Saturday, February 04, 2006

Mr. Pratt's Penguins...

Mrs. Pratt is celebrating a birthday on Monday. She'll be (whisperwhisperwhisper-if I tell you her age she will sock me)years old. I asked her if she would like to do anything special for the weekend and her first response was to see "cute little guys in tuxedos". Either she had a jones to see tiny head waiters, little people chippendales, or penguins. She wanted to go to the local aquarium to see the marine life,including penguins.

The car ride there, I told her about a book I read a million times when I was a kid called "Mr. Popper's Penguins". It's about a man who gets a penguin from a polar explorer,keeps it in his icebox, eventually ends up with a dozen penguins and goes into show biz and then the North Pole. Yeah I got that look from Mrs. Pratt like "ok, if you say so"...while looking for a net to throw over me. But I never forgot that book.

The aquarium we went to was orignally just called the New Jersey State Aquarium. When it first opened it decided only to have fish from the state of New Jersey.So it was full of trout,sunfish,shad,carp, bowfin and crappie. Yeah crappy indeeed.

A private company bought it and turned it into a more friendly,educational place.It's now called Adventure Aquarium They added a lot of other marine life and even included a sanctuary for 2 hippos. Into the briny deep we went.


I like the purple fishy! Due to all the low lighting it wasn't easy to get a good clear picture of a lot of the fish.


We walked through the shark's realm tunnel and he swam over us. Look! I'm a movie poster cliche!

It was a horrific day weather wise. Cold and rainy but soon warmed up inside. There were a gazillion kids yet we were able to maneuver around the screaming ones held up to each glass window by doting parents. I appreciate parents trying to teach their little ones something about the sea, but if the kids are too young to grasp the concept of where they are and suddenly thrust in front of a giant spiny crab yeah that would freak me out too. I hate when Mrs. Pratt does that to me. eeek! Spiny Crab! oh ..uh..sorry...back to the story...

We spent a few hours digging all the sea creatures. They have some great observation theaters where you can just hang out and watch all the marine life swim by. Nothing like a visit to an aquarium to relax me. seriously, screaming kids or not I lose myself when I'm just sitting there watchhing Mr. Limpet swim by.


Jellyfish. The peanutbutterfish wasn't around.



Hanging out with the Hippo. He kept bobbing up and down and enjoyed seeing the people.


The penguins were to be fed soon and they knew it. They lined up very orderly near the door of their habitat like they were waiting for an Atlantic City buffet line.

Waiting for lunch.

It was still cold and rainy and they all hung around half looking like they were waiting for a bus and the other half just kind of kicking back with their penguin friends like the avian version of Jay and Silent Bob at the Quickstop(hey they're from Jersey too!)


Penguins! Penguins! Penguins!


These two were grooming each other but it seems like they are sayiong,"Dahhhling! sweetheart! How are you?Mwah.Mwah!"

After we watched them eat, I decided I was hungry. naturally, I ate a fish sandwich.


Hey Kids! This Nemo sure is tasty!

I was full from lunch and with my umbrella on that rainy day and thoughts of penguins I felt my inner-Burgess Meredith appear and waddled back to the car. Waaugh...waugggh..wauggh.


You sqwalkin' to me?

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