Through the power of Facebook and my blog I have met some amazing people and it has opened up my life to some pretty fascinating things to do.Yesterday was one of them.
My friend Michelle writes for MomsCharlotte for the Charlotte Observer. She was invited to cover the bigfish deliveries and asked if I wanted to go. Ummmmm....yeah.
We headed on over there and checked in a bit before 9am. Let me tell you. It was COLD out there. That morning we saw the unveiling of the "Junior Explorers" and the new mascot. The mascots name is.....wait for it....Sharky. He is actually pretty freaking adorable.
So then the wait began. They said we had to wait for the fish to get acclimated to their water. Could take 20 minutes, could take 2 hours. Basically they have to pump water in and out of the tanks to get the sharks use to the new water. So they said "Go wait up there and you can get some good pictures!" It was FREEZING and V was with me. We waited a bit.
Finally a wonderful lady came up and said we could go inside and check out everything. I am pretty sure they felt bad for us. Michelle had her little one with her as well. Did I tell you it was FREEZING?
The first thing we got to see, and my FAVORITE part was the fish tunnel. Hi Michelle!
It is an amazing tunnel to go through. V was a bit freaked out at first but then loved it.
Incase you can't tell, I liked the stingrays.
V was on the floor just STARING into this little window.
When I got down there I realized why. This guy was HUGE!
Since the aquarium wasn't fully opened yet, we were only allowed in one other area. The Junior Investigators were painting a mural. V crawled through the little tunnel.
The room had a big window which looked into part of the tank which the tunnel was connected to. We sat and watched the fish there for the longest time. The other kids there were DYING. A fish swam through his nose. They talked about it for 5 minutes and imagined scenarios of sharks trying to get through. It was pretty cute.
They take each Blacknose Shark out of the water, put it in a stretcher, and RUN like the dickens to the tank. Did I mention they had to do this up a flight of metal stairs in the cold,because they did.
Being media for the day, I got to go into the area where they released the sharks into the water. So once it is up the stairs and into the building they take it QUICKLY to the water. I would be so scared I would fall in.
Here is a video of the second shark being released:
Here are just a few random shots from the top of the tank looking down.I was pretty terrified V would lose a shoe in there or get her head stuck. I did that as a kid...a few times.
I LOVE this next shot.
We went back down and looked around some more. I could NOT get V away from these little windows. There was a lionfish that did NOT want his picture taken.
V and I actually had our picture taken for the paper! You can see them HERE.
The SEALife Charlotte-Concord Aquarium opens on February 20th. If you get a season pass and get it early you can go for an early sneak peek next weekend. You can see all kinds of information HERE.
I fully plan on being there a LOT. I bought our yearly passes this morning. We only got to see two areas.I can't wait to see what the rest holds!