We took the opportunity to visit the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth during our visit to my parents. We took Tom and Lily here when they were babies, but we have never taken Emma before and I particularly wanted to take them all this summer. Unfortunately, my mum wasn't up to coming with us on the day, but my dad came and we had a lovely day out.
Because Mark wasn't with us and we wouldn't all fit in my dad's car, we had the additional excitement of catching the bus. The Podlings were almost as excited about getting to ride on a bus as they were about going to the aquarium! Although I have taken Tom and Lily on buses when they were tiny, they certainly wouldn't remember it, so as far as they were all concerned it was their first ever bus ride and they were quite excited about it.
We had a wonderful time at the aquarium and the Podlings all enjoyed it immensely. Tom is particularly fond of fish, so it was a real thrill for him. I certainly felt that we got our money's worth from our visit. The same cannot be said of their cafe, which is nothing short of extortionate! We will certainly be eating our lunch before any future visits!
After our visit, Dad treated us all to proper Devonshire Langage Farm ice-creams. Goodness, I miss that stuff living up North! I bought some fudge from the Barbican (because I can't go to the Barbican without buying fudge) before heading back for our thrilling (as far as the Podlings were concerned) bus ride home.
We finished the day off with fish and chips for tea. Nothing tops off a day of seeing fish swimming happily around in tanks like eating them deep fried in batter! It really was a lovely day out and the Podlings can't wait to go back for another visit.
The rays were Tom's favourite fish and he got very excited whenever he spotted one, especially when they swam against the glass.
Emma loved the huge 'Eddystone Reef' tank and spent ages just staring into the tank. Occasionally a fish would swim right past her face and make her jump!
My dad with his granddaughters
Some lovely jellyfish, prettily lit with soft red lights.
Lily with Snorkel the Loggerhead turtle. Snorkel was found washed up on Sennan Cove in Cornwall in 1990 and her health problems have prevented her being released into the wild. She is now around 27 years old and apparently has very poor eyesight.
As a special treat I told the Podlings they could choose a small gift from the shop to remind them of their visit to he aquarium. Tom loved the rays, so I really thought he would go for this little plush ray. He loved it, but he wanted a tiny little plush clown fish instead. He did ask me to take his picture with the ray though as he said he would like it next time we come.