Sunday, July 21, 2013

Celebrating The Big Tank


After almost a year of renovations, the New England Aquarium re-opened it's famous big tank and as Aquarium Members, we got to go inside and check it out before the doors were open to the general public.  Our family has fond, fond memories of the Aquarium in Boston.  When the children were little, Gordy would take them into Boston on Sunday mornings so I could have some peace and quiet and a moment to do laundry and read the paper.  While I was basking in solitude, Gordy would be watching the children run up and down the ramp of the big tank, searching for Myrtle the Turtle and the electric eel and watching the penguins swim around the bottom.  Apparently, there aren't very many other (crazy) early risers in Boston, which meant that our family mostly had the space to ourselves.  After an hour or two, the Aquarium would start to fill up and that's when Gordy would take the children to the cafe for a snack before heading home.  

It was a perfect outing.


We still love the Aquarium, but we don't get to visit very often.  We let our membership lapse a few years ago and we only had a new membership this year, because Gordy took Georgia, Josie and a few friends to the Aquarium on a free day last winter and he discovered that it was cheaper to sign up for a family membership than buy tickets for all four girls.


I'm so glad he did, because the opportunity to view the new-and-improved big tank without the endless lines and crowds was worth every penny.  The new big tank is amazing!  I'm sure I'm getting some of these details wrong, but the new tank is designed to look like a coral reef 100 years ago - before pollution and before global warming started killing off the coral.  The habitat is also more narrow, so the fish have more room to swim and has more nooks and cranies for the fishes to hide in from the sharks...

and Myrtle, who is still around and just as cranky as ever.


We found Myrtle asleep at the bottom of the tank.  

I heard on NPR that there was some concern about how the notoriously foul-mooded Myrtle would react to being removed from the tank and then being replaced into a "different" environment.  According to the spokesperson who was being interviewed,  Myrtle was released into the Big Tank, where she swam around for a few minutes before snapping at some marine biologist who was there observing.  He laughingly said that she was obviously right at home!

We love that Myrtle!

I didn't get very many photos of the children.  The lighting in the Aquarium is very minimal and I haven't mastered my camera enough to know how to compensate.  This was the best photo I got:


After we studied the big tank, we spent time communing with the penguins - as one needs to do:




And then we headed home for our own dinner.


We felt very fortunate to be able to get a special view of the new and improved New England Aquarium.  If you find yourself in Boston this summer, definitely check it out!


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