Often, when we take Jonathan to the airport, the girls and I head over to the Dallas World Aquarium. After all, it's usually much quieter during the week, and we're able to take our time watching the animals, chatting with people who work there, and occasionally even being allowed to feed an animal or two. Yesterday, I decided it would be fun to head downtown for an aquarium day, thinking "It's TAKS week. No field trips today!" Au contraire, mon frère! Every child under the age of third grade was there. Screaming, pushing, shoving and generally acting as though they had never been in public in their lives. And the chaperones seemed to actually encourage this behaviour by screaming louder, and doing a fair amount of shoving themselves. Quite a few animals weren't in their enclosures, and others were not completely open due to the massive numbers of people attending the aquarium that day. We first went and had lunch at the Jungle Cafe, (hoping that most of the field trips would pass us by so that we could have a leisurely afternoon) where we were able to say "hi" to our favourite bird who likes to watch us eat. When we finally ventured out, it was not much better. They just kept coming! After getting trampled by a dozen kindergarteners while trying to wait our turn to check out a new exhibit, we packed our bags and left. As we headed to the parking lot to put the girls' new stuffed animals into the truck, we counted 16 school buses. No wonder it was so crowded!
All was not lost, however. It was a nice day, and we always enjoy wandering around Dallas, so we headed over to the Old Red Courthouse. (I can't take credit for the picture here, because I had already put my camera away, and didn't think to take it out again.) From there, we crossed the street to the Hotel Lawrence, where Jonathan and I stayed on our wedding night. It was fun to sit in the lobby and tell the girls about our view of the Old Red Courthouse, and the carriage ride we took after having dinner. To end the afternoon, we stopped at Sonic and got drinks to hydrate us after walking around downtown all day!
Despite the fact that our aquarium plans were thwarted, we enjoyed the day, and plan to go back to the courthouse and spend some time in the museum at a later date!