After everyone ate breakfast, got cleaned up and dressed for the day, we walked a whole two blocks to the Tennessee Aquarium. The main exhibits are in two separate buildings on the riverfront. One building is for the "Ocean Journey" and the other is for the "River Journey".
We started out in the Ocean Journey building where you begin at the top and work down. Located at the top was a large tank where you could pet sting rays and small sharks.
Abby was super excited about the next exhibit. Also located at the top of the building was the aquarium's Butterfly Garden! There were a lot of pretty butterflies and if you were patient, they would land on you!
From there we went and sat down on one of the landings so the girls could have a snack. We moved on to the penguin exhibit and Mary made it known she was pretty much done and ready for a nap. Kristi took Mary back to the hotel while Abby and I continued to tour the aquarium.
The Spider Crabs were huge! The kids could duck underneath and come up in the middle to view all the crabs in the tank. They also had an amazing jellyfish exhibit. They had all kinds of these beautiful creatures.
From there you get to walk through this huge descending maze that surrounds their large tank. They had tons of different fish, sharks, rays, and sea turtles swimming around. There were so many different places to enjoy the views of the creatures it was amazing.
Once we were done with the Ocean Journey building, Abby and I sat down for some lunch. We found a place to sit in the park that surrounds the aquarium and found ourselves with a treat. A young, modern Bluegrass band called The Barefoot Movement was performing and we sat right in front to enjoy. They sang some old-time Bluegrass favorites and some of their own songs as well. They are very talented and their songs were just awesome; so I bought their CD. I don't think I've ever played any type of country music for Abby and I took joy in just watching her sit there enjoying the experience so much she just wanted to stay put!
None the less, it was time to move on to the "River Journey" building. We started off downstairs where they provided some animal encounters. We got to pet a turtle and a Corn Snake!
From there, we took the escalator up to the top of the building and saw all the exhibits that had to do with the fresh water side of aquatic life. We saw lots of turtles, snakes, and alligators!
We also saw some pretty amazing freshwater fish. There was one tank with some nice size Rainbow Trout like the ones I used to try to catch on the Truckee River! This building also had an elaborate descending maze that took you through various exhibits and continually passing by the various levels of its large tank.
Kristi and Mary came back after we were done. We sat with them while they had some lunch and enjoyed some more of The Barefoot Movement. Afterwards we all went back to the hotel to rest before dinner. I'm glad the hotel wasn't far because my dogs were barking!
We ate dinner at Rio Picante because we thought Mexican food sounded good and it was close by. The service was great, but the food left a little to be desired. After diner, we walked half a block back towards the hotel and went to the Tennessee Aquariums IMAX Theater. We had bought flex passes earlier in the day so we could choose the show and time at our leisure. We decided to see Ultimate WaveTahiti since Abby is now surfing at home and I always enjoy the views of the South Pacific.
We weren’t sure that Mary would make it through the movie, but we sat way at the top where we could let her run free a little. I did manage to see most of the movie while I chased her around, but I was glad Kristi was able to sit and enjoy it with Abby since she missed part of the aquarium tour earlier in the day.
After the movie we went back to the room and went straight to bed. It had been a long, but very fun day. Chattanooga is really cool! On to day two.