For my birthday Richard took the day off to take us to the Aquarium. He first made omelettes for breakfast and even cleaned up house afterwards! The girls made me some lovely birthday cards and then we set out for downtown to the London Sea Life Aquarium. I have been hoping to go since I have such great memories from when I was a child there. So Richard bought us tickets to go!
The London Sea Life Aquarium is right across the bridge from Big Ben, which I did not know was connected to the House of Parliament (or Westminster Palace)…. although I am Canadian, I am fairly ignorant of British history. Woops. Well it’s time to learn now! Anyway, Big Ben is quite a sight. It’s so ornate (the whole Palace is). Man, it would be so neat to climb its stairs and see inside. But apparently not just anyone can go on a whim. Only UK residents can arrange a tour (well in advance) through their MP. So no tour for me. Would have gotten a good work-out too 😉
The Aquarium is not very big, at least if you compare it to the Vancouver Aquarium (totally worth going to!) but it was a lot of fun. The girls were just transfixed by each and every aquarium there, lingering before moving on to the next. Close to the entrance is a large open aquarium with rays (not the stinging kind), fish and small sharks. When I was here 16 years ago (time sure does fly) you were allowed to touch any of the sea life that came up to you – and many did. They love to show off and be touched! Now they still do, but you aren’t allowed to touch them anymore (conservation issues apparently). Sydney touched one anyway. It was so much fun. They haven’t changed the tank at all and the fish still swim right up to you, moving slowly by, expecting you to scratch that old itch of theirs. Do they ever feel neat too. The rays in particular are soft and smooth and rubbery, but slightly rough at the same time. We lingered there for quite a while.
I had forgotten that this aquarium doesn’t have whales or dolphins which was a little disappointing, but we did have a lot of fun. We stopped by one station with a fellow who taught us about starfish, and shark and ray eggs. They are really neat. Apparently sharks and rays only lay one, maybe two eggs in their lifetime and don’t do so until they are mature at around 15 years old. The egg shells are made of a tough rubbery substance and looks very much like seaweed. So that’s where sharks lay their egg – they attached them to a bunch of seaweed. I may have even unknowingly stepped on an old discarded shark egg shell on a beach on the West Coast.
We spent the whole day there and slowly made our way back home around dinner time. Dinner was just simple quesadillas, but my sweet hubby went out and bought me some ice cream and chocolate for dessert. Over all it was a great birthday and I am so very grateful for my wonderful children and the love of my life. God is good. Thanks for a great day Richard. You are the best!