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Monday, November 26, 2012

Galveston

We woke up Sunday and decided it was a good day to drive the  hour or so to Galveston. We loaded up and headed for Moody Gardens which is just the oddest conglomeration of activities I have ever seen. Looming large over the water are three pyramids that house the main attractions: an aquarium, a rainforest and a discovery-type place which has ride-on theatre experiences. There is also a spa/resort, a water park with beach and a paddlewheel boat cruise.

We started off our adventures in the aquarium. I must say I was impressed. Having been to the Chicago aquarium, this one has a lot more closeup viewing with more impressive displays of sea life both above and below water level. Part of the joy was found in the absolute barrenness of crowds...there just was no one there today! Apparently yesterday was jam-packed and then today everybody was heading home. It was amazing. No lines, no waiting for a turn to see the displays. It was awesome. Have I mentioned how much I hate crowds?

We got there right as the seals were finishing up a snack so got a good view of them right up close.
 The penguins were a bit far away on the land but you could see them swimming from here and also in a viewing area one floor down.
 Up close with a turtle.
 Hands on to touch pencil sea urchins and starfish.
 Lucy almost got banned because she wouldn't stop splashing....
 She finally got the message after we made her sit a turn out.
 In the shark cage.
Shark overhead in the giant water tunnel.
 Taking a nap with two nurse sharks.
 Silly frogs.
 Some parrots and turtles in the rainforest.
 It smelled in here too according to our tender-nosed daughter.
 A really large lizard.
 And just some monkeys hanging out with absolutely no barrier between us and them. It's a pretty cool place and I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Galveston or Houston!
Next up was a short cruise on the paddlewheel boat. 
 You can see just a bit of the pyramids in the background.
Unfortunately, the boat horn was really loud which scared the bejeebers out of Lucy. We ended up moving to the highest level of the boat and she buried her face in me. We've had a few instances of this in the past few weeks. She is more easily spooked than usual which is not surprising given the circumstances. Before Len came back we were at the zoo and decided to watch a short 4D movie of Polar Express. I so did not expect what happened next. Kate was riveted, completely transfixed by the movie. Lucy, on the other hand, was scared out of her mind and ended up buried in my chest the whole time. Fortunately, we tried again today, this time with just a 3D movie (so it didn't have the physical aspect like water misting or chairs moving, etc) of ocean life. She started out scared by ended up turned around and reaching out to the dolphins and fish swimming right in front of her face!
 
Happy Nana!
 Ice cream made everything better!
 Even for Lucy!
 Fortified with snacks, the girls started to explore the boat.
And to check out the other boats in the water.
 Here's the boat we were on.
 There was a really nice play area right near the dock so we let the girls run off a little steam before heading back to the car for the drive home. I know I've mentioned it before but Lucy's climbing ability never fails to amaze me. She seems to innately know where to place her feet and hands to scale up and then climb back down most anything.
After only one time of me spotting her on these, she was flying across them as if she had been doing it for months.
You get a better perspective here of how far off the ground she is. You should also know that each disk moves and swings as you are standing on it so you not only must be coordinated enough to hang on and balance onto one as you reach for the next.
As we were driving home, we realized we were going to get home about 1/2 hour past our normal suppertime. Rather than face the empty stomach meltdowns of two over-tired toddlers, we pulled into a cracker barrel for supper. Kate was immediately mesmerized by the "jumping game"...just not the way it was intended. She took great delight in lining up all the pieces.
We got home in time to Facetime with Ms. Julie before heading into the bath and reading some books before bed.

Tomorrow starts my last week of radiation! Only 5 more treatments left. We are still planning to leave Houston on December 4, a week from this Tuesday. It will be good to get home but I must say, I've had a much better time here than I had anticipated, especially with the warm weather. The 40-50 degree temperature difference will be quite a shock I'm afraid!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Hi Lisa,
I can't get over Lucy's climbing. That wall is high!!!! We have those red discs at school and they aren't easy for some of our kindergarteners. Some of the early pictures reminded me of something. I have to tell you a year ago you gave me the information on those adorable backpack/harnesses and my school secretary picked two in Target for me. My friend with twins who two on Dec. 1, absolutely LOVES them. I gave them to the twins for their first birthday. They are so cute but also awfully practical when you have two the same age!!!! Hope this last week of treatments goes well. You have done so well, at least by your blog posts, it seems that way.
Take care,
Elizabeth

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