"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind". - Henry James

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Drawing Lab 5: Part II Drawing at the New England Aquarium

On Sunday my husband and my daughter and son and I visited the New England Aquarium in Boston.  It was a gorgeous day and we got an early start.  I had the foresight (for once in my life) to order our tickets online the day before and we avoided the long line that had formed by the time we got there.  It was a little past opening time, but not much.  We live about and hour and a half away and I was glad we got there fairly early in the day (which you really want to do at the Aquarium, especially on a Sunday).  

I had my sketchbook, Michael had his video camera, Jack had his still photography camera (for lack of a better term), and Kerry had her natural curiosity and deep love of animals.  Right away Michael and I became entranced by the penguins.  It was feeding time and they are such endearing creatures anyway, we spent a goodly amount of time watching and drawing and filming.

The exhibits around the outer edges were fairly crowed even early on, but we managed to visit our favorites - the jellyfish, the anemones, Stellwagen Bank, the electric eel, and the trout and salmon.
The big tank in the center is always good value.  Sharks, turtles, rays, giant angel fish, moray eels, huge groupers, and the occasional scuba diver.  What's not to love?
Oh and outside there are Fur Seals!  They look a lot like California Sea Lions to me.  Very dog-like.  There are the adorable Harbor Seals out front too.  

I can only take about an hour or two of being jostled by crowds, so we headed out to lunch at about noontime.  Lots of choices on the waterfront, but we ended up at Legal Sea Foods (with a twinge of guilt after having spent all that time with fish and all...).  But it's right there by the Aquarium and we were quite hungry by then.  Excellent lunch of crab, lobster, haddock, chowder.  All good.

Our waiter told us that there was an Italian Festival going on in the North End and we were tempted.  It's a short walk from the Aquarium across Christopher Columbus Park, but we opted to walk in the other direction along the waterfront past all the pricey hotels and condos and multi-million dollar yachts toward the Children's Museum and visit the recycling shop we all had fond memories of from their childhood visits.  

I must say I was a little disappointed.  Our memories are of a spacious room filled with bins and barrels of the neatest stuff - big foam cubes, plastic tubes, foam shapes, glossy paper, foil paper, plastic shapes, things like that.  I wonder if the decrease in manufacturing in the United States and the increase in recycling would explain the very much downsized recycling shop.  The young woman working there was very cordial though and we did manage to fill a small bag with goodies.  

The rest of the Children's Museum looks amazing.  Both my kids said they would have loved some of the newer stuff that's there now.  There's the neatest climbing apparatus, all tunnels and ropes and platforms, as you enter on the main floor.  We got a glimpse of the Bubble Room (!) too.  We didn't see the Japanese House that was always a favorite on our visits.  I imagine it is still there.  

I think my next drawing foray will be to the Stone Zoo in Stoneham.  I love drawing flamingos, well, all birds really.

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