South Carolina Aquarium

Friday, February 11, 2011

Well, our first night in a hotel with a baby didn't result in as high-quality sleep as we had hoped, but I don't think Nora is to blame--her latest ILLNESS, on the other hand, is totally the culprit. Stupid cold/cough/congestion. Ugh.

After putting Nora into the hotel-provided pack 'n' play last night, it became clear pretty quickly that she was not going to last. She kept waking up and coughing or crying, and she was so miserable and pitiful that I gave up fairly quickly and brought her into bed with us. For the first half of the night, I slept with her cuddled up next to me, sharing my pillow with her so that she could sleep with her head semi-upright to help with the congestion. I also had the humidifier (which Dave and Lynsay so helpfully brought from home for us to use) blasting in our faces, which seemed to help. Michael took over holding her during the second half of the night, so in the end, we all ended up with at least some half-decent sleep. Come morning, we were all still pretty exhausted, but we had enough fuel to rally in order to do some sightseeing.

After we were all showered and ready, we started the morning eating breakfast in the lobby of our hotel. Free breakfast is included with the room price, so it is REALLY convenient for us. And the food selection isn't half bad, either--waffles, eggs, biscuits, sausage, bacon, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, bagels, muffins, donuts, etc. Niiiice.

From breakfast we hit the streets with the kids in strollers, heading to the South Carolina Aquarium at the Charleston Harbor. The morning was overcast and still pretty chilly, so we figured it was a good place to spend our morning--INDOORS! We were able to print out a coupon that gave all of us a slight discount, so we each paid $16.95 for our tickets, and the two babies were free. Michael and I were interested to see how the aquarium here compares to Shedd Aquarium, which we visited in Chicago in September 2009.
Our little Nora, enjoying the sightseeing. So far, she is LOVING riding in the stroller. We barely hear a peep out of her. In fact, she napped in it during breakfast and on the way to the aquarium, waking up just as we were entering the building.

Some snaps of some of the sea creatures...
South Carolina Aquarium has a GIGANTIC tank (15,000 gallons) that is full of all of the wildlife that can actually be found off the coast of South Carolina. Pretty cool.
I have a soft spot for sea turtles. Especially little ones like this guy.
They had an area with a "petting" exhibit, where you could touch things like sting rays and horseshoe crabs. Gavin enjoyed looking at them, but wasn't interested in touching.
I didn't do any touching, either. (Ewww!) Michael did it on behalf of the two of us. (And now that I'm looking at this picture, I'm pretty sure he got his sleeve kind of wet in the process. HA!)
Oh, Nora. I love you. And your little toy keys.
Otters are a lot of fun to watch.
This guy is an albino alligator. It's hard to tell he's albino from the photo, since the lights and the water are reflecting, making it look like he has color. He's actually hibernating this time of year, so we didn't see him move a single muscle. It was strange, because he really looked fake. Would've loved to have seen him in action!
Gavin, checking out snakes. And giving his mommy a heart attack, even though there was glass between them. :)
Family shot at the aquarium

In all, we spent a few hours at the aquarium. Not a bad way to spend a morning. Once we made our way through the exhibits, it was nearing Gavin's naptime (and we figured Nora could use one as well!), so we came back to the hotel for a couple hours of rest.

Gavin is snoozing away, but Nora slept for about 45 minutes and is now "singing" to herself in the pack 'n' play. This is new, as she usually wakes up crying. I think I'll just let her chill out in there, as long as she's happy. Her nap schedule is all messed up anyway!

Once everyone is awake and fed, we're heading to a plantation for the afternoon. More on that later...


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