Friday, June 10, 2011

A night in the aquarium

Oh, my. What a trip to Omaha. Both girls and I set off on Tuesday afternoon for Omaha. Both girls Girl Scout troops were spending the night in the aquaurium with their cookie money.

First stop was the pedestrian bridge that overlooks the Missouri River. It was a little windy. This is all of Macy's troop, minus one.It was a little ahem interesting finding the bridge due to some incorrect mapquest directions. Let's just say that it's a good thing I'm the homing pigeon and awesome with directions/maps/finding my way around.

Here's Macy and her cousin Hannah. Hannah and my sister came with us on the zoo troop too, and I'm so glad they came! See the wind? It was crazy! See the Mighty Mo in the background? Yeah, it's flooding out of its banks.

Standing with one foot in Iowa and one foot in Nebraska.
We then went to the zoo, got to drive into the employee parking, did some zoo orientation activities, and had an AWESOME guided tour through part of the zoo. The tour guide is a high school biology teacher, and was very knowledgeable.

Here he is showing us Ivan, the cockatiel (don't know if that's right, it was a bird) that I've walked by a million times and didn't ever see. He "cries" like a baby, talks, and at TJ's command, will "stand up" and ruffle his feathers. Pretty cool.

Then we loaded all our crap into the aquarium. We got to sleep in the aquarium tunnel, and it was AMAZING. here's all our stuff. We had 31 people total between Kaylin and Macy's troops.

Here's a little better picture that is lighter.

Lights at were at midnight. Even then, it wasn't terribly dark because of the lights in the tunnel. I had a really hard time falling asleep--kept watching the fish and sharks swimming. I would start to doze off, then this same stingray kept coming right by my head and it would startle me. Eventually all the girls fell asleep and I did too.

Morning came early, 6 am. We packed up, ate breakfast, loaded cars, then did another guided tour of the zoo. Seriously, this guy was so cool. He told us tons of behind-the-scene info we wouldn't have otherwise gotten.

Our final stop of the morning was a look upstairs, behind-the-scenes of the aquarium. We got to see the top of that tunnel we slept under, and the top of the jellyfish cylinder where they feed the jellyfish with an IV-looking thing. It was really neat seeing things from that perspective.

Then we did a quick tour of the zoo and headed home. It was a whirlwind 24 hours, but a really, really, really (did I say really?) neat trip. Once in a lifetime, truly, to sleep in an aquarium underneath the tunnel with fish, sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles swimming all around you.

I wasn't with Kaylin much of the time; she was with her troop, but did sleep next to me in the tunnel. So here's proof she was on the trip:

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