Houston, Part 1: Downtown Aquarium

Good Morning, Houston!!

After a good 5 hours of sleep, we got up and had ourselves a breakfast of muffins, french toast and yogurt, all thanks to the hotel restaurant. We spent a little time browsing the hotel's brochure shelves and then decided that we would make our way back to the airport to rent a car and take ourselves out and about to downtown Houston. 

Harold's pick: 2012 Chevy Cruze. It made me feel good to have him see just how small those things really are. (He tried very hard to convince me to choose one of these over my much more realistic choice of an Equinox)
 After picking up our car and getting on our way, we decided we would go to the Houston Downtown Aquarium and then we would go to the Space Center Houston, just next to the Johnson Space Center. 

On our way out of the airport! Notice his favorite blanie tucked nicely around his head...this is how he prefers to travel.

Welcome to Downtown Houston!!

Well, this little surprise trip to Texas was definitely a learning experience. We learned that no matter what, Harold will always assume that he is right but eventually he will figure out (after 3 to 5 attempts at finding his own way of doing things) that I am actually right...every. single. time. We also learned that Texas has palm trees. PALM TREES. Who knew? We didn't...maybe it's a little stereotypical of me, but I truly thought that Texas was all flat lands and cactus's.

We also learned that Houston is home to a very cool aquarium. It wasn't the best we have ever seen (if you ever have the chance to go, PLEASE go see the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. BEST. AQUARIUM.) but it was pretty neat and the restaurant definitely lived up to the hype of the brochure. 

 I was really excited for the aquarium...Harold may or may not have faked that smile...

At the entrance to the Restaurant area of the Aquarium, there is this 3 story tube of blue, glowing fish and bubbles. 

In the restaurant, advertised as the 'greatest undersea dining adventure', we were seated right next to this gigantic fish tank. The entire restaurant was decorated to look as if we were in fact eating our lunch sitting at the bottom of the ocean. When it came time to order, I noticed that if I were to order one of their specialty drinks, I would get to keep the glass as a souvenir. So of course I couldn't resist...and the idea of a little booze to take the edge off of our stressful adventure was sounding better by the minute.
It was as good as it looked!! Even Aden wanted some, saying "Juice! Juice!" Sorry, Buddy...this is Mommy Juice.

This grouchy looking fellow joined us for lunch, looking a little less than happy about the fish and chips sitting on my plate.

Aden went to the aquarium in his very comfy, very fashionable tiger pants. Ok, maybe not the most fashionable choice. But, I LOVE THEM. Isn't he the cutest little tiger you've ever seen?

Aden makes everything so much more fun for me and Harold. Once upon a time, Harold could not have cared less about aquariums, and he couldn't have been convinced to go without some serious bribery. But the times have changed, and my grumpy hubby has become a softy...thanks to a little blondie with some serious charm. Harold and Aden have so many things in common, including a love for all things slimy, slithery and/or snake-like. So when we came across the Stingray Touch Tank, these two were ridiculously excited. Slimy, slithery AND they got to touch them!! It was so fun watching Aden smiling ear to ear as he watched the Stingrays circling the tank. 

This is the sweetest little diver I've ever seen! I just love that handsome face!

We ended our trip to the aquarium with a train ride through the Shark Voyage (dun, dun, duunnnnn!!) This was once the Houston Water Works building, recently turned into a shark sanctuary for several different types of sharks, including the rare Sawfish (which we were told is technically not a shark, but a type of ray). It wasn't a very long tunnel, but it was still very neat!!

The Sawfish took a few trips back and forth above us, smiling the entire time. He really didn't look as intimidating as I had imagined he would.
At the end of our train ride, we were told a little tale about a Great White that had escaped the shark tank during the last flood Houston had last year (who knows if they really had one...). The guide told us to keep our eyes peeled, looking for the shark that hadn't been seen since, as we toured the rest of Houston. Harold and I looked at each other with confusion, actually wondering if we would see the Great White while we were out and about. And then, before we realized just how silly that thought really was, a giant spout of water shot out of the little pond beside the train and the fugitive Great White scared the living daylights out of me!! That's right...I had been had. The Houston Aquarium had played their prank and I had been fooled. But at least I wasn't the only one...many people on that train jumped, screamed and laughed as we made our way past that toothy little prankster.

The front of the aquarium as we drove away.

Within minutes of getting Aden buckled in, our little tiger was fast asleep, dreaming sweetly of all of his new fishy friends. And then we were off, on to our next adventure at the Space Center Houston. But now that I'm looking at just how long this post has become, I think I will save the Space Center trip for another post. Today was a day full of amazing memories and another folder of photos to be shared for years to come.

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

One Response to “Houston, Part 1: Downtown Aquarium”

  1. Exhausting day. I would have gotten a hotel with a pool and relaxed. Oh wait, that's what we did do.