Off to get pancakes... IHOP was having a bad day. It normally takes us about 45 minutes to get in and get out... but today it took us an hour and a half! I think it took us at least 15 minutes before our waitress even got to our table. She was running 15 tables by herself... we stuck it out and ended up leaving later than we had hoped.
Oh well, the directions I got off of the Aquarium's website should help us save time! We headed up towards DC... in theory, we should have cut up 395 and found 295 and followed that through Maryland... we apparently missed signs - lots of signs! I, of course, didn't bring a map! We somehow ended up on the BW Parkway... from there we found 95 North to Baltimore. We started following that and ended up finding a toll road/bridge/tunnel. It looked familiar. I reassured my mom that we were almost there! We went through the tunnel and over a bridge and proceeded to get very, very lost! After about 15 minutes of feeling very, very lost, I stopped at a Walmart and asked a random woman how to get to the inner harbor... she didn't know road names, but she gave me directions based on landmarks and left/rights. We ended up paying tolls again to get back across a different bridge and by the time we left/righted it around, we were at the same toll booth we started out at... my mom was mildly frustrated with my lack of directional know-how although this is not the first trip we have taken that has ended up with us going in circles! We got up to the toll booth for the second time... and asked for directions to the Inner Harbor! The lady printed them out and handed them to me... that was too easy! No problems getting to the Aquarium now!
We checked out the Aquarium and the dolphin show. The boys loved it! They always have so much with Grandma. Before we left, I had a conversation with the information desk lady about my algae eaters. We've got a 75 gallon fish tank. In it, we've got three algae eaters that are over a foot long each. That's over 3 feet of algae eater in our fish tank! Well, they are each between 12 and 15 years old and still growing! Since we are going to be moving to Albuquerque, I wanted to see if the National Aquarium would be interested in adopting my algae eaters... the lady called around and gave me the name and number of someone on the staff. At least I've got a contact if we need it... JD would like to take them with us. I've moved them from Indiana to Michigan and from Michigan to Virginia. The last trip to Virginia was an overnight in the summer... I moved all of the fish in two coolers and managed to only lose one. I lost a silver dollar, but it wasn't until a few days after they were back in the tank. If I remember correctly, that fish was wacked by one of the algae eaters tails! Chances are that's what killed him!
Anyway, we went to Cheesecake Factory for dinner... yummy! The boys fed the pigeons on the outside patio and we were reprimanded by the management! For the record, the were very good until Grandma and some other Grandpa (he didn't belong to us) encouraged the boys to feed the pigeons! Grandparents are naughty!
After dinner, we rented a dragon paddle boat and took the boys for a ride around the harbor... they thought it was fun, but I thought it was agonizing! The seats were uncomfortable, my legs hurt because the pedals were too close, and to top it off, the lifejackets smelled like pee! Thank goodness we only had 30 minutes!
Homeward bound after we got off the water. Our drive home was uneventful compared to the one there... we still had to stop at Target on the way back. I apparently picked the right Target this time! We found one Transformers scooter which Sean immediately claimed as his own! Ethan decided that he was happy with a Spiderman scooter! We can check 'scooters' off our things to get!
What a great day! We all had so much fun... it's always a good time when Grandma visits!