How is it that I’ve never been to the Newport Aquarium? I suppose because I’m not 10 years old and no longer go on field trips, it makes a little sense. But as an enthusiast of this great city and it being one of the more popular attractions in the area, it also makes little sense. Who knows.
With our previous plans of heading to Columbus for the Crew game being debunked by an unstable forecast, Date was smart enough to go into damage control by suggesting something else I’d been wanting to check off my agenda. I’m not sure what I was expecting from the Aquarium, but here are a few thoughts and opinions following our excursion:
- Coolest exhibit(s): the jellyfish and penguins. The former were encapsulating to watch and the latter were just hilarious. I even think the penguins were showboating for the audience. Highly entertaining and adorable to boot.
- I got to pet: some kind of shark—obviously not a Great White, but I didn’t mind keeping all of my limbs intact.
- I wish I’d have: been able to pet stingrays. Where on earth did I have this previously misconceived notion that was something I’d be able to do?
- Scariest exhibit: spider crabs. Yikes. They were as terrifying as they sound. And so, so ugly.
- I expected: acrobatic dolphins.
- I did not expect: to see an “I ❤ my awesome boyfriend” t-shirt but hey, we were in Kentucky and, well, hindsight’s 20/20. I told Date I’m buying one soon so I can wear it when we go out in public. As always, he looked at me like I had six heads.
- I could have shanked: the broad who found it necessary to jump on the clear plexi-glass to “prove” that it wouldn’t break and that I wouldn’t tumble into a Great White shark pit. I got the point, lady: the glass wasn’t going to break. But if the glass had broken, you better believe I’d have done what I could to feed her to those carnivorous things first.
Like I said, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I think I expected a little more: a little less gratuitous zoo-like viewing through the glass of aquariums, and a little more audience participation and interaction. And definitely a show that never came to fruition but was advertised and expected at the penguin exhibit. I’m glad I finally got to go though, and to see what it was all about. There were a ton of species, the all-around walkthrough’s duration came in just under 2 hours, it was reasonably clean, and I felt pretty informed. It’s also great that it is located at Newport on the Levee because the options for meals (and entertainment) pre- and post-visit are aplenty.
Overall grade: B- [out of a possible A+]