I'll admit something -- one of the reasons I wanted to have a child is so I can go to fun kiddie places like aquariums, zoos, children's museums, etc. Maybe this isn't the best reason but I didn't say it was my only reason.
On vacation, the Kamienskis got our fill of fun family outings. Wednesday night, we headed to the largest sand dune on the east coast, Jockey Ridge. The sand dunes stand about 100 feet tall and believed they first formed after several storms had hit the area many, many years ago. For all Ben knew it could have formed yesterday, he was just happy to run around what appeared to be a giant desert. He happened to stumble upon a hang glider which he thought was a big ole' kite and wanted to fly it - we had to tell him no. We also climbed to the top of the dune (Wally getting an extra work out in by holding Ben while making his ascent up the sandy hill). We were both a bit winded and had to stand there for a while (remember we aren't the youngest of parents - we are in our 30s). The best part was we got someone to take a family pic as the sun was setting over the massive dunes. Ben loved the outing, however, the ride home was not so enjoyable for him. In fact, he thought it would be nice to cry the whole way home.
Thursday, we set out early for the NC Aquarium, what we later call the "Don't Blink or You Will Miss It" Aquarium. The drive was long but for the most part pleasant. I did have to climb in the back seat once to entertain Benjamin -- not so bad for an hour's drive. While the Aquarium wouldn't be categorized as the greatest I have ever been, Benjamin had a great time and that's what counts. He especially went crazy for the stingray exhibit. With his Dad holding on tight, Benjamin got to pet all types of stingrays in a pool filled with the species. He got so excited by the encounter he started to stomp his feet with pleasure (what I call his "Maniac Dance"). I then washed his hands (I threw that in for Grandma so she wouldn't worry that he was putting his fingers in his mouth after he had his hands all over strange animals) and we explored the last tank in the place and it was worth the price of admission. Just as Benjamin got up to the floor to ceiling tank, a shark passed by and Ben couldn't tell us quick enough what he say (see picture above) - his face was priceless. We left the aquarium and had lunch at Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar where Wally did a highball glass sized oyster shooter - Ben cheered on his Dad.
Whatever the reasons I wanted to have a child - family outings such as these, no matter good or bad, they are definitely one of the perks of being a parent (at least I think so).