A Birthday Boardwalk Visit

August 2, 2013


As part of my birthday gift, my sisters decided to treat me to a day at the beach.  We initially planned to visit Jenkinson’s Aquarium first, but we got down to the beach before it opened.  Instead, we wasted time in the arcade.  It’s been a while since I’ve spent my quarters in an arcade.  I proved I am still the queen of the crane games!  I won myself a plush goat (the tag says “Maybelle” is actually a cow, but I know a goat when I see one!) and a “Restore the Shore” t-shirt that I gave to my sister.  We played other games like Skee-Ball and slot machines to win tickets.  I redeemed mine for a temporary heart tattoo, a set of 2 cupcake-shaped nail files and an elastic hair tie lollipop.

L to R: “Dory,” Piranha, colorful frogs, Nurse Sharks,
seahorse, shark, seal, Moon Jellyfish, Nautilus

We arrived at the aquarium right before it opened.  I was so excited for our visit!  I hadn’t been to an aquarium in YEARS!  I had never been to Jenkinson’s Aquarium despite multiple visits to Point Pleasant.  My sisters hadn’t been there before either.  Our eyes lit up like children once we stepped inside.  It’s amazing to think that so much marine life is held inside this building right on the boardwalk!  We were there to see the seals being fed.  We saw them do a few tricks like rolling over and waving their little flippers to the crowd.  They’re such intelligent creatures!  We saw plenty of sharks, different kinds of fish, turtles, frogs and even land animals like parrots and–my sister’s favorite–pygmy marmosets.  Let’s not forget my favorite exhibit–the penguins!
 
The aquarium also houses a touch tank.  As I approached the tank, a staff member was holding a horseshoe crab.  I was completely interested in learning more about them.  Hubby and I had a lot of questions about horseshoe crabs after a recent visit to the waterfront.  I learned that their tail is not poisonous barb.  Hubby and I thought they looked quite helpless flipped over on their backs at the beach, but I also learned that they flip themselves back over with their tail (we probably looked really silly flipping them back over with sticks).  I learned that the males have claws that look like boxing gloves and that the horseshoe crabs have mouths in the center of the underside of their bodies.  I couldn’t wait to get home and relay this information to my husband!  I bet you’ve never known two people to be so interested in horseshoe crabs!
 


By the time we left the aquarium, our stomachs started grumbling signaling that it was time for lunch.  My sisters shared a huge plate of butterfly fries.  I got a small boardwalk fry that I loaded with what was probably the equivalent of half a bottle of vinegar; a must if you’re going to do boardwalk fries “right.”  But I didn’t stop there!  Oh no!  I also craved boardwalk pizza and got myself a big slice of white pizza with fresh tomatoes on it.  Delicious!  I washed it down with fresh lemonade.  When our heavy stomachs finally allowed us to get moving again, we browsed boardwalk shops and picked up saltwater taffy to bring home from a treat shop.  Then we played a round of rooftop mini-golf.  After mini-golf, we decided it was time to indulge in ice cream.  I waited all summer to get my hands on some Kohr’s soft serve!  I finally got my orange and vanilla twist and it was so good!  The ice cream dripped down the cone, onto my hands and seeped into the napkin I had wrapped around it.  As I told my sisters, it’s all part of the experience!
 

We had a little time to spare before ending our trip so we headed back to the aquarium.  What’s great about Jenkinson’s Aquarium is that once you pay, you get your hand stamped and you’re welcome to return for the day.  We spent even more time admiring the penguins the second time around.  We got to see the staff clean the penguin enclosure.  Despite the clean up task at hand (cleaning up soiled areas), I can’t imagine getting down about that job when you have cute, little penguins swimming around you!  We said good-bye to the penguins, to the beach and the boardwalk and made our way home.
 
We had planned to spend a few hours sunning on the beach, but that never happened.  We’re entirely okay with that after having such a great day together on the boardwalk.  It’s been a fun week of birthday celebrations!

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