During my mom’s recent visit, we decided to make the most of our time and visit the aquarium. It’s always a toss up whether the aquarium will be filled with school field trips or if we’ll have the place to ourselves. I remember calling one time and the staff telling me which days of the week were usually the busiest, but I couldn’t remember what they had said, so we just chose a day and went. What a pleasant surprise when we found the aquarium was virtually empty! This was Nathaniel’s first trip and I’m convinced he loved it! He seemed fascinated by the colorful fish and their movements. I have plans to take him back very soon 🙂

After some initial disappointment that the bats weren’t out in the Australia exhibit, we were pleasantly surprised by what we did see. First of all, one of my favorite animals is the octopus. I could sit and watch him all day long, but usually he just stays put in one place in his tank. And the case was no different when we first arrived. Then he moved and continued to swim around his tank for the next 30 minutes or so.We stayed and watched in awe as he changed color from his pink tones to white then back again. We marveled at his suction-cupped tentacles (and just how small the suction cups get at the tips of his arms). I can’t even use words for how overwhelmed I was – it was SO cool!

We enjoyed the rest of the exhibits (like usual) and ended with the rainforest (one of my favorite spots!). If you have never been to the Baltimore aquarium, you wouldn’t know that the rainforest is at the top of the building and houses some amazing creatures and plants.It is one big open walk-through exhibit and you almost feel like you are really there, in the rainforest, far away from the city streets. You are surrounded by loud bird calls, colorful plants and trees, quiet bird chatter, bubbling streams, waterfalls, and glorious humid heat. One of my favorite animals here is the two-toed sloth (there are actually 3 to be found) and it’s a wonderful game of “I spy” to find them. Today, we only saw one, but that one we saw was on the move! How exciting to see him find a more comfortable spot to lounge. And he was so close!

My mom always tells fondly of the times when we were younger that we would come to the aquarium and spend the whole day in the rainforest spotting things that visitors don’t usually see because we took the time to look. This day we were wondering how many animals we really do miss that can be found on the forest floor. A quick chat with one of the staff helped us narrow our search and we found some amazing toads. They were HUGE! (There are supposedly 4o in the whole rainforest – we saw 2.)It was a fabulous day. If ever you are in the area, save a day for the National Aquarium. It’s a must see!

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