Thursday, February 20, 2020

Vacation 2019 part 2: Denver Aquarium and Water World

On August 8th, after our Lego-searching urban hike at the 16th Street Mall, we drove over to the Downtown Aquarium, Denver. 

We were able to get a special rate as a homeschool group. What a blessing since we do everything we can to keep cost down.

One of the first exhibits were the otters.

So fun!

Getting to some of the bigger tanks. 

Fishy fishy fish.

Daddy considers an eel. 

Samuel looks dwarfed in front of this tank. 

Some kind of stingray. 

Tunnels like this are so cool. It reminded me of our 2011 and 2014 trips to the Omaha Zoo. 

2014 tunnel 😍

2011😲. Mind blown. 

They're all so big now! 😱👍👎

Evie with some purple starfish. 

This was our very favorite part of the Aquarium, even compared to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo that we did a few days later and was awesome. We loved those Bengal tigers!

Big kitty!

Yes Noah really was that excited. So was I. He gets the love of cats from me. Samuel on the other hand looks completely bored. Ha!

This photo was taken opposite of where the boys are above, in a high lookout. 

The girls in that lookout. 

I want a big kitty.

We were tired and taking a break next to a big tank. 


Lotza sharks. 

I love this photo of Samuel looking at the jellyfish. 

More jellyfish. They're so calming. 

They wheeled a cart of "mermaids" past us and Evie just had to have her picture taken with them. She's written books about mermaids for heaven's sakes!

Behind the mermaids was a stingray touching station. They were so soft!

We let all the kids get a squished coin as a souvenir. 

Look at those gorgeous blue eyes. 

We waited in line for twenty minutes, getting sprinkled on, with feet already very tired for this lame dolphin movie. 

The Aquarium was emptying out so we decided to go through again. Back at the otters. 

The eel wasn't happy to see us again. 

Resting her feet. 

At the tank where we had taken a break before, there were three divers! 

They were interacting with us. I was the first one to do a fist bump and explosion with them and then all the kids caught on and did it too. Super cool. 

Finally we went to the gift shop, much to my dread (consumerism much?). Terry had pity on the kids and let them get another souvenir ("Such a soft touch!"). Actually I think only Samuel and Ezra got something here. They just had to have these Ty Bengal tigers. To this day six months later, they still love them so much, though the stripes have worn off and their eyes are getting all marked up just like I warned they would. 

From there we went to a Chick-Fil-A near a mall with a Lego store. 


Ezra cracked me up with all those blue afros. He spent the entire time searching for them all and had double what's pictured by the time we left. 

Evie with a "Squish" too...her nickname. 

Rainbow outside afterwards. Even in Denver it was always wet, just like home that summer. From there we drove back to Joy's cousin, Joni's, and got ready for Water World the next day. We only took two pictures while there so I'll just include them at the end real quick. 

But first a video of the Aquarium!

We got a special deal on the Water World tickets as well thanks to Joni's hookup there. 

I only took two photos on the way in and then my phone was locked away. We had a great time, but not as spectacular as I'd hoped. Still fun and glad we went! 

Afterwards we drove south to Colorado Springs where we'd be spending the night in an airbnb. Ezra immediately fell asleep. 

Everyone was exhausted. 

Vacation 2019 part 1: Denver urban hike

We rent our house during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and since we had two groups for nearly two weeks, we scheduled our vacation at that time, August 7-13. We had already spent five days at Terry's sister's house sitting and it was finally time for us to go. 

My friend Joy had connected us with her cousin in Denver that let us stay with them in their empty basement. We had a pre-made and homemade meal that night, chicken enchiladas. Yum. A delicious way to save $50 eating out.

We didn't really know what to do with the rest of our evening so we found a park that we thought the kids would like. It was completely overrun and kinda lame so we didn't stay long. 

We went to Target to get sandwich supplies, etc. and afterwards had to run out during a downpour. 

All snuggled up and ready for sleep. Noah was on the floor. 

The following morning, August 8th, we drove downtown in search of a Lego exhibit at the 16th Street Mall...sort of. 

We parked way too far away and thus ended up taking an urban hike. 

The exhibit was just four Lego guys sitting around in a building at the very end of the Mall.

It was cool but maybe not worth all that walking. 


We took a tram down to our street and got out to have lunch. 

Walking back to our car where we loaded up for the Downtown Aquarium.