Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'd Like to be Under the Sea: National Aquarium D.C.

We were looking for something warm and not crowded to do on this past MLK day -- it was freezing out and some of our usual haunts were bound to be jammed with all of the kids off of school for the holiday.  We ended up deciding to go the National Aquarium in D.C.  It's sort of the joke of D.C. museums/zoos/aquariums, but it turned out to be a perfect fit for us.  It opens early (9 a.m.) and lots of other museums don't open until 10.  And its small size allowed us to run around with less "mom helicoptering."  We went right at 9 and had the place to ourselves for almost half an hour.  It was starting to get crowded when we left at 10 though, so it's best to go early.  There were also some viewing platforms for us smaller peeps, including in front of the hilarious octopus.  We've heard stories about this feisty guy before and were so glad to get to see him in action -- after he was fed and was starting to open the various containers of food (these things are super smart), everyone started crowding his tank to get a look.  He wasn't thrilled so he squirted the crowd with water -- at first we thought the tank was leaking, but the staff told us he did it on purpose.  Pretty funny.  We don't like eating under scrutiny either.

We also lucked out and were able to park right out front on 14th because of the holiday (usually you can't park on 14th and if you drive, it's best to look for a spot along Constitution).  It's also right across the way from the Federal Triangle metro stop.  If you're hungry when you're done, the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center across the street has a pretty decent food court or the American History Museum is just half a block up on Constitution and that has a fabulous cafe (which we've already raved about this week).

Because the aquarium is small, we were through it in about an hour -- and that was even after taking two laps.  So we went for a quick jaunt up to the Mall for a visit to the Washington Monument.  And then we realized it was still 30 degrees outside and we hustled back home.

this was called the "Wheel of Doom" and, appropriately, it whacked 
Cami in the face when Kane spun it around.

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