Tennessee Aquarium

On our drive back from Alabama, we decided to avoid the aggravation that is called Atlanta and instead drive through Tennessee. We both prefer the scenery and calmer traffic and while the radio choices left much to be desired, it gave us the opportunity to stop in Chattanooga and visit the aquarium there. The husband and I love visiting aquariums and the reviews were quite positive so we decided to give it a shot.

It was spectacular.

We saw not only vast numbers of saltwater fish, but there was an separate entire building dedicated to freshwater fish. This exhibit touched on freshwater sources in Tennessee to lakes in Africa to the streams of China. Each plaque had details on the fish and creatures living in the exhibit and gave information on the environment from which they originated. We saw hundreds of fish, turtles, and frogs of course, but I also saw some of the weirdest sea creatures I’ve ever seen.

The very top of the freshwater fish building housed snakes (in cages!) and four, playful otters all in an open, airy room with plenty of natural light, trees, and a waterfall that ran into a massive fish tank full of Tennessee, freshwater fish. The freshwater fish building was very well designed and allowed hundreds of people in the building and spread them out so people didn’t cluster in front of one particular fish tanks. The traffic was constantly moving, which gave everyone the chance to see every exhibit.

The saltwater building contained a massive tank for sharks, rays, sea turtles, schools of fish, and a whole exhibit dedicated to jellyfish and similar creatures. There was a large room for butterflies, filled with brightly colored flowers and warm, humid air. There was a dive show, which caused my palms to sweat because of the close proximity of the divers and the sharks in the large fish tank.

This was a beautiful aquarium, and easily one of the best ones I’ve ever been to. Highly recommend it!

*The aquarium knows nothing about me and I was not compensated for this post. All opinions and pictures are my own. I just liked this aquarium and needed to share the fun!*

This Weekend

Our wedding marathon is almost at a close. I’m thrilled for our friends and family, I really truly am, but could someone decide they want to get married locally next time? Is that too much to ask? Mkay, thanks. Unless, of course, you want to pay us to fly to the Caribbean and get a place for a week. That is always accepted. Truly though, traveling to weddings is so difficult because you don’t get to enjoy where you’re visiting. The husband and I always try to squeeze in some sight-seeing but it’s always rushed. Mondays beckon and after the stress of a wedding, sometimes you just want to get home and sleep.

This last wedding took place in the hot, humid, flatlands of Alabama. I’ll have to admit it: Alabama may not be my favorite state. It’s hot. And flat. And the ocean was miles away to the south. Yet, the more we drove through the Midwest, (because in my opinion, once you hit Central Time Zone, you’re in the Midwest) the more I enjoyed it. This is America. The sprawling cornfields that spread out as far as the eye could see; those abandoned houses, sheltered from the winds by broad, green trees; winding streams that meander through the land; white cranes and blackbirds in the corn fields; the train, rolling along on its tracks pulling cars behind it…



Suddenly, it hit me. I may not like the red dirt, or the hot sun that makes my eyes squeeze shut, or I may not understand the cashier at Dollar General because her accent was that thick, but I can still be grateful for this land.

America.

I started opening my eyes and taking it in and then I saw it, the beauty in the unexpected and sometimes, not beautiful places. Alabama isn’t going to be one of my top states to visit, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it while I’m there.

I think the whole eye-opening part is vital to traveling. I don’t expect to love every place I’m going to visit. I understand that there are going to be drawbacks to living abroad. I know that at some point and time, I’ll want peanut butter in Scotland and I’ll probably long for a good southern accent while I’m in China. I may even crave Chic-Fil-A while I’m visiting Paris or heaven forbid, desire a Dairy Queen blizzard in Italy (although, that last one is unlikely. Gelato is pretty close to heavenly). Truthfully though, enjoy where you are, look for the little things, and maybe you’ll be surprised at the beauty around you.

PS. I actually pulled out my camera for my next post. :) Stay tuned!