One week I decided that we should take a day trip to Baltimore, Maryland, so we could visit The National Aquarium, a place I knew Sal had been wanting to visit for quite some time now, since he has an obsession with fish. Not only does he go fishing, but he also has a huge fish tank in his room, filled with fish (okay so they're pretty awesome, but still)! He picked me up early that morning and we headed south. We didn't realize that we actually had on the same exact color orange, which was pretty funny when we took a picture together.
It was a long drive, but with country music blasting, the time quickly passed. I am the last person to suggest a road trip if I have to drive; thankfully, Sal loves to drive, so I was able to sit back in the passenger seat and relax. When we arrived, we realized that it was hotter out than when we left. The sun rose high in the sky and I began to see that my jeans, shirt, & jacket was not going to last long in the heat. This isn't the first time we've been to Baltimore, so we should've known that on the harbor the sun shines bright, and it is not a good idea to dress in jeans. The last time we were there was when we went to a Mets game vs. the Orioles. Let me just say that I've only ever felt that heat twice before in my life and those two times I had a heat stroke. It was so hot, and we were sweating the entire game. No trees or coverage in sight, where we were sitting. Needless to say we ended up with sunburn. Fortunately, this trip to Baltimore didn't include sunburn.
We parked and walked into the aquarium on the harbor, after paying for our tickets. Did you know during the school year on a weekday, there aren't many kids at aquariums, but there are many, many elderly individuals. It was funny listening to their questions, okay that was mean, but it was a little funny!
We wandered around, seeing the new Black Tip Reef, which was beyond incredible - filled with sharks, stingrays, turtles, and so many different species of fish. The set up of the aquarium made it that much better, walking down and around, up and into the rainforest, over the bridge and into the dolphin area.
Sal's favorite was probably the sharks, and as I watched them swim around the tank, I couldn't believe that we actually swam with sharks in Dominican Republic last year. While they were only nurse sharks that we swam with, I was still in shock! My favorite animal was the puffin! Penguins are my favorite animal, and puffins are very closely related. They were adorable, and we were able to catch the trainers feeding them. They all knew it was dinner time because they waited by the door for the trainer to come out.
Eventually we made our way to the dolphins, and Sal was extremely excited because he thought there were going to be dolphins shows since the last time he had been there, years ago, there were dolphin shows. Well they stopped the shows and just did small training educational shows. It was nice to see the dolphins, but I'll admit I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to see them do more tricks. Dolphins are amazing animals, having swam with them as well, I know first hand.
We saw everything from jelly fish and an octopus, to starfish and monkeys! Of course, we took a quick break for lunch. Afterwards, we wandered around the harbor, but I was quickly drenched from the heat, and took advantage of the shops nearby. I picked up another outfit after trying on what seemed like twenty. Whoops! We headed to dinner on the harbor at Phillip's Crab Shack, although we weren't too pleased with it. I enjoyed cracking my own crabs - that being a first - but the food wasn't all that great. Having the beautiful views definitely helped though.
Before we knew it, we were heading back home, talking about our favorite animals and admiring the pictures we were able to snap.