Mini Camp Kathy, Days #3 and #4


On Saturday, I we had tickets to the Baltimore Aquarium that I had pre-purchased.  It was one of the hottest days of the year, with temperatures scheduled to be 105 degrees or higher (not counting the heat index) (Don't let Ellie's sweatshirt fool you, she took it off quick enough as the temperature steadily climbed upwards throughout the morning).  Luckily, I bought our tickets with a 9:00 a.m. entrance time, and we were there bright and early.  I was so proud of the girls, I got them up at 6:45 a.m. and had their breakfast ready (1/2 bagel, cream cheese and bacon), they ate and got ready and we left on time at 7:30 a.m.  I was determined to be in and out of the aquarium before the heat and crowds.  The crowds were still there, but we managed to do very well navigating through them.

Inside the aquarium, waiting for the official "opening."

Fortunately, I brought my big camera (Nikon D300) with an 18-270 mm lens.  I set my ISO on 800 and should have also adjusted my exposure compensation (which I didn't do, but edited later in Photoshop).  A zoom lens is a must in the aquarium, especially as it gets more and more crowded.

Love the seahorses, even though they are blurry 🙁

An octopus — no flash please!

Various forms of anemones — awesome beautiful, but deadly creatures.

More anemones.

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Love the tropical fish…


Very interesting true (and sad) facts about rain forests:
And an offical visit to the rain forest!

Ellie and Ashley visit the rain forest.

The Jellies were awesome!

The dolphins were amazing!  Unfortunately, the aquarium doesn't offer the traditional dolphin show that it used to, but they do offer a shortened 15 minute display of how the dolphins are trained to do their tricks, as is demonstrated in this photo above.  I have always wanted to be a dolphin trainer….ever since I was a kid.

Why are only the kids allowed to be up front?  I want to be there too!

A fish as a reward for doing a trick correctly 🙂

A BIG smile for the crowd 🙂

Tossing the ball back to the trainer.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the dolphins … and so did the girls.  We were out of the aquarium by noon.  A quick trip to Barnes & Noble so Ellie could buy a book, and we were done.

Driving home from the aquarium, the outside temperature reading in my car:

Spent the rest of the day inside until about 6:30 p.m. when the next door neighbor invited us to go swimming in their pool, which the girls were a little reluctant to do at first, but once they went over, I couldn't get them OUT of the pool!  It was after 9:00 p.m. before we got back to the house.

On Sunday, we went to see the Disney movie, Brave, at the mall which was really good.  Walking through the mall, I saw this dress that would look SO good on Ellie:

Ellie is a tomboy, but agreed that she would allow me to photograph her in this dress.  After the movie, the girls went swimming again, at another friend's house.  Then home for dinner, and movies, and packing up. 

I dropped the girls off with their Mom at 11:00 a.m. this morning.

Mini Camp Kathy = Total Success (except more sunscreen at the pool…)

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