Tuesday, March 13, 2012
school fieldtrip for adults
sean and i made a couple of attempts to go to the vancouver aquarium the past few months. but we were foiled time and again due to sudden inclement weather or too long of a line-up of parents and their children on the weekends. so when the aquarium hosted an adults only evening, to experience the peace and tranquility of their galleries, we jumped at the chance to go.
the sold out after hours event included special programming and behind-the-scenes tours in the tropic zone and canaccord exploration gallery. the wet lab was opened for hands-on learning, planet earth: from pole-to-pole in 4D was being screened in their theatre and the shark penthouse gallery, normally closed to visitors, was opened for our viewing pleasure.
i haven't been to the aquarium since i was a school girl, so it was practically a first-time experience for me. i was wowed by everything i saw. it's so serene that i could stay there for hours. there's so much to see and experience, that the 2 1/2hours that we were there, simply wasn't enough.
we got to see dolphins coming right up to the viewing windows of their tank. at every other window were stuffed dolphin animals which you could play with and try to get the dolphins attention to come to your window.
we also saw the beluga whales, a green sea turtle that looked about 100 years old, sharks, stingrays and a sea otter sleeping on its back while floating in the pool, with his hands clasped on his stomach. and a couple of stellar sea lions curling up with each other, making barking noises before going to sleep.
i got an eyeful of marine animals that i've never seen before, including a giant red octopus and tiny yellow eels that would poke its body up and down in the sand and a marine animal that reminded me of dinosaurs and evoked a "my goodness, what the heck is THAT?!" oh! and bats. lots of tiny little bats flying around in their habitat. i've never seen a bat in real life before. that was a real treat.
even the colourful cold-water corals were beautiful to look at.
some attendees treated the evening like a social event or a mixer. and since wine was being served, there were a couple of loud and obnoxious adults. but it certainly didn't spoil the fun, for the aquarium is HUGE enough to get lost in. i didn't feel crowded at all at this limited attendance event. for the most part, i think being at the aquarium brought out the wide-eyed, awestruck children in all of us. sans the tantrums, the screaming, the running around playing tag or jockeying to get up to the glass.
i loved everything about the evening but my absolute favourite thing were the jellyfishes, especially the moon jellyfishes. so ethereally beautiful.
watching pulsating jellyfishes is oh so, very calming.
the next after hours event is june 27. i think it's safe to say that we'll be going to that one too.
for more pictures and videos of the after hours event, press play or click here for my flickr.