Friday, April 4, 2014

Aquarium or Bust! Bust!

Saturday was the first official day of spring break. It was a rainy morning. Batman was feeling spontaneous and thought we should hit the road and take the kids to the aquarium.  It's an hour and a half away, perfect for a day trip. We ate breakfast and kept the aquarium a secret. We told the kids to get dressed and get ready to run some errands.  Dodging raindrops, we piled into Batman's roomy SUV.

Eventually, the kids began to wonder where exactly we were going.  We put them off a few times, but they were persistent.  When they absolutely had to know, we played Twenty Questions and they guessed on the very last question.

A quick stop for a late lunch near the aquarium made us realize it was quite a bit chillier than at home. And it was still raining.  We navigated the parking lot and finally made it to the actual building. We figured it wouldn't be too crowded; after all, it was late afternoon and wouldn't most people be headed the opposite direction toward Florida?

We were (in the words of Tabatha Coffey) gobsmacked at the ridiculously long line. Batman stood in line while the kids and I took cover under an awning. It was pretty chilly and still raining.  We all had worn spring jackets but they were not enough. The much lower temperatures really caught us off-guard.  And there was my hubby, standing in line wearing short sleeves, getting pelted by nearly-frozen raindrops. After a few minutes, I took the kids and guiltily ducked into a little candy store nearby for warmth. I watched my hubby move very very slowly through the line.

And then he called me.  They were only letting a few people at a time into the aquarium because they were already at capacity. He was still a good half-hour from even getting tickets, and even then our tickets would have an entrance time on them- a half-hour or hour from when we actually had the tickets in hand. Yikes.  Even if all that worked out, we were still cutting it close on time- the aquarium was due to close in an hour and a half.  We wouldn't have as much time as we would like.  What to do? Disappoint the kiddos? Wait it out in the rain, gambling with our time?

I gave the kids the scoop. And you know what? They really impressed me. They all voted that we should come back when the weather was nicer or at the very least, we would have more time to wander through and enjoy ourselves.  As disappointed as I was about missing out on all the aquarium had to offer, I was really proud of my kids for making a mature decision. And so willingly!

We freed my hubby from the line. He joined us in the candy shop.  We rewarded the kids by letting them choose a fun treat and headed home. A simple dinner of warm soup and gooey grilled cheese sandwiches warmed us up.  A cozy evening on the couch with a movie has ended our day nicely.  A relaxing family day together with easy-going children and a few laughs was a wonderful way to begin our spring break. The entire week is ahead of us, and the best part- we still have an exciting trip to the aquarium to look forward to!