Monday, February 20, 2006

Of Mystic and Torino

President's Day provided a nice break for eight of us (Isaac and Nate had to be at college) to take a short trip to Mystic, Connecticut. When you are a part of a large family, vacations (even twenty-four hour vacations) are quite exciting. We left Clinton Corners on Sunday afternoon and headed for the Markus Dairy Bar in Danbury, CT. We were fed quite a feast but my personal favorite was the raspberry chocolate-chip yogurt.

Even though we went to Mystic to see the aquarium, we made ourselves at home in the Holiday Inn Express and settled down Sunday evening to see what we had only heard and read of - the Torino Winter Olympics. This was quite a thrill. We realized we were somewhat uncultured in winter sports as some of us had not even heard of curling and luge.

This morninig we made it to the Mystic Aquarium bright and early (thanks to Mom) and found ourselves attracted to the moon jellyfish that seeemed to peacefully exist in a cylindrical UV-tank right at the entrance to the museum. The diversity of life that we witnessed was quite impressive, and lest that be too colloquial a statement, particularly outstanding was the diversity of animal locomotion. The jellyfish moved seemlessly with the ebb and flow of the water, the manna rays seemed to beat their fish-wings to move, the sea lions flung around their huge paddle-like arms, the seals propelled themselves with their back flippers, the African Penguins were a little tipsy on the feet and very versatile with both their land and water movements (see sampling below), the octopus seemed to move by simply enveloping the space while the starfish did not move at all, the hermit crab moved with quick fanfare when Rebecca reached to touch him... but best of all, according to Caleb, was the motion that we experienced in the 3-D movie theater when suddenly our chairs started moving under us.

The museum had a special exhibit on President Kennedy and the PT-109 that launched torpedos in the second World War. Dad loves museum exhibts where you can learn by reading signs. Only problem? The rest of us covered the whole exhibit while Dad was still on the first sign.

It was a very satisfactory twenty-four hour family vacation.