georgia aquarium

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For Christmas, I gave my sister a ticket to go see the new Georgia Aquarium. (By the way, I love the design of their website.) It opened a little over a month ago, and is the world’s largest aquarium. It was pretty incredible, and we both enjoyed it. I’d love to go back during a non-holiday season when the crowds are sure to be lighter. And if I can ever afford it, I’d love to get a season pass. I’d like to do research on the fish, because I think things are much more interesting when you know about them.

I have this incredible urge to watch Finding Nemo now. :-)

My sister and I went through all the pictures I took, and we narrowed it down to… 15. :-) What can I say? It was very incredible. So bear with me as I post 15 of the best pictures that I took. :-)

There were five sections of the aquarium that had different groups of fish. This was from the Tropical Diver: A Coral Kingdom (coral reef) section.

A scene from a Pacific Barrier Reef… the fish were so pretty, all bright and colorful. Notice the blue fish: it’s Dory! (a palette surgeonfish)

Look, it’s a Taylor fish! I thought this was the prettiest one – a royal gramma.

Some of my favorite fish are clown fish. What can I say? The movie made me fall in love. If I ever have a saltwater aquarium, I would love to get some of these. First I have to learn to say “anemone”. :-)

In the Ocean Voyager: Journey with the Giants section, we went in a tunnel where we could see all the fish around us. These fish weren’t as pretty, but they were much bigger in size.

This little girl was completely mesmorized by the fish ahead. She was so cute I just had to take a picture.

To the right, there is a whale shark, which is the biggest fish (since whales are mammals). My all-knowing sister told me they can get to be about 45 feet. They seemed to like the yellow fish that you can see in the picture. There were also lots of stingrays that were hanging out in clumps. I liked watching them swim. Also in this exhibit were toothy cubarra snappers, schools of predatory trevally jacks, an enormous goliath grouper, and hammerhead sharks.

Here are three Beluga whales. These whales are unique among other whales because they can turn their heads. In the Cold Water Quest section, we saw a lot of arctic mammals and fish, like seals, sea lions, and sea otters. I couldn’t get a good picture of any of those because they were so playful and swimming very fast.

A group of African penguins, penguins that live in the temperate waters off the coast of Africa. They were very excited to be fed. I think they’re cute.

My sister and I paused for a Kodak moment. :-)

I thought this was a pretty cool artistic picture. It was taken in the River Scout: Freshwater Mysteries section. I liked the Amazon part of this exhibit, mostly because it reminded me of Peru.

Discus fish and neon tetras. I love neons; some of you may remember that I had a tank of them at Taylor.

Ah, another memory of Peru… Here are the piranha! They can easily tear through flesh with their razor-sharp teeth, so you don’t want to meet them in a dark alley.

A sea turtle! This was in the Georgia Explorer: Discover Our Coast section, which contained all fish that live off the coast of my great state, Georgia. There were also lots of animals that you could touch, which didn’t interest me, but I’m sure it is fun for kids.

Amy outside by the sign. She’s Jo Cool with those awesome shades.

We had lots of fun. Amy’s favorite part were the whale sharks. She also liked the shirt in the gift shop that had a picture of a piranha and said “BITE ME”. I saw several shirts that I wanted to get for Olivia. One had a picture of a shark and said “I chew on everything”. (It seemed appropriate based on what Beth has told me about her dear daughter. :-)) Also there was an adorable shirt with sea otters on it, and it said “Plays well with otters”. Hehe Beth if you come down and go to the aquarium with me, I’ll buy Olivia those shirts. ;-)

If you’re still reading this after 15 pictures, then I commend you and say you’ll have to go see it for yourself. :-)

handmade gifts

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I think handmade gifts are some of the best gifts to receive (and give!). This year, I was given for Christmas two special gifts. This first was a wooden toy train, especially handmade for me by my grandfather.

The other is going to make many people laugh. My parents found an old cat bed, and worked with my grandparents to fix it up, make a cushion and pillow and dust ruffle, all for me and my babies (of course). I love it. :-) Lewis has decided it is his, and I even saw him laying on it last night.

I was delighted with these gifts, among others. Maybe next year I’ll be more ambitious and handmake all of my gifts. That would be so much fun… but I’m not usually patient enough to see a project through until the end. We’ll see. :-)

merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has had an excellent Christmas season and Christmas day!

It’s been a good day, with the exception of everyone being sick with the flu. Well not everyone… so far my dad and I are fine, and my brother seems to be completely recovered. It’s made for a not-so-fun visit down here. :-( I’m glad I came, though, and I hope everyone gets better soon!

Being the first Christmas as an “adult” has made me realize that I’m old enough to start my own Christmas traditions. Of course, while I’m a guest in my parents’ house, I can’t “tell” them how it’s going to be done, but I’m trying to keep my eyes open and be observant about different traditions I would like to have. For example, I really miss Christmas in Peru. It was always fun… We would as a family open up presents in the morning, and then for the Christmas meal we would be with friends. I miss those days. For me, Christmas should be not just family but friends as well. I would like to try and invite over people who don’t have family or aren’t able to be with family for Christmas dinner. I’d like to especially open my home to single adults, because they are often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of family focused things.

I also liked going to church this morning – I thought it was a good start to the Christmas Day celebrations. I would like to make sure I have a special time with my kids to talk about why we’re celebrating Christmas in the first place, before we all get caught up in presents and big meal. We all need to be reminded of those reasons I think. It’s so easy to get caught up in the secular, materialistic Christmas of today.

Anyways, I have many many years ahead to refine my traditions, and if I get married and have children I’m sure they will be altered. :-)

Tomorrow is my birthday! Hooray. I’ll be 23 and it almost seems like I should stop counting my years now. I feel old. I don’t know what I’m doing since my whole family is sick, but at least I get to see Joanna H. for lunch! :-) Then on Tuesday I leave for Atlanta, maybe with my sister if she’s better by then. I hope so!! I also hope that I don’t get the flu. :-(

I hope everyone else is having a merry Christmas as well!


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I made it! It was quite a trip… I’d really rather not go into it, but God really didn’t want me to leave on Tuesday so He did everything possible to delay my trip. I was able to get out Wednesday morning, and made it down here in 7 hours. Yay! And for those who think I speed, I set the cruise to 75 and didn’t mess with it for the rest of the trip. I only stopped once for lunch and gas, which I think is what made the difference, and I didn’t stay long because of the kitties. They were pretty good. Ebony yowled for the first half hour… I finally noticced that anytime I paid attention to her, she would meow but if I ignored her she was quiet. Silly kitty.

But now I’m here in Orlando with my family. My mom and grandmother both have the flu, so they’ve been in bed. :-( I hope they feel better soon… My grandmother is going to the doctor today, which is probably a good thing. My mom seems to be better too, so hopefully both will be fine by Christmas. Only 3 more days! And four more days until my birthday. ;-)

Okay, it’s December, and I have lots of shout-outs. Happy birthday to Kaspar last Monday (the 19th)… Beth B.’s anniversary was on Tuesday (the 20th). Today is Matt’s birthday, and tomorrow is Zay’s birthday! My former roommate, Sara, is getting married tomorrow as well. Then Jesus’ birthday on Sunday. :-) Am I forgetting anyone?

Time for some Christmas shopping. And spending time with my family, which is one of my favorite parts of Christmas! Merry Christmas, everyone!

almost home

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Well some of the things I needed to do got done. My car was *finally* finished yesterday night, so I picked it up. I feel a little nervous about traveling when I just had such extensive work done, but at least I don’t have to delay my trip. Since I didn’t get the car until late last night there were several things I wasn’t able to do. (1) Get my emissions tested and therefore my plates renewed. (2) Go to the library and get some books on tape for the trip. (3) Finish Christmas shopping for my family. (4) Get more cat food for the babies – I’ll have to go first thing tomorrow morning.

Also, my driver’s license never came so not only will I be traveling on expired plate, but an expired license as well. This whole “everything expires on your birthday” is great when your birthday is in June or something, but when your birthday falls the day after Christmas, it’s really annoying. I’ve never hated having a Christmas birthday before, but I’m really disliking it now. Some of you may wonder why I didn’t get all this taken care of a while ago. Well I did apply for a new license back in November, but it hasn’t arrived yet (the website says “mailed December 8th”). Also, I went to get my plate renewed thinking that since I just got them in May, I would still be good for emissions testing. No, of course not, you have to get it tested every time. Argh, annoying. Not to mention that the license cost $15, plates $50, and car repairs $800… then add onto that gas for traveling plus Christmas presents…

Sorry, I said I wasn’t going to rant. I better get back to work before my lunch break is up. Only 4 more hours until home! Hooray! :-)