In lieu of a traditional birthday party this year, Pepper opted to take a friend to the New England Aquarium in Boston, which is about 90 minutes from where we live – depending on traffic.
Pepper had been to the aquarium once before – years back – but didn’t remember any of the exhibits, so, for her, it was like going for the first time.
The aquarium is built around a tall, cylindrical tank that holds 200,000 gallons of water from the Boston Harbor – heated up, of course, to accommodate the thousand-or-so different animals that live in it.
The tank rises for four stories, and at the top, you can look down into the water. Here’s Pepper, watching one of the Green Sea Turtles – her favorite part of the aquarium. They can grow up to five feet long, and the oldest one has been at the aquarium since 1970.
The penguins are on the first floor:
You can either see them there, or look down on them from the top floor:
CPT America says he suspects quite a few cell phones ended up in the penguin pen over the years. Every time he looked over the railing, scores of arms were stretched out from the levels below, taking pictures.
On the floors in between are lots of beautiful exhibits.
The electric eel was a favorite. The aquarium had something hooked up to measure the voltage the eel was putting out. Every time it pulsed, a microphone registered what sounded like a drum beat. Pepper said you could dance to it if the eel got excited.
Can you spot the sea horse in this photo?
And, CPT America couldn’t remember what sort of fish this was – but I liked its face.
There were lots of babies at the aquarium – sacs with developing shark embryos, displays with tiny lobsters – that sort of thing. Pepper joked that this was the eel “nursery”. She said it looked like someone had planted eel seeds in the sand and this is what grew:
In reality, they were simply Garden Eels. (What a fun sort of garden to have!)
And, of course, the sea horses are always fun to see.
Pepper’s birthday also included a stop at Panda Express which, sadly, we do not have locally (unless you count the one housed inside of Six Flags). The Boston area, though, has several, so Pepper’s birthday bliss was complete.
From the dining room table, deciding to count the popcorn that I ate at the movie theater while watching The Wizard of Oz as tonight’s dinner,