Angie had to work an overnight yesterday, so I had to come up with something fun for Will and I to do. I am not sure what made me think of it, but I decided we should go try out the Underwater Adventures at the Mall of America. I know Angie and I have thought of it before, so I knew it was kind of pricey, but buying your tickets online saves you $2, and Will was free. I figured it was now or never because once he hits two and we have to pay for him, our chances of going would really drop.
The aquirium opens at 10 on Sundays and the rest of the MOA opens at about 11, I think. At any rate, it wasn’t busy at all so we took our time when Will would allow it. The first part (and the only part I have photos of – more on that later) was basically like a little forest tour with waterfalls and ponds. There were stuffed animals everywhere and Will would find and point out the ones he thought he knew (wolfs were dogs and skunks were bears). That exhibit takes you lower and lower until you enter this tunnel through the actual aquarium. It has a moving walkway, so you can just stand and watch all the fish literally swim around you.
There are a few different areas, but eventually you make your way to the sharks and giant sting rays. It was pretty neat to see the fish up close and from all the different angles. I think Will was a little too amazed, he mostly just stared and watched them swim. One drawback of the whole tunnel thing was a slight feeling of motion sickness. With the fish and the water moving in all different directions and if you’re stationary (instead of being on the moving walk), you tend to want to sway with the water and it gets a little weird. At any rate, staying on the moving walk helped because you at least had that sense of motion.
At the end of the tunnel you’re released to see other exhibits. They had a small aquarium setup with the Nemo characters and other fish movies were playing on the screens. They had some seahorses shark jaws too, but probably the best part was”petting” the rays. You put your hand in this little circle pool and the rays will pop up for you and you run your fingers down their backs. I popped my hand in and after Will watched me do a few times he was asking to have his sleeves pushed up. When the next ray came around he gave him a good stroke down his back and smiled like mommy had just walked through the door. I think he got a big kick out of the whole thing and it was a much better experience than I expected, but I wish I could have talked Will into walking through it one more time.
So Will and I had just entered the tunnel and I wanted to snap a photo of him looking at the fish when I realized my camera was not acting right. It was trying to extend the lens and was making a weird grinding sound. I kept fiddling with it while I tried to watch Will and the fish, but I didn’t have much luck. When we settled down for lunch I messed with it some more, and I think I fixed the problem (I just pulled on the lens until it started to move correctly), but I am not sure. Maybe it was an isolated incident, but maybe its the beginning of the end for this Canon. Now I am torn between using this as an excuse to buy a nice SLR or just dealing with what I have until it gives up the ghost. I’d like to say that the camera is still new (2.5 years old) and it hasn’t taken that many photos, but I know I have used it pretty hard. We’ve taken it to Indiana countless times, to the humid climates of Mexico and St Lucia, and to Niagara Falls. I liked that it was pretty compact, at least compared to an SLR, so you could just throw it in a bag and go, but perhaps that has led to its early mechanical problems. Either way, I don’t think I want to go too long with a functioning camera.
Well on Saturday, I finished drywalling the closet. It wasn’t a major job, other than I built way too many corners into that little space and I was trying to use up a bunch of scrap drywall I had laying in there. When I put Will to bed, I figured mudding was quiet enough that I should probably get started on it (with all the corners it will take a few nights to get it all finished). About the time I decided to get started, a random thought ran through my head “Gee I haven’t seen the mudding tools in a while, I wonder where they are?”
It turned out to be a very valid question. I found the 12″ knife right away, but its not really needed until the final coat of mud. Next, I found the mud tray which was filled with a bunch of junk. Then the real pain set in. I was 99% sure that the 6″ and 10″ knifes were out in the garage, but the garage is currently a wreck. Have some heaving and hoeing, I found the 6″ under all the trim for the basement. Currently, the 10″ is still at large. I think it only took me about 45 minutes to do the actual work, but about an hour before that was spent just looking for the tools.
I also started patching the hole by the light switch in the stairs. Assuming things go okay in the next few weeks, I might be able to paint the staircase and put the carpet down too. The basement has changed a little since the last photos, so I will have to take a new batch to test the camera and upload them tonight.
The terrible search for the mudding tools prompted a clean up of the garage. I didn’t make a ton of headway last night, but I think I have the general idea down. It is suppose to be in the 40’s today and 14 tomorrow, so I will probably try and finish it tonight.