Monday, April 27, 2009

Mom and Baby left this morning. :(

We had a wonderful visit with Jenn and Aidan this week. We got to spend lots of great times with them at various playgrounds, these pictures are from the same playground that Jenn spent time playing on when she was a bit younger. Here's Aidan after running around and exploring the playground, we're on a swinging seating area, and he's not sure he likes swinging as quickly as grandpa is pushing him. It was nearly 90 degrees in Maryland on Sunday with beautiful clear skies. Jenn was pretty miserably hot after living in Hawaii for awhile since it doesn't get that hot there.
Here's the proud grandpa following Aidan around as he explores the playground. There were all kinds of things to climb on and touch and walk on top of and Aidan really enjoyed them all.

We also spent some time on the huge pre-school playground at the JCC. It has a rubbarized mat underneath all the equipment. There's plenty to do and explore there too and aidan had fun running from one thing to another. The slides were a bit hot but the other metallic surfaces in this playground were covered so they weren't hot at all.

Aidan really enjoyed the tubes and tunnels that he could climb through. Notice the really cool new shoes that Mom got for him earlier in the day. He really loves them.
Here's a picture of the two guys sitting on the steps with their yellow hats on. Mark had brought out his left over fried rice and Aidan was right there sitting with him and begging for bites. It was so very cute! Aidan started calling Mark "Pop pop" and was very attached to him the entire time he was here visiting.

On Saturday, we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Aidan had been to SeaLife Park on Oahu but it's very small compared to the Aquarium. As we waited for Mark to park the car, we noticed that there was a guy Kayaking in the Inner harbor, and Aidan and Jenn were looking at him. Mark got this picture of Aidan making his "fish face" which he does so well!

As you first enter the building there is a huge tank full of Brook Trout. Aidan kept pointing at them and he even said "fish" a few times. It was really neat to see how interested he was in everything during our visit. He's only 17 months old, but his attention span is great and he's learning new words on a nearly daily basis.

Here's Jenn showing Aidan all the pictures of Fish Eyes that were on the walls along the exhibit route at the Aquarium. We borrowed a kid backpack for the visit and Mark carried Aidan around most of the exibits on his back. It was pretty crowded but Aidan had a fantastic vantage point for seeing most of the tanks. When we reached the huge reef and shark tanks, Aidan wanted to get down and walk on his own. I think he was just a tad overwhelmed by everything there was to look at.
Mark took some really beautiful pictures in the exhibits. This is a butterfly fish in the Coral Reef tank. My camera doesn't take great pictures in low light but Mark's does.
These were some Coral Reef fish like we see when we go Scuba diving down in the Caribbean or the Atlantic. The yellow ones are Yellow Tangs...It was sometimes difficult to get to the tanks to see the fish because of the numbers of people that were in the Aquarium but a little patience always netted a spot right in front.
This is one of my Florida Gator friends posing for the camera in the Freshwater swamp exhibit. There were actually 3 Alligators in this huge exhibit, all hanging out and relaxing. I was tempted to teach Aidan that Gator's say "I eat bulldogs for lunch" but it was a little complex for his age. He did like seeing the Gators, though.
There is a place along the exhibit route where you can see into the deep pool in the Stingray and Shark tank. Aidan really enjoyed seeing the big fish and rays swim by while looking into one of the windows. This tank is incredibly large and you see it when you walk into the Aquarium, you can stand on the edge and look down into it from above as well as seeing it from underneath. There are several species of Sting rays, some are VERY large, there are Tarpon, some baby sharks, and some docile sharks that won't bother the other fish. There's also a 3 legged Sea turtle that couldn't be released into the wild because it's one fin was damaged and had to be amputated. I don't think that turtle knows he's any different, he seems to enjoy swimming around in the tank with everyone else. While we were there, there were 2 divers in the tank feeding the Tarpon and the Stingrays. That was really cool.
We're all looking at the large sharks swimming by in the shark tank. It's really dark down in the exhibit so you can see the sharks quite well. Aidan got to feel the nose from a Sawfish as there was a volunteer walking around with one. Then he got to see live sawfishes in the tank with the sharks.
Bubbles! Aidan really liked looking at the Bubbles in the tubes near the Gift shop. As I recall, his Mom used to like looking at them when she was a little younger, too. :) Aidan got a few really neat things to take back to Hawaii with him from the gift shop...a stuffed Spotted Stingray, some sea creatures, and some frogs to play with on the plane and to have fun with when he gets home. Mom and he left very early this morning with Grandpa who went as far as Chicago with them (he's on a business trip and had to take a different flight out of Chicago). When I got home from helping them and seeing them off at the airport, the house was way too quiet and the cats were looking out the front window for them all to come back.
I'll be seeing Jenn, Michael, and Aidan in July, and August, but it isn't soon enough. :( The cats miss them too.

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