Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weddings and Whales - Part Whale

What a great weekend. I got to see two people I love dearly get married AND I got to cross something off my 30x30 list.... a nice, productive weekend if I do say so myself.

Rachel and Matthew wanted to have a domestic destination wedding and settled on Andrews, North Carolina- which is in the far west corner of NC. Because of this, the two closest airports were Chattanooga and Atlanta. I jumped on Atlanta like white on rice.

Why did I so eagerly travel to the worst airport in America, you ask? Well, because going to the Georgia Aquarium just so happened to be #12 on my 30x30 list.

I had a GREAT time and was so happy I went.  Here are a few pics of my adventure... {Note: the Wedding part of my trip will be coming as soon as some of my fellow wedding attendees post/send me pictures.}
I scheduled my flight back later than the friends I was riding with so they could drop me off on their way. It worked out perfectly- we got to Atlanta at 1:30 which gave me 3.5 hours. The wedding crew called me a dork for not flying back to Dallas with everyone else, but both friends I rode with said they were sad and wanted to come too when they dropped me off and saw how massive the aquarium was.

The tropical tank. It had a wave that crashed overhead which is why it looks all ripple-y. 

All the tropical fish.

Sea horses that used their tails to latch onto each other and/or the seaweed.

The pool of stingrays and sharks you could pet. I was touching a stingray not paying much attention when a shark swam right up to my hand. I snorkeled with stingrays in Cayman so they don't bother me, but that shark coming out of nowhere freaked me the f out. I may or may not have jumped back and screamed like a four year old.

I took a break from the fish to eat a little of the four legged animal variety. I couldn't have gone to Atlanta and not had BBQ!

Great white from the underwater tunnel.

Whale shark from the underwater tunnel.

Manta ray... this thing was 15 feet across... as tall as most giraffes!

Whale Sharks

Me in front of the big tank... naturally all the big fish swam off just in time for the picture. Guess they were camera shy.

Beluga Whale.

One of the sea otters.

This was by far my favorite part of the aquarium. They had two California sea otters- Oz and Gracie.  You could tell them apart because Gracie mostly floats on her back with one paw in her mouth chillin.  Oz is a bit more feisty as you can see. Apparently they shoot shrimp out of those holes in the wall and Oz was banging on the wall bc he was hungry.  Too cute!

A video of the main tank at the aquarium. You can see all the huge animals that they have including hammerheads and one of the four whale sharks.

I would recommend going if you ever get the chance. Although I might suggest going during the week. I went on Sunday and it was packed. But even with the insane crowds I was really happy I got the chance to go.  

Finally crossing something non-culinary off the ol' 30x30 list was quite the accomplishment. Inspired, I wrote out a game plan on the flight home from Atlanta to knock out all the others that are within my control. There's some pretty hefty things on there, so from the looks of things it's going to be a busy year and a half!

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