Friday, January 2, 2009

The Aquarium Wharf and South Carolina Aquarium

The Oyster Roast was a success, but messy and smelly, so we kept Monkey at a distance. Otherwise Paris and Boston would have potentially torn poor Monkey open to find the oysters and shrimp! But we did take a trip to the South Carolina Aquarium. It has some of the best views of Charleston Harbor and the new Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. (During the opening ceremony of the bridge, my husband actually got to fly over it, and then fly along side it.) While outside overlooking the harbor, we saw a pod of dolphins surfacing in the water, but they were too quick and unpredictable to capture on camera.

Here Emi is running toward the Fountain Walk on our stroll toward the Aquarium, with Monkey and Carolina in tow.

A glimpse of the Bridge...and the Spirit of Charleston tour boat. You can hop on and take it out to Ft. Sumter, which received the first shots that began a very infamous war. The Civil War.

Another shot with the Bridge in the background...

Monkey trying to get a closer look...
No visit to the Aquarium is complete without a picture with the frog...
Here Monkey is mesmerized by the jellyfish.

Enjoying the Great Tank that holds tons of big fish, including Carretta, a Loggerhead Turtle.
Here Monkey is sitting by a replica of a turtle nesting area. There are "Turtle Teams", groups of volunteers that walk the beaches during nesting season, and mark nests. If the nest is in a bad spot, trained volunteers move the nest, and continue to monitor the eggs. Since Loggerheads are protected by Federal Law, it is a crime to disturb nests. There are also "Lights Out" times during hatching seasons where beach houses are not allowed to have lights on at night, because the little hatchlings get confused and march the wrong way, toward the beach homes, instead of the ocean.

Camp Carolina is the current special exhibit at the aquarium, and it features local wildlife. It is a big hit with the kids, and of course educational.

Above, are Emi and Monkey looking through a "hole" in the porch floor to view indigenous snakes. Scary!!
Monkey and Carolina enjoyed a nice artificial campfire with glowing embers and crackling fire sounds. Very realistic!

And I know it is a crummy picture, but in the background over Monkey's shoulder sits Liberty. A female Bald Eagle who was injured and no longer able to live in the wild. Even crippled, these birds are majestic and can cause serious injury, so she is in an enclosure.

Tomorrow we will try to do a quick run through of Downtown Charleston before Monkey makes the trek to Charleston's Sister City, Savannah, Georgia. Hey Monkey, we might drive over that Bridge tomorrow!!


tommie said...

Had to comment on all the exciting things he did in Charleston.

My husband went to school at the Citadel. Charleston and the Isle of Palms hold fond memories for us! So glad Monkey could share some of our favorite spots!

lisagh said...

This is so wonderful... what a great tour! I'm glad you didn't show pictures of those snakes, 'cuz Monkey (and his momma) are very frightened of them, but the jellyfish picture is AWESOME!

Can't wait to see more of Charleston!

Mel said...

Tommie, if the weather holds today, we are planning on taking Monkey around Downtown a little more. We will try to squeeze the Citadel in. Maybe we will run into some cadets to have his picture taken with!

tommie said...

Mel...thanks so much for taking him to the Citadel!

My husband went there when it was all guys. We went there in 97 to a Christmas candlelight ceremony. For the first time he accepted that there were females allowed there.

again, thanks for the walk down memory lane.