Posted in Florida 2012

17th March 2012 (Day 6): Florida Aquarium

Florida AquariumEarly start today as we were heading over to Tampa Bay to visit the Florida Aquarium.  But wanted to get a good breakfast first so headed into Perkins for our usual breakfast.  They had someone in doing balloon animals and hats etc so as Rosemary was being such a good girl with her food she got a balloon dog as a reward.  Of course the moment she got it the eating stopped as it was such a massive distraction.  Oh well, she’d had a lot up to that point.

Balloon Dog
Balloon Dog
Balloon Dog
Balloon Dog

(Unfortunately he was left in the car while we were at the aquarium and it was such a hot day a couple of the bits popped, which was a shame).

We then got in the car for the drive over to Tampa, which was a bit slow (a bit of traffic along the way) but uneventful and the sat nav took us straight to the right place through all the Tampa backstreets.  We got there just in time for lunch which we had in the cafe.

Arriving at the Aquarium we couldn’t resist a photo under the giant Manta Ray.

Florida Aquarium
Florida Aquarium

The aquarium is excellent and is laid out by different regions.  If I remember rightly we started off in the Wetlands.

Big Tank
Big Tank

Some parts are a recreation of the Everglades.

In the Swamp
In the Swamp
In the Swamp
In the Swamp
Ducks Resting
Ducks Resting

In one tank there were some crabs which got a lot of interest.

Crabs
Crabs

After that there were more tanks which reflected the fish which are found in more open waters.

Fish Tanks
Fish Tanks
Fish Tanks
Fish Tanks
Shore Tank
Shore Tank
Fish Tanks
Fish Tanks
Kelp Tank
Kelp Tank

The fish were really spectacular, although my photos weren’t so good from this day for some reason (lots of blurred shots) and as Rosemary needed to be held up to see into some of the tanks I didn’t have both hands to take the shots.  Enough excuses, here are some pictures of the fish themselves.

Fuzzy Hammerhead Shark
Fuzzy Hammerhead Shark
Puffer Fish (I think)
Puffer Fish (I think)
Shiny Fish
Shiny Fish
Leafy Sea Dragons
Leafy Sea Dragons
Prawns
Prawns
Another Fish
Another Fish (should have made a better note)
Rhinoceros fish
Rhinoceros fish
Stone Fish
Stone Fish

We found him!

Nemo
Nemo
Corals
Corals

There was a really massive open water tank with lots of sharks, rays and fish in it.  Unfortunately all my pictures came out really badly of it, and it was really busy as it was feeding time when we reached it.  So just got this one shot of a ray.

Ray
Ray

Just around the corner were some really nice jellyfish tanks.  The tanks were round and the jellyfish were swimming around inside them. The lights changed colours slowly as well to make a really nice effect.

Jellyfish Tanks
Jellyfish Tanks
Jellyfish
Jellyfish
Jellyfish
Jellyfish

There were some really big shells for the children to play in and Rosemary enjoyed exploring them.

Playing in the shells
Playing in the shells
Playing in the shells
Playing in the shells
Playing in the shells
Playing in the shells

We finished off exploring the aquarium.

Shark
Shark
Vertical Tank
Vertical Tank
Lobster Tank
Lobster Tank

Rosemary was getting pretty tired by this point so the promised ice cream had to make an appearance and we got her a Dora the Explorer ice cream in the cafe.

Hola!
Hola!

We decided to start heading back to Orlando at this time so we could be back there for some dinner.  Traffic back through Tampa was pretty bad as a lot of streets had been closed off for an event but the sat nav got us back onto the freeway with only one false direction (due to a road closure).

As we were coming into Orlando we saw Red Lobster and decided to pull in there for some dinner.  A certain someone refused to sit in her high chair though and decided she was going to sit in the booth with us.

Red Lobster
Red Lobster
Red Lobster
Red Lobster
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