from Nautilus shells to Velociraptor foot prints. Just look at that and tell me you wouldn't crap your pants if you came across a fresh foot print like that, it's almost bigger than my son. 

Reindeer, Gophers, and Cougar.

Walking around this hall was great, alot of stuff to see and do. We got up close and personal with quite a few exhibit's. Included with all of the bones and fossils are taxidermy of living animals. the mountain lion who is waiting for one of the children to run away from their parents so he could have a snack. Tell your kids that and they will stick close to you! I wish I would have thought of that when we were there. 
 A Reindeer, we now know what they do when they are not pulling santa's sleigh. Apparently he doesn't pay to well and they have to come stand in a museum for a supplemental income. 
 The teenage partying gophers were there as well. If you notice just like teenagers the gophers have a lookout, usually the youngest of the group gets bullied into such a job. While the other two lay around and have a good time.
   The layout in this hall was bigger than the expanding universe hall, a lot more open and freedom to move. It was still crowded though, It would have been more enjoyable if it hadn't had so many people in there. I would have been able to get more and better pictures as well.

Next stop Rose Hall of Birds:
  Where you can fly like an Eagle! No not really but almost, They have a exhibit that has multiple stations where you can create your very own bird. Choose the body type, what kind of wings your bird will have. Even the feathers, what your bird will sound like, and what they like to eat. Then you can stand in front of a big monitor and you can fly with the bird you created. We didn't do this but there was plenty of other things to see in the hall. We didn't spend much time here though. It was a small hall and quite crowded. 
Ryder: "BIRDSSS! See it? see BIRDS!"
Rebel tried the bird maker but got bored waiting in lines.
We fought through the crowds to get to the elevator, it was time for mommy and daddy to take a break from walking. Yeah like that's going to happen, but we headed down to the Moody Family Children's Museum. To let them get rid of some of that energy.
These are for you daddy.
Crossing into the Fun.
Climbing to new height's.

Me & Rebel

 The children's museum was mainly for smaller children, but bigger kids were allowed as long as they watched out for the younger ones.  There were places to sit inside the the climbing area, as well as outside of it. A truly wonderful place even though we never got the chance to actually sit down. We still had a blast.

Daddy & Mommy
Me & Ryder

   It also had a little grocery store for the kids to play in and some sort of water activity. I wasn't able to get a good look at it though. All of the kids in the children's museum were running around like a bunch of wild apes. It was kind of scary, I noticed the kids outnumbered the adults. They could easily overtake us tying us all up and leaving us in the play area. Taking over the museum and then the world...

The impending doom of us being over thrown by some temper tantrum tyrants averted, it's time for a movie.. Not just any movie though, a movie in 3-D. Titans of the ice age !!! We even got the goofy glasses. Neither Rebel or Ryder had ever seen a movie in 3-D before.

All of us decked out in our cool 3-D glasses...
well almost all of us. Ryder didn't want anything to do with them.
 Rebel was absolutely blown away trying to grab the snowflake that seemed to float right in front of her face. I even seen her jump back when the Owl swooped toward our faces. Ryder however wasn't so interested in the movie and we spent most of the movie playing, up and down try to get around. I love that game... He was interested though when they showed the Woolly Mammoths. He missed out on a whole other dimension though poor guy. The movie was about the discovery of a baby woolly mammoth found in Russia almost perfectly preserved.  How they migrated across the land bridge that formed during the ice age. What areas they lived in and how they survived. It also showed the eventual down fall of the woolly's.

 The movie was cool and the 3-D effects have come a long way since the last time I put on a pair of blue and red 3-D glasses. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. To make it even better, we finally get to sit, YAY! After the movie we went to have lunch in the museum cafeteria.  I had expected the food to be over priced, but  it was a  little on the ridiculous side. Trip planning tip, if you plan on eating and don't want to spend $30 on two pieces of pizza, a burger, sweet potato fries, dessert bar, a drink for the kids, and a warm coke. Then pack a lunch, which is what we should have done. On our next trip I am going to be packing lunches for us. I figured we spent well over $200 just on food, Which don't get me wrong I loved not having to cook or wash the dishes, but I think it would have been worth the hassle of packing our food. 

  After lunch we played outside for a little bit Rebel and Ryder jammed out with the musical instruments in front of the museum. Quite surprising was the fact that the outside exhibits weren't crowded, there were a few people out there with their kids. It was a little on the chilly side which probably had something to do with that.  In front of the museum there was a music exhibit, there was a area for the kids to play in water... I'm still trying to figure out why they would want kids to play in water then go into a museum, that doesn't make much sense if you ask me. And they also had a area filled with frogs. Not just any frogs, these things are frogzilla's. 

Ryder and Rebel playing the rock chimes
Rebel rocking out on the xylophone.

Rebel was into the Xylophones, they both thought the rock chimes was the coolest. They both stood there putting rocks in the top and listening to them fall down over the chimes.

Playing with frogzilla!
When I let Rebel go she was all over the place. running and jumping, climbing all over the frogs. Ryder was running around but he didn't like climbing on frogzilla. but he did like climbing the frog heads that were sticking out of the ground.

 I love being able to sit back and watch how they act when playing. You can see the shear joy on their faces when they are running and jumping. I often wish I could get that excitement back. I have a wonderful life with a great wife and two amazing kids. We always have fun, but there is something about being a kid, so carefree, having the ability to see beauty and wonder in everything. Which we lose as adults. It would be nice to have that freedom again. We have those moments when we "feel like a kid again" and I get the excitement associated with it, I had quite a few of those moments on this trip. However I don't think it felt the same as it would have if  I was a kid, is it something we could get back or is it lost to us adults forever...

  Children's energy levels now down to a manageable level, and a little reflection on life contemplated. We head back inside to finish the rest of  our museum experience. Next stop Discovering Life Hall.

"Run away from your parents kid we dare you."
The first thing we see when we walk in are the big cats on top of the display. Another missed opportunity to explain to the children that they are on guard to make sure kids don't run too far away from their parents. Also while exploring this hall I also learned a lesson. Don't tell your daughter to crawl inside a log to take a picture. Then turn to your wife and say "where's Rebel?" and just assume she seen you nod your head to the log... I am really sorry about almost giving you a heart attack my love.  When the miniature heart attack was over and Rebel was "found", we got to look around. There was all different kinds of wildlife. Foxes, bears, peacocks, possums, and a lot more.

What did the Fox say?
"bow-ties are cool.!" 

Look Guys HOOTERS!!

 There wasn't a whole lot of hands on stuff here, almost all of it was enclosed in display glass. but it was still pretty cool looking at all the taxidermy and reading about all of the animals.

pretty close to the same face he made
when the bear was going to eat his head.
A great hall to visit it was open and even with a lot of people in there we were able to move around without bumping into too many people. I am really starting to notice a trend going here, it's seeming to me that almost every hall is packed.

  When we had learned all that we could, we made our way around to the Being Human Hall. This one was pretty cool, from being able to see things on the microscopic level to slices of the human body!
Rebel looking at bacteria under the microscope
and a slice of the human body
  There was a lot to do here, a biology lab where you could put on a lab coat and take part in actual experiments. Testing household germ fighters, and examining cheek cells from inside you mouth are just a couple of things you can do in the bio-lab. But it's hard to stay and look at human slices and germs when the Texas Instruments and Innovation Hall is right next door!

Oh the trouble I would get into.

 I mean really you have the chance to build your own robot's and learn about structures. A lot of interactive exhibits. We also got to see this remote control fire fighting helicopter! I would love to get my hands on that bad boy right there. No one would be safe, I'd be dumping water on everyone I seen

Giant robot bugs of DOOM!

These giant robot bugs of doom combined with my water soaking helicopter and I would be unstoppable! Wait ok back up a minute Ray and lets bring it back to earth... Atleast earth's orbit.

We got to build a tower and see if shaking the round disk it was connected to would make it fall. Shaking the disk didn't make them fall, but you can bet our two year old could tear it down!
Building our tower
The disk ain't got nothing on the destructive power of a toddler
A great layout in this hall, we were able to get around really easy, and lots of great stuff for the kids to touch and do. Even stuff for the bigger kids to do too. The robot building and racing was pretty cool to watch.
Bathroom break

Just goes to show you to keep your eyes open. I didn't notice this till our bathroom break near the end of our stay. All of the benches and etched into the glass on the building are little tidbit's of information. There are also over 700 steps in the museum. I would be willing to bet we hit each and every one of them.
Our last stop and one of my favorites, was the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals hall. We didn't get many pictures in this hall and there wasn't too much hands on stuff, it was all behind display glass. But we did get to see the biggest geode I have ever seen my entire life! 
The Geode is over 5 feet tall!
And a cool Nautilus fossil.

Some more cool rocks.

 All the walking and fun we had was finally starting to take it's toll and we decided to call it a day and head to the gift shop to get the kids their souvenirs. Of all the stuff in there our son picked out a fire truck for his souvenir...

 Are you serious? we could have went to the dollar store and got you 10 fire trucks for the price of the one at the museum. 

But at least Rebel had the right idea, she opted for a gyroscope!  Our trip souvenir was a salt lamp that was on sale for $15.00 but hey its cool with me. We needed a nightlight anyway.

  We had an absolutely wonderful time at the museum and learned a ton. My only real complaint is that it was crowded in every hall in the museum. Though the crowds were moving, it was hard to do any of the hands on stuff because there were such long lines at them. All in all it was most certainly worth it, next time we go it will be on a weekday so it won't be so crowded hopefully 

 I also wanted to show you the end result of our trip to the museum. In my opinion one of the best views of the day.

Super tired after a super day 
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our trip to the Perot museum. I would love to hear any comments you may have. If you enjoyed my blog please share it with your friends.

You can also check out the other two parts of Family trip 2014.
  Were goin' to the big D and I mean Dallas
 A blog about our trip down to Dallas and back again.

 One fish two fish red fish SHARK!
 Our adventures at the Dallas Aquarium.