Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Orleans Day 2: Audubon Aquarium

We were in New Orleans so that Benjamin could attend the AAO and participate in the lectures that took place each day.  While he was busy learning about marketing strategies, Winston and I lazed around the hotel room.  It's not a habit of ours to lounge in bed, sippin' on juice watching morning cartoons but it sure was a nice treat!
While I got ready, letter and number magnets from the Dollar Tree and a baking sheet kept him busy.
Once ready for the day we headed just a short walk away to the Audubon Aquarium.  Winston was very excited to see the fishies!  Since kiddos under two are free, the cost of my ticket was $22.50.  The Audubon Institute offers bundled deals with discounted prices for families to take advantage of, and they are a good deal especially if you plan to visit the zoo and the insectarium.  
The bottom level of the Aquarium was full of colorful, fanciful fish that held Winston's attention.  And since we went right when it opened on a Saturday, we had prime viewing positions!
The Aquarium exhibits were broken down into different sections: Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Sea Otters, Louisiana swamps, Amphibians and Penguins!  
I have grown to be quite thankful for my iPhone camera!  It was so quick and handy for taking a few shots of Winston at the Aquarium.  While I did have my DSLR with me, using the iPhone was a practical way of taking photos!
After touching a sting ray and learning about the fish that live in the waters of Louisiana, we rounded a corner and saw this guy.  
His name is Spots and he is 16 ft long.  According to the volunteer that is not a large alligator as the one they had previous to Spots was 20+ feet long!  Yowzers!  We learned that alligators are much like goldfish in that they only grow to as big as their habitat allows.  Spots is not an albino alligator even though he is mainly white.  He has three brown spots on him and his eyes are bright blue.  It was fascinating to watch him float and maneuver through the water.  

My favorite part of the Aquarium had nothing to do with things that lived in the water.  It was the Parakeet exhibit!  For $1.50 we got a stick with food on it and went outside {in an enclosed space} and fed the parakeets.  I wasn't sure how Winston would react to it, but he loved watching the "tweet-tweets" fly around and munch on the food we had to offer.
After the parakeets, we headed to see the sharks, sea turtles and fish that were swimming around in the 400,000 gallon tank.  It was quite mesmerizing to sit and watch them swim effortlessly through the water.  

We spent a total of two hours at the Aquarium.  It was well worth the money and is definitely a kid-friendly activity!  Winston gave it two thumbs up!  Make sure you stop by to say hello to Spots, he'll be around for a while!

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