Friday, January 24, 2014

An afternoon field trip

Jeff, Biscuit, my in-laws and I took a field trip this afternoon to our local science center.

It's been a hectic and stressful week, so hanging out at a fun place with family was a nice end to the week.

I had planned how this week was supposed to go, but as often is the case, it didn't happen that way. The original plan was that I would work Monday and Tuesday. Then I would drive to my parents' house Tuesday after work. 

My Daddy was set to have rotator cuff surgery Wednesday morning. It was outpatient surgery, so I planned to help Mama get him home, then I would drive back to my home. Then, Jeff, Griffin and I were going to take my in-laws to the beach Thursday through Sunday.

A couple of wrenches were thrown in, though. My in-laws have been sick for a couple of weeks. They're both still coughing with congestion and just feeling bad. We realized they might not feeling up to a drive to the beach, so I decided to stay at my parents for another night. And thank goodness I did. My Daddy had a complication from his surgery, and we had to head to the ER about 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

Daddy's surgery was scheduled for 7:15 a.m., and they told us to be there by 5:30 a.m. In his worry about us getting there with plenty of time to spare, Daddy wanted to leave their house at 4:15 (it only takes about 25 minutes to get to the hospital). So my alarm went off at 3:20 a.m. Wednesday morning. And then there we were, heading back to the hospital at 7 p.m.

We were done there at about 10:30 p.m. and drove the 25 minutes back home. Daddy was quite a trouper, though. I know he had to be nervous and scared, not knowing if the complication was going to be serious or not. But the hospital people, who were all so nice and moved so quickly, did their thing and sent us on our way.

Thanks to his fancy sling, Daddy had to sleep in his recliner in the living room. And because Mama wanted to be near him, she slept in her recliner. Lucky me, I curled up in the guest room and got some deep, deep sleep!

I stayed with Mama and Daddy most of Thursday, just to make sure everything was okay. Then I drove the 2 1/2 hours home, just in time for dinner with Jeff, Griffin and my in-laws.

So today, I wanted to do something fun. Jeff and I got our wires crossed about what we were doing, so it was late afternoon before we headed over to the science center. Since it a week day and late in the afternoon, the place was not at all crowded. Last time we went there on a Saturday, we had to cruise the parking lot for about 15 minutes before we found a spot. Today, there were only about 10 or 12 cars in the whole lot.

We got to see the sharks, moray eels and other fish being fed. We also got to watch as the keepers fed a frozen then thawed rabbit to an anaconda named Babalu. I touched the rays in the touch tank. Biscuit's arms aren't quite long enough. We watched the penguins poop into the water they then dove into. We also saw the otters running around playing. There's a bubble in the otter habitat that kids can crawl into. Biscuit wasn't tall enough to see once he crawled in, so guess who crawled in after him to hoist him up? Did you know that crawling on carpet in winter can build up all kinds of static electricity?!

Here are some pictures from our afternoon outing:

Biscuit waits patiently while the keepers get the food for the fish
and sharks ready. Today, the fish had chopped clams, and the sharks
had "fish tacos," which is fish pieces stuffed into a piece of squid.
Moray eels usually spend most of their time hiding, but these
eels have grown wise to the feeding schedule. So despite their hermit
behavior, the three of them make an appearance to grab some grub.

This guy told us all about how they feed the small fish first,
otherwise, they would take food from the sharks, and that might
not go very well. He shared some interesting information.

Biscuit had a friend for a few minutes, but she came on
a bit strong. So he ditched her and came over to sit with me.

These rays are in a touch tank, but the water is too deep for Biscuit. I touched them so I could describe it
to him. The second and fourth ones were really smooth. The far left one has little spines down his back.

This is Bone Crusher. He is a 95-year-old Alligator
Snapping Turtle. They can live to be 120 or more.

An American alligator.

And what's a field trip without a yummy treat?

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