Awesome. The whole trip was awesome. I've never been, and have always wanted to go, so when the last minute invite was extended I jumped at the chance. C loves Finding Nemo and D has a love/hate relationship with fishes so I knew I had a 50/50 chance of this trip being a success.
We started out with the big aquarium filled with little sharks and assorted fish.
All of the kids loved it.
M had a staring contest with one of the more adventurous fish. M won.
My first inkling that D may have a problem was when we went into the first exhibit. While the aquarium was in an open, lighted area, this exhibit was more confined and dark. Being the big boy that he is, D darted back and forth between holding H's hand and politely staring at whichever fish H was telling him about...
Refusing to look at anything...
And attaching himself to my leg asking me when it was time to go home so that he can play light sabers in the sun. We enjoyed the seals and sea lions and then made a beeline for the exit doors.
Which led straight to the sun and air and water. Our first stop was the play area so the boys could stretch their legs without having to watch where they were going or using inside voices. C was also let loose from his
We migrated from the play area to the Shark Lagoon, where you are able to touch small sharks. I will be honest and say the boys and I sort of stayed in the background for this one. If Kel was with me to help then it would have been fine, but with D trying to stay as far away from the lagoon as possible (and therefore out of my line of sight) and C trying to climb INTO the water to play with the sharks, I let D win this round.
C was fine with this, as it allowed him to go play at the huge water table that was set up around the corner, conveniently in a corner with only one way for the boys to
Rounding up the five kids, we made a pit stop at the top of the sea lion tank so that M can have another staring contest with a sea creature and then headed back inside.
Once we were in the dark again, D had enough. In his words, "Mom it's too dark in here, and there are too many people. Can we go home now?" My sweet boy, whom I'm so proud because he did not have any tantrums, was such a big boy using his words. When he was two, he was diagnosed with sensory issues, so maybe this was just too much for him? I don't blame him, as this was a really busy day at the aquarium. So I kept him calm for as long as possible before we all agreed that it was time to go. After we saw the sea otters of course.
I'm happy to say that although D had a few issues and mini "quiet" meltdowns where only I could hear him, both boys had fun. I think we will wait a little while before we go back, possibly when D isn't so afraid of the dark, but we will go back someday soon. This is a place where Daddy and his boys need to play with some sharks.