Thursday, November 28, 2019

Surprise in Front of My Eyes

Steve has been cooking my eggs this week.  I thought I'd better take a quick picture to mark the occasion, since this was our last meal together.

He paused for 1 second so I could take a picture.  My camera was almost quick enough.

Ben has been sleeping at Jeff's with all the cousins, but last night he stayed here.  When he realized Steve was leaving, he tackled him.

After Papa returned from the airport, he and I drove Ben to Uncle Jeff's.  There we found Sammie and Richie, who had arrived to retrieve Bradley.  Joseph and Richie were mildly curious about each other.

Dave's family was packing up and heading out.  This was a moment with many good-byes.

Corinne joined us from work.  Richie was delighted to see her.

I was excited about our plan for the day, since it was originally my idea.  The basic plan stayed the same, but it flip-flopped all over the place during the week.  As it turned out. Sammie, Richie and Bradley joined Papa, Corinne, Ben and me at our favorite aquarium in Grapevine.

Corinne taught a class here earlier in the year, and her payment ended up being a deluxe membership.  We took advantage of that today.  This was the very spot where she taught and a picture was in order.  I love my camera, but it struggles when the light isn't great.  I was having an unusually difficult time today.

Ben is a frequent visitor to this aquarium and he knew all the fun places. He enjoys saving the turtles.

Richie did not realize the turtles were inanimate, and he was concerned about approaching them.

This aquarium rehabilitates injured sea turtles, and this guy swimming by is one of these creatures.

With lots of light at this particular exhibit, my camera was fine.  However, my pictures of the manta rays were unusable.

It was at this point that Sammie pulled out his cell phone to take a selfie of his family.  I saw the picture appear on his screen, clear, crisp, in focus.  I immediately put my camera away and pulled out my cell phone.  Voila!

I love that many of the exhibits look plastic, but they aren't.  This is a real, living anemone.

My cell phone was in fine form.

The kids were in fine form, too.

Richie and Bradley had a great time.

We all had a great time.

One advantage of using my cell phone is that it will, completely on its own, decide to doll up a photo.  It chose this Moray eel, which again, looks plastic, but this was definitely a living creature giving me the creeps.

Check out this jelly fish!  I love jelly fish, and at every aquarium I stand by the tanks and try to get one good picture.  I took six photos with my cell phone today and every one was perfect.

My sneaky trick with my regular camera is to use the sport setting, take pictures as the fish swim by and hope for the best.  Not today -- one picture, and it was perfectly in focus.

I was so pleased with this picture of Richie.  I have loved seeing him this week.  He's learned how to talk since the last time I saw him.  In fact, I would say he's had a vocabulary explosion.

Bradley is a great help to his dad when it comes to little brothers.

All of us enjoyed strolling through the exhibits.  This was a fun adventure for us.

In case you are wondering why Papa and Corinne look a little warped, they had posed on the other side of a fish tank.  But once again, my cell phone did a great job.  I had to take three pictures, not because my phone couldn't focus, but because fish kept swimming in front of their faces.

Again, real, not plastic.

I thought it would be fun to have Richie and Ben inside this pop-up with Bradley.  Ha.  No way did that work out.

Large petting tanks are the last exhibit in this aquarium.  Kids can use one finger to touch.  Today we learned that where the kids are touching is not only the anemone's face, but, well, it's also the backside of the anemones.  Yes, gross.  Fun news for little boys to hear, though.

Richie was not interested in touching.

We learned today that 40% of sharks lay eggs.  Sammie is holding a shark egg shell.

Being Thanksgiving day, we did not find a suitable place to eat after the aquarium, which actually did not come as much of a surprise.  We came back to Corinne's home where she whipped us up a feast in 10 minutes.  I loved chatting with Sammie about his recent trip to Ghana while the three kids played together.  Corinne pulled hot cookies out of the oven and I dished up Blue Bell's latest:  Salted Caramel Cookie.  I couldn't quite remember the name, but Sammie was already familiar with it and finished the sentence for me.

Too soon, it was time for them to leave.  As I'm finishing this post, Steve, who was routed through Florida to avoid the storms in the Midwest, and Sammie are home.  Dave's family is continuing their vacation elsewhere.

To complete a perfect day, Papa joined Ben and me in several rounds of Go Fish!  We tied the first game.  Papa squeaked in a win for the second.  This has been a happy Thanksgiving week!

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