07 June 2011

Starfish, Sand dollars and Sharks, oh my!

It would appear that after a particularly dismal April and May, summer has arrived in Maine. The trees are popping with lush green foliage, and lawns are getting mowed what seems to be every other day! This past weekend, we decided to take G for his first tactile experience involving animals other than the ones who cohabit with him on a daily basis.  It was a gorgeous Sunday, Terry had just started a week's vacation, and it was off to the coast for us, driving just the short distance to Boothbay Harbor. Of course, waiting until G was done with his morning nap meant that we didn't leave home until almost 11am.  

First item on the agenda upon arrival was lunch! We were looking forward to hitting a familiar place that we'd been to a few times before. It was only just noon, not yet busy, and we were happy to be seated promptly, with enough room to accommodate the stroller, etc.  We were in plain view of the hostess station, and the bar, where several waitstaff were milling around, yet after 20 minutes, not one of them came by to even take our drink order.  Those of you with babies, toddlers, or young kids in general will know that dining out with them needs to be a prompt and efficient process.  We do not have 20 minutes of time to waste waiting for a waitperson to even make their first table-side appearance, while trying to appease our kid by plying him with Cheerios, cheese, and whatever other assorted snacks I luckily stocked for this adventure.  

And frankly, in this day and age, where time and money are precious commodities, there's just really no excuse for mediocre, or in this case, crappy service.  So we left.  But not before I let the hostess know it. :) We ended up at an ok-place---a cafe that had your basic sandwiches, and G seemed perfectly content to scarf down his grilled cheese on lovely artisan bread.  That boy was hun-gry.

After lunch we headed to the real reason for going to Boothbay, which was to check out the Maine State Aquarium.This little treasure is tucked away on what's called McKown Point, and was such a beautiful drive to get to. For $5, (little ones are free!) visitors are treated to a one-room aquarium, featuring several large glass tanks that house a variety of aquatic species.  In the middle of the room was a large pool that held a touchable 'dogfish shark'.  Yep, I said shark.  And yeah, I touched that bad boy! They quietly instruct you to use only two fingers and touch only behind the neck,down the back.   So noted. He felt like sandpaper!
Dogfish Shark

Touching sand dollar

Really cool jellyfish tank

Mama and boo touch starfish plaque

G did NOT touch the shark, however, he did get to feel a live starfish and sand dollar. There's another long tidal pool touch tank, home to hermit crabs, lobsters (blue ones at that!) multiple starfish, sand dollars, and who knows what other fascinating sea creatures.  Terry and I both dipped our hands into the icy pool to reach for things G could touch. He seemed to delight in the rough spiny surface of the starfish, which is in total contrast to the smooth one of a sand dollar.   Such a pleasant way to spend a Sunday.
Examining the big fishies
Blue lobster in the touch pool

When we got home, it was nap time for G, and I grabbed a few more stolen moments to sit in the sun.  When he woke up, it was play play play and sure enough, he had his first few moments of free-standing--no coffee table, no couch, no mama! And then he did it--two or three little steps propelled forward before grabbing onto my knee and giggling.  It wasn't much, but we'll take it.

1 comment:

  1. Cool! I've never been there, we'll have to check it out. We went to the Wildlife Park in Gray this weekend which Marcus thoroughly enjoyed.