We came home from Wilmington yesterday. But first, we went on a completely ridiculous detour to go to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. We saw that it was about 20 miles out of our way, but we didn’t know that we’d be going 30 mph on a local road most of that way. Argh.
As for the aquarium itself: well, to be fair, I’m a little spoiled. Once you’ve been to the aquariums in Monterey and New Orleans, it’s going to take a little more than a couple of sharks in a big see-through tank to impress you. And there are three aquariums in North Carolina, and we’ve only been to this one, so I can’t say that all of the aquariums here are bad. But, um… I was less than impressed. Dave and I agreed that on a scale of 1 to 10, we’d give it a 4 or 5. Still, we got some cute pictures.
My main complaint is that there were a few things Catie was asking to see, and they didn’t have them: not a single dolphin, otter, or octopus in the entire place. Boo.
Really, the best part of the whole aquarium was the gift shop. Catie isn’t huge on stuffed animals, but she’s really into little plastic action figures. Like the Little People type things? The animals are her favorites. They have conversations with each other and act out entire storylines – most of the dialog is jibberish to us, but it obviously makes sense to her. So we got her a few of their very realistic-looking plastic animals: a sea turtle, an alligator, and an otter. (Seriously, NC Aquarium? You sell toy otters, octopi, dolphins – even freaking penguins – but none of those creatures are actually in your facility? WTF? Lame!)
I don’t get it, because I think the turtle and the alligator are both a little scary-looking. But she adores them, and even insisted on bringing them to bed with her last night. Personally, I wouldn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night and see that alligator’s face staring at me in the dark, but maybe that’s just me.
After the aquarium, we stopped to gas up the car and grab some lunch, then headed home. Perfect timing, too, because Catie slept the whole way home. She woke up when we were about three miles away from our house. Lovely.
I think she was pretty happy to be back home. We were too.