Tennessee Aquarium

IMG_1201One of the best things about homeschooling is the field trips. And the best sort of field trips are days set aside especially for homeschoolers. Lower prices and extra events make these days a real bargain. Last week we went to the Tennessee Aquarium for their homeschool day and even though the end was a disaster, over all it was a day well spent.

Car trips are best with a book on CD. The book of choice this round was The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke.  I love this author and so far,  I love this book. It’s a tale of two runaway brothers in Venice who are taken in by a street gang while being searched for by a private detective. We haven’t completed the book so no spoilers please.

Now, go back and click on that link for Cornelia Funke.

You’re welcome.


Sheltopusik or Glass Lizard has no legs

The Aquarium has two buildings, the River Journey and the Ocean Journey. They had lots of “critter encounters” where we got to touch and learn about a very beautiful legless lizard called the Sheltopusik as well as a rainbow boa whose markings were extraordinary.


My new favorite thing at an aquarium. Like nature’s lava lamp. Could have stood there mesmerized all day.

We took the behind the scenes tour and really lucked out. It was feeding time for the sharks. The people feeding the fish had three feeding stations. On the opposite side of the tank from where we were standing, they would lower a fish that had been spiked on a pole for the sharks. The sharks were disappointingly civilized about taking their food from the pole, but the shrimp flung toward our side created a bit of a feeding frenzy among the larger fish and a huge sea turtle.  The rays were being hand fed and it looked as if they were hungry too. The fish only get fed three times a week and if our tour had been a few minutes later or earlier, we would have missed it.


Tour guide Bob telling about Oscar.

We also learned Oscar’s story. Oscar is a green sea turtle who was rescued after meeting the business end of a boat and sent to live at the Tennessee Aquarium. You can see him in the above link swimming bottom up. My kids just love Oscar. It took us forever to spot him in the tank, but we did.

I promised a disaster. Don’t worry, we aren’t home yet.

I always feel a little nervous heading out with the kids with no other driver but my myself. I once got stuck on I65 in Kentucky with my daughter for hours behind a terrible accident so I make sure I have water, snacks, napkins, and blankets when we are going more than an hour from home. Leaving the Aquarium I realized what I had originally thought was a sinus headache was actually the beginnings of a migraine. When I get a migraine. which isn’t too often, I usually head straight to bed and am fine in a couple of hours.  I weighed my options. 1. Getting a hotel room was not an option. There was a huge snowstorm due for the next day. 2. No one else could drive and my husband was hours away at home. So having him pick me up was not going to work either. 3. Nothing to be done but to drive straight home and hope for the best.

Almost made it. It wasn’t pretty. Had to be rescued by my husband and a neighbor with only thirty miles left. Kudos to my kids for keeping cool while Mom was violently ill. Seriously, how do single parents do these things? I have never felt so dependent in my life. What a lesson in humility. Still, I owe it to the kids to keep on trying. You can only learn so much from a book. Experiences, good or bad, are some of the best teachers for us all.

I’ve learned to add migraine medication to the long trip check list.

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