Thursday, June 30, 2005

Fish TV

One-day cost of admission to Mystic Aquarium for our family: $42
Cost of year family membership to Aquarium of Niagara: $45
Benefit of membership: free admission to Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration
Number of times visited on this vacation: 2

I love the Mystic Aquarium. In an alternate life, I am a biologist specializing in marine mammals. I learn something every time I go. This time, I learned that the electric eel is not an eel, but a fish that grows up to nine feet in length, and slowly goes blind over the course of its life due to the electrical field it generates. I wonder it that is happening to Magneto (geek alert).

Now, Sam loves the Mystic Aquarium too. As do the twins, but their love is on a much more basic level. To them, it’s like watching a great, big television with lots of fishies on it. Their heads swivel back and forth each time they find a new creature to observe.

For Sam, it’s an interactive learning experience. He actually asked a question at the penguin exhibit. When the intern finished talking about where penguins lived and how they were identified, he asked if there were any questions. Sam walked over to him and said, “What do they eat?” I think the intern was more excited to be telling Sammy the answer than Sam was listening. They talked for two minutes about all the different sea creatures that eat fish.

He voluntarily pet an alligator, and actually smiled for the camera while doing it. He touched a manta ray. He learned about Sea Lions. He saw fish he recognized, thank-you very much, Pixar. He saw new kinds of fish whose names he is still practicing the pronunciation of.

Money well spent? You bet your sweet bottle-nosed dolphin.