On Wednesday we did something really special. We took a day off work and met up with Sterling’s sister, brother in law, and our niece and nephew to go to the National Aquarium! Now as a Baltimore native, I love the aquarium but honestly haven’t been in years, since Sterling and I first started dating. What made it the best trip out of all of them was getting to see it for the first time through children’s eyes.
Sarah and Ian my sister in law and her husband mentioned doing this a little ways back when they were planning their beach trip to Ocean City Maryland. They asked if they could swing by to Baltimore and spend some time with on their way back from their trip and go to the Aquarium. We, of course, jumped on it! So glad we did because it was really amazing!
We met outside the Aquarium in the Inner Harbor and the minute Cora saw us started to squeal! She RAN up to us and grabbed Sterling (Uncle Bud) and gave him probably the biggest hug I’ve ever seen, like would not let go, at which point I just melted. Sam was a little more standoffish at first, being only 17 months he doesn’t 100% recognize us every time he sees us. But that quickly faded as he then continued to flirt the entire rest of the day.
We spent our time in the Aquarium seeing everything from lizards and frogs to the dolphins, jellyfish, birds, and even monkeys! OH and let’s not forget about the SLOTHS! When we saw them I actually turned to Sterling and said “I just really want to see one of them move!” and then quickly realized how tall of an order that probably was. The cool part of the Aquarium is that the animals are in conditions that are very similar to their natural habitat. So instead of seeing the sloths in a cage for instance or a cage with a few trees, you see them hiding in the canopy of trees right above you in a huge rainforest room where they can roam freely. Same with the birds, they are flying right past you in this huge room designed with real authentic plants from the region and conditions that are similar as well.
I wish we could have recorded the entire event because I’ve already forgotten the tiny little amazing and hilarious things that Cora said along the way. But needless to say at each point of the tour when we’d reach a new spot she’d start saying “OOOOOOO” and jumping about as if it was Christmas morning. She put on a puppet show for us with a little friend she made and also loved the dolphin show! Which was actually my favorite part too! Sam was equally as excited! He loved the turtles and looking into the tanks in amazement.
After the Aquarium we headed back to our house and got a little settled before going to dinner at Silver Spring Mining Company which has the BEST crab pretzels and is super kid-friendly (in case you’re looking for spots to try). After dinner, we went back to the house and hung out before starting our sleepover! Cora decided that she wanted to sleep with me (again melting) and that we should blow up the air mattress in our room so we can have a big slumber party. Sam went down for bed and Cora got to stay up and hang out with the grown-ups outside for a bit. We caught fireflies and played with the dogs as Cora did a really good job training Winnie! She would say “Winnie DROP!” then “Winnie SIT!” “Winnie WAIT!” and then throw her the ball to “Go get it!” And Winnie did! She did such a good job listening to Cora I was so proud of her and how good she was.
We ended the night with our slumber party. We made up the air mattress, set up some night lights, read a book, and sang twinkle twinkle little star. Cora said “Goodnight, I love you!” and we all closed our eyes for bed.
It’s such a treat to get to spend time with family like this. Sometimes I feel like being further away can make the time we do spend together even sweeter. It may be shorter bits of time but everyone is cherishing every minute and not taking an ounce of it for granted. It was the best little <24-hour visit and I’m so glad they came!