Monday, 3 August 2015

Florida Aquarium and American Victory Ship, Tampa

It continued to be a little bit unsettled for a few more days.  We decided to head to Tampa for a day trip.  Our boys love aquariums, and the one in Tampa looked good.

It was raining as we left, and continued to rain the whole hour or so on the way there.  Florida Aquarium is right by the cruise ship terminals in a rejuvenated area of Tampa.  I had seen that you got cheaper tickets by purchasing on line, so I did this on the way there.

Good job too, as the queues were huge.  I think every tourist staying in the vicinity of Tampa had the same idea as us on that rainy day.  As did most of the church groups, day cares and summer camps.  It was crazy.  Luckily, we were able to by pass the queue and head straight to guest services with our online tickets.  We weren't the only ones though....

A quick rest room stop, and we began...

The kids love seeing sea creatures.  Snakes are alway a bonus too!

It is a very well laid out aquarium, with lots of good exhibits.  It was so busy, that it was tricky to get to the front of the tanks, and even move in some places.  It was more like Disney with it busy-ness 

I am grateful my children are patient and observant.  They just love sea creatures.  Sharks are definitely on of their favorites!

It was good to be able to get real up close and personal to some of the exhibits.  My boys would have loved to try and touch a ray or a shark.  But the camp groups around that particular tank made it nay on impossible.  So many kids!!!!!

Maybe places like aquariums need to look into closing to the public sometimes to give organizations a chance to come and look round. It would be easier on the organizations if the general public weren't there, and the general public may enjoy it more with out loads of kids everywhere.  Granted, their were few to none misbehaving or rude kids, but still.

We left the aquarium feeling a little frazzled.  3 kids is hard work to have a day trip with sometimes!  We had spotted a Hooters nearby on one of our apps, so we headed there for lunch.  We have lived here for 3 years, and still not been to a Hooters.  We were seated quickly and promptly.  Service was good.  Paul and I shared wings and fries.  They were some of the best wings we have had since being here!  The kids enjoyed it too!

It had stopped raining by now, and we didn't want to head straight home.  Behind the Florida Aquarium is the American Victory Ship, Mariners Museum.  Again, we love old war ships, so we decided to do a little self guided tour.

This merchant ship was built in 1945, and served in World War II, Korean War and the Vietnam War as a cargo vessel. It arrived in Tampa in 1999 where it underwent a restoration project to become a national memorial and museum.

A good sized boat, not the biggest we have been on, but it could be made fully operational very quickly, and thats cool!  It probably needs a little more restoration work, but it is a work in progress, and will be a grand museum one day.  It also has no air-conditioning, so we were very grateful it was cloudy still!  There was an Osprey on one of the cables, who had obviously dropped his dinner on to the deck below.  We had to scoot round that....

We all really enjoyed the merchant ship.  Almost more than the aquarium!  

We headed home.  In our back yard of the vacation rental was 2 huge mango trees.  They were in full fruit, though we learned that the next door neighbor often came and harvested them.  I figured out a way to get the fruit of the trees, using the pool cleaning pole.  We enjoyed quite a few mango cocktails, not to mention plenty of mango smoothies for breakfast.....

1 comment:

  1. Hey there, Clare, nice pictures, you have such lovely family! We used to travel a lot in Florida. we fell in love with the place and even bought a condo unit at the Sabbia Beach ( in Pompano Beach. Everything has been perfect, the condominium isn't finished yet but it will look wonderful when it's done, the beaches are phenomenal and life in Florida in general is incredible. However, we haven't been to Tampa before, from what you say it sounds like quite a nice place to visit, I'll certainly keep it in mind! Love, Sandra