It’s my birthday today! About a month ago I was able to nab some free passes to the Seattle Aquarium for today. With me still not working much (especially now, with an injured back) I’ve been looking for free and low-cost things to do with the kids to keep our budget in check. The Seattle Aquarium is fun, but quite pricey so we’ve only gone there once or twice before when we had discount or free tickets. The Seattle Public Library system offers free passes to various museums and attractions around the city for library card holders, but they are limited to one person per place, per day and they go fast. Needless to say, I was excited to nab the coveted aquarium passes for today.
The girls were quite excited to head to the aquarium and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We packed a picnic lunch to help with costs, but were shooed out of the eating area near the coffee stand by an employee, despite the fact that we had bought a couple of things (an almond milk chai and fruit cup). I explained that we couldn’t any of the other food from their cafe because literally every other thing they sold had dairy in it, but we were still told we couldn’t eat there. She did tell me that we could go eat on the benches (no tables) in front of the largest tank. So we moved out picnic and it worked out pretty well because we were just in time to see the diver go in and feed the fish. Lunch and a show!
When we got to the “underwater dome” area (where you are surrounded by a fish tank). We sat down to snack a bit more. My jacket fell out of the stroller at one point and someone picked it up and gave it back to me. What I didn’t realize was that my (brand new) smartphone had fallen out of the jacket pocket and got left behind. I noticed about ten minutes later when I went to grab my phone to take another picture. We rushed back to find it, but it was already gone. Not feeling particularly hopeful, we trudged back to the main desk to inquire whether anyone had, by chance, turned in a gold iPhone. As it turned out, some very kind soul actually had! Phew! We just bought my new phone in June and finally replaced Zach’s (now essentially dead) smartphone a few days ago, so another new iPhone really isn’t in the budget.
We saw a few more exhibits, but by that time is was past time for both Eleanor and Alden to have naps. It wasn’t until we were walking out of the aquarium that it hit me. The “parking lot” outside the aquarium is actually the newly redone street parking along the waterfront (even though it looks like a small parking lot), and I had been so focused on getting the kids out of the van and into the aquarium that I had completely forgotten to pay for parking. Sure enough, there was a nice $44 parking ticket stuck on the windshield. Happy birthday to me. Sigh. So much for a low-budget birthday adventure, huh?
Through some miraculous birthday magic, none of these mishaps managed to damper our spirits too much and we had a very good time at the aquarium.