Friday, June 20, 2008

Support staff

Tobin, Allison, and I are in Tampa this week to be with Allison's dad during his surgery and recovery (both of which have gone according to plan so far). During the day, while Allison is with her family at the hospital, Tobin and I have had lots of time together. When we're inside, we read books and play, but we've also taken advantage of some of what Tampa has to offer. Yesterday we went to the Florida Aquarium. I planted the seed of interest by telling T we were going to "see big fish." This video was taken right before we walked in:

While we were in the aquarium, Tobin would regularly squeal with delight "Big big fish!" "Ohhh, turtle!" (he pronounces is "tull-lull") "More big fish!" and so on. We saw sharks, lobster, bass, carp, koi, alligators, owls, egrets, heron, and hundreds more that I can't even remember. Tobin got to touch the fin of a ray in the "Touch tank." He saw penguins walking around the room in the coral reef exhibit. He even got to see divers in the shark tank. When we visited the gift shop, he picked out a little clownfish tchotchke. When we left the giftshop, he wanted to do something, but I couldn't tell what. He kept repeating something that sounded like "More fish orange fish." So we headed back upstairs to the big tanks. He held his clownfish up to every tank we passed. He wanted to show the real fish the fish he had picked out at the giftshop. This is a picture (not a great one) of T showing his clownfish to some of the clownfish in a tankToday we headed back to Lettuce Lake Park, where we visited yesterday morning. The big attraction for Tobin is the boardwalk ("big bridge") that winds for a about a mile through the park and along the lakeside. There is a three-story tower from which you can see most of the lake. Tobin loves to climb the steps himself (holding hands) and when he reaches the summit he says "Up high!" He enjoys pushing his own stroller, which seems to give him a great sense of responsibility. He points out the Spanish moss ("gray moss") hanging from the trees and is close to being able to tell the difference consistently between an egret and an ibis. On our first day in the park, Tobin saw a family of wild turkeys walking along the water's edge. He explains to anyone who asks that he saw "Mommy turkey, daddy turkey, and baby turkeys in the grass." I've put up more pictures at our Flickr site of our adventures the last couple of days. We're hoping the weather cooperates enough to take a trip to the zoo this weekend. Here's a picture of the view from the top of the observation tower at Lettuce Lake Park:

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