It's a low res image linked from my Facebook page (sharing on Facebook is free).
The fam went to the beach and Mystic Aquarium in Conn. last week. We splurged and spent the night at a hotel in Mystic after spending the day at the beach, then went to the aquarium the next morning. Let me tell you, the weather for the beach was perfect. It was a gorgeous sunny day - 80°, light breeze, no clouds. The water was cold. That's normal for New England. But it wasn't bone chilling cold. It was "oooh, that's cold," then it feels warm after a few minutes. The waves were kind of lame but the water was clean. Last year the water was full of seaweed and no fun at all. This year my son spotted and caught a live crab that washed up with the tide. He set it free, then a few minutes later my daughter stepped on it by mistake. She screamed, I laughed and my son was horrified. LOL
We spent the night at the Howard Johnson's hotel in Mystic, Conn. The hotel itself was fine. We had no complaints. Our room was comfortable and clean and included a jacuzzi tub. We ate at the attached restaurant (The Equinox) but were surprised that everything was so overpriced. I'd read online reviews that said it was reasonably priced. I don't consider entrees in the $15-$20 range to be reasonable, especially when you're feeding a family of four. We stuck with sandwiches and fries and still spent almost $60. But since this blog isn't here to review hotels and restaurants I'll move on. That evening we walked around Old Mistick Village, which didn't impress me at all. It was a poorly laid out cluster of small, overpriced shops. I was disappointed because I had looked forward to going there.
The next day was, in my opinion, the best day of the mini vacay. Our hotel package deal included a 4 pack of tickets to Mystic Aquarium. My kids are older - 12 & 15 - and their faces lit up when we walked into the indoor exhibit building. Everywhere we turned were beautiful exhibits of live jelly fish, clown fish, sharks and turtles. There were open tanks where we were able to touch and hold sea animals like crabs and starfish. We watched a California sea lion show. We walked around outside and watched them feed the beluga whales, petted the stingrays and visited the penguin area. It was very hot but it was a great day and I know the kids really enjoyed it.
My daughter got a new camera for her 12th birthday last week - a Nikon Coolpix L22. She loves it and has been having a blast taking pictures of everything. I brought my own camera on our trip but decided to let her be the family photographer this time. (I grabbed her camera a few times to make sure she got in the pics too) I want to share some of the great pics she took at Mystic Aquarium. Keep in mind that she's 12 and all she did was point and shoot.
This photo makes me laugh. These are electric eels. They were all opening and closing their mouths in unison. It reminds me of the McDonald's filet o fish commercials.
Her prettiest picture by far. This was taken through glass. She wants to have a poster made of this for her bedroom.
Beluga whale feeding and training session.
This guy was afraid to jump in the water with his penguin friends.
I'm tempted to ask Santa to bring me a Nikon Coolpix for Christmas!