shedd aquarium is one of my favorite places on earth. possibly my favorite, I don't know. it is the one place that will always live up to your memories of it.
I wandered around for many hours just gazing at all the things I remembered. it's a phenomenal aquarium, and probably the best place I've ever seen in terms of humane habitats for creatures. I was a little afraid that coming back much older, I'd be disillusioned, but I'm still so impressed with their facilities.
these jellies flop around upside down because they're farmers. they grow algae all in their fluffy tentacles, which is why they have to face the sunlight. cool, right?
first of all, when I visited as a kid, I became enamored of the belugas. I couldn't even tell you exactly why it's belugas for me, but it is... and I remember later on, when the calves were born, my grandpa would send me clippings from the newspapers. now, it's so surreal to go back and see this baby all grown up and like four years old. old enough to have learned how to stick her tail in the air but not quite old enough to stop doing it all the time hoping to get a reward. meanwhile the older whales just do donuts shaking their heads and saying, "you moron, it isn't time. you're not getting nothing."
and now for a brief interlude of jellyfish: my other favorite animals. just look at 'em.
it's really a little mind-blowing when you haven't been to a place since you were young, and when you return, you realize that there are other animals on the planet who live as long as we do. You don't really expect it, but they're all still there. that one sea turtle who was hit by a boat and so her back end always floats up? yeah, still there.
on a more practical note, I'll add that I did get my ticket online because the basic admission is like a two-hour wait. in addition, you have to get a fancy pass to get access to everything there is, and if you're wondering whether it's worth it, it is. you need the pass to get into the oceanarium, which is where the belugas and dolphins and such are, and that is definitely worth the price of admission. it's the most magical.
anyways, there you have it! of all the places I've ever recommended, shedd is probably at the top. if you ever get a chance to go, make sure you do!