Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"I've Never Seen a Penguin"

So, we're driving down I-15 last Friday afternoon. Well, I'm driving and my passengers are my four younger children (the "Quads"), I having picked them up in Bountiful for the weekend. The song "Let it Go" from "Frozen" comes on the radio. My two sons immediately voice protest. "Oh my gosh, I'm so sick of that song!" wails Aaron. The two girls are happily singing along. But I'm getting sick of this song, too. I turn the channel. Aaron says, "When I hear that song, I think of pooping (Let it go)." He's 11. Enough said.

On Sunday, I took the kids to the recently opened Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, which is apparently the ninth largest such facility in the United States. In Utah! One of the exhibits the children were most anxious to see was that of the penguins. They haven't had penguins at Hogle Zoo for years, and the educational value of the aquarium was made poignantly plain to me when my daughter Esther said, "I've never seen a penguin!"

I was also a bit taken aback. It was one of those moments when I realized how relatively limited these kids' experiences with the larger world have been - like the time that we were driving in Salt Lake and the kids saw a taxi cab. They were excited. "We've never seen a taxi cab!" A sweet, funny moment. Or the time that I took them to the zoo and their favorite animal was a squirrel they saw next to one of the walkways, it being such a rare creature in domesticated Utah.

There were lots of other things to see, including a short documentary about sharks that played in the facility's "4-D" theatre. It isn't exactly up to Disneyland standards, but it is a pretty cool concept.

Annie and me waiting for the movie to start. Nice glasses, eh?

I think everyone's favorite area of the aquarium was the Journey to South America Gallery. Lots of interesting creatures to see here, but the kids - being kids - most enjoyed the swinging bridge in one corner of the gallery.

Aaron and I share a moment after we both found one of the galleries a bit too crowded for our liking.

Another fun activity for the kids was playing in the gift shop. I have to remember to always have my phone out, ready to take pictures such as these.

As with Esther, our visit to the aquarium marked a first for me as well. I decided to buy a membership because it would pay for itself in less than two visits. The young female clerk took the information about me and the Quads then asked who the other adult would be. I gave her Mark's information and told her that he is my husband. She didn't bat an eye. It was nice.


  1. Haha I hate saying this because it sounds like I am a prune, but I've taken her to the zoo before and she saw penguins so their worldly experiences haven't been that limited! I think this 'pruney' side of me is coming from me being a 'second mother' to them last year. The little goon! ;)

  2. Ha ha. I had to look up the word "prune." Being old and all. ;)

  3. Something about this story reminds me about the little girl who told her babysitter after they did some really fun things that, "Today was the best day of my entire life." The babysitter (Christine Lavin, if you want to look her up - she's a folk singer) was reluctant to tell the parents this. When she finally did, they told her, "Please don't feel bad. She said the same thing yesterday."

    I like the idea of thinking "Today was the best day of my entire life." I think I need to create more of those days. And I need to go to the aquarium.

  4. Thanks for that, Utahhiker801. ;)

  5. Nice, sharing your family with us...Adon