A Splendid Day Out.

After sleeping late yesterday we suddenly decided to whip our fine young sons off to the aquarium for a day of fun and facts.
We can get a train all the way through from our station, so the boys were already in high spirits, the train being a fairly rare treat these days.
We haven’t been since the boys were really small, it’s taken all these years to get over the horror of trying to keep four kids together, through 6 floors of darkened crowded walkways.
I have never been to any other aquarium, so not much frame of reference, but I think the aquarium over in Osaka is pretty good, you get a decent bang for your buck.
It was not too crowded so we didn’t spend the entire day trying to locate our kids in the semi-darkness.
There is a decent amount of info up in English too.
It’s all set up in different zones, based on some theme called Ring of Fire ( no Johnny Cash though).
So you go through, Pacific Rim, Panama, Tasman etc.

Now here is one of the great things about Kev.
If he is involved in something he gives it 100% attention. Going somewhere like an aquarium or a zoo, is a fully interactive experience for him.
He communes with the animals, he likes to press himself right up against the glass, his whole body, his arms outstretched, and make sounds, the sounds he thinks they will be making, then when they swim away, or splash through the surface he copies them, it’s quite a show to see.
The dolphins were particularly active, which had Kev, running the length of the glass, calling out to them, jumping and twisting his body, again, perhaps a little more Basil Faulty than Billy Elliot, but I do love watching him completely zone everything else around him out and move around so freely, so unaware, or uncaring of everyone looking at him.

Down on the very bottom floor were the awful King Crabs, they look like something out of Alien, but young Kev, saw beauty there. He went down on the floor into his newly learned ” bridge ‘ position, ( I think we used to call it the ‘crab’ when we were kids), trying to move sideways, making a little scratching sound in the back of his throat.

Jim tried to pretend he wasn’t with us.

I learned a lot, I learned that Kev, knows books full of info about every single species of shark known to man, where you find them, how long they live, how big they get, how they mate… the kid is a frickin fountain of info on marine life.
I’d say Jacque Cousteau move over, but he’s already dead isn’t he, and I can’t pull a more comtemporary icon to mind.

We then survived the gift shop without having to invest in stuffed toy sharks or blowfish, or dolphin backpacks.
We got in and out spending only 300 yen on a shell, which is pretty good going.

Then, for me, my entire reason for going along and not opting to stay home and ‘clean’ ( in front of the telly).
The IMAX theatre. I had promised them IMAX in Vancouver but firstly we didn’t get around to it, there was so much other stuff going on and secondly, there wouldn’t be any Japanese and I knew that wouldn’t sit well with Kev and the day could have turned nasty.
So finally, there we are at the IMAX, watching ‘Under the Sea’
( I think, I can’t really remember what it was called because all I kept thinking about while we queued for tickets, was, ” I wonder if they’ll show the IMAX Everest film here’)

Well, it was AMAZING.
It took a few minutes for those of us with dodgy eyesight to adjust to the depth of the screen.
The boys kept trying to touch the creatures swimming towards us and I had to hold onto the back of Kev’s T-shirt to stop him falling over the seat in front. Couldn’t reach Jim so he had to save himself.
I was able to score headphones to hear Jim Carrey narrate in English.
The quality of the film, the detail we could see on each creature was unbelievable. We learned a lot about the mating habits of cuttle fish, though Jim Carrey being American he said ‘ cuddle fish’ which threw me for a while, but I got there in the end.
Some of the scenes were above the water line, as if we were in a boat sailing through the mangroves, which brought back to me sailing down The Mekong in Vietnam, which The Man and I did for my 40th birthday.
I shared this with The Man who said ‘Un’, so I know he was feeling it too.

The boys absolutely loved the film and didn’t want it to finish, so I am really hoping they show the Everest film and also I think there is one about The Serengeti, definitely worth a day out.

It was dinnertime by the time we got out of the cinema, so we ate dinner at a waterfront restaurant, watching the boats come and go.
It was an excellent day out, topped off by a hot bath and The Emmys. Couldn’t ask for more.

6 thoughts on “A Splendid Day Out.

  1. Sounds like a terrific day out. We have a sea life centre in Birmingham – a 40 minute train ride from me – but nothing on the scale you describe. My boys would love it!

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