On the same day that we visited Butterfly Wonderland for the first time, we also went to the OdySea Aquarium, which is billed as the largest aquarium in the Southwest. The butterfly conservatory and the aquarium are part of a large complex that includes gift shops, restaurants, a place where you can swim with dolphins, mazes, dinosaurs, and who knows what else. I can't help but think that parents with several children would practically have to get a second mortgage on their house in order to spend the day here.
When we took Daisy, school was still in session, and adults wanting a more sedate experience-- especially at the aquarium-- should keep this in mind. OdySea was heaving with very noisy children racing around from exhibit to exhibit. The three of us didn't have too much of a problem (except for ringing ears), but it did help that we weren't on any sort of schedule and could be patient until all the classes had to be rounded up and returned to their respective schools.
One of the things Denis and I enjoyed at OdySea was the fact that the architects had really put thought into the building's design. The type of glass used is about as non-reflective as you can get, which really helps with photos. And speaking of photos, let's get started! (Don't forget-- if you'd like to see any of them in their original sizes, just click on them.)
|A view of the interior courtyard.|
|Daisy "hatching" in front of Pangaea, which is all about dinosaurs.|
|This homely critter is a Russian Sturgeon.|
|Of course, Daisy had to give it some love.|
|So did Denis, although it looks as though he's in the spotlight.|
|Lots of different fish to see.|
|Asian small-clawed otter getting a snack.|
|A stingray smiling for the camera.|
|"Jaws" theme music, anyone?|
|Jellyfish. I could watch them for hours!|
|This is a rotten photo because the catfish wouldn't hold still, but it was completely smitten by our Daisy!|
|Daisy and Denis ahead of me in the "tunnel."|
The three of us enjoyed our day here at the aquarium and at Butterfly Wonderland so much that--voilà!-- I suddenly knew what to get Denis for his upcoming birthday. When his birthday arrived, the first thing he wanted to do was use his brand-new annual passes to both, so be forewarned: there will be more photos in the future!
Did you enjoy your visit, or is this not really your thing? I've got a niece who can't stand butterflies and a dear friend who hates snakes (and the list could go on if I let it) so I can understand!