Posted by: Tricia | November 6, 2009

Sea Sick

A few weeks before we left for Florida my mom and I thought it would be fun to ride the train to Dallas to visit the Aquarium.  We had been reading Curious George Visits the Aquarium in preparation for the big day and Elliott was so excited to go!  Pair the aquarium with a real live train ride and we had one happy two-year-old.  Realizing that we only had a few minutes to board the train, we sprinted from the parking lot into the train station,  paid for our tickets, rode the elevator up one level, and made it onto the train within seconds of it leaving.  Whew!  


Once our hearts were done racing from the excitement of nearly missing the train we sat back and relaxed for the hour-long ride.  Elliott snacked on crackers and Grandma read books to keep him entertained. 


We looked out the windows and admired the scenery…or lack of it.


At last we made it! 


As a result of a very scary experience with the birds at the zoo Elliott was cautious about feeding the birds from his hand, but he didn’t mind watching Grandma do it. 


He loved the sloth that was just hanging out in the trees above the walkway.  No cage…no need I suppose. 


The crocodiles hiding in their cave were a big hit.


And, the sting rays were fun to look at.


My favorite were the tanks on the lower level with all of the sea life.  We saw giant sea turtles, jellyfish, a whale, and even sharks!






I must admit that in the past I have grumbled and complained that the $20 admission fee to the aquarium seemed outrageous, but after visiting I can see the reasons for the pricey tickets.  Everything about this place was amazing!  The otters were playing, the penguins were swimming, the owls were flying, and the flamingos were sassing each other.  They were so much more active than the animals at the zoo and they really seemed to love it there.   The sheer beauty of the environment they have created for the animals was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  We felt like we were walking through a rain forest or like we were really under the sea.  

After seeing all that we could see we headed back upstairs to the restaurant with a view.  It was nearing Elliott’s normal nap time and he was beginning to act out.  He was whining, refusing to eat, and he kept lying down on the floor in the middle of the restaurant.  Strange.  Nothing seemed to make him happy and I was growing frustrated with the situation.  He told me that his “bottom hurt”.  Thinking he must have a dirty diaper I took him to the restroom for a diaper change.  But before I could even shut the door he let out a cry and threw up all over the floor…and me.  I quickly apologized to all of the people staring at us in disgust and proceeded to find my way to a stall where I could gather my wits.  I tried to explain to him what was happening to him and taught him how to lean over the toilet.  I tried not to panic as I processed the fact that Elliott probably had a stomach bug, would probably be throwing up again, and that we were stranded in Dallas with 45 minutes until the next train would leave for Fort Worth.  Perfect.  I was dreading the hour-long train ride home and wishing that we had been just a few seconds later and been forced to drive to Dallas instead.  Ugh!

My mom and I shoveled a few more bites of our lunch into our mouths and I managed to clean my shirt off enough to avoid having to purchase a tacky DWA t-shirt in the gift shop.  Elliott fell asleep in his stroller before we even left the aquarium.  I started to learn his “I’m about to throw up again” cues and luckily made it to the side of the train tracks with him a few times before finally boarding the train. 


We found some seats near to the restroom and made a few more visits in between naps for him to get sick again.  I learned how hard it is to take a sick toddler into a public restroom on a bumpy moving train, hold his arms down at his side in an effort to keep any part of him from touching any part of it while telling him to lean over a toilet that comes to the level of his mouth.  I tried to look at the bright side of things…at least I could snuggle him all the way home instead of him being strapped down in a car seat.  And, thank goodness my mom was with us.  I cannot imagine having to do that alone!


I have never been so glad to be back home.

The virus only kept him down for the rest of the day.  That evening he was playing and asking for some Pei Wei noodles.  And, of course, within a few days David and I discovered that Elliott had done his part and shared the bug with us!

For a while Elliott talked about being “sick on the train” every time he heard the words “sick” or “train” and he didn’t really have a lot to say about his visit to the aquarium.  I think the bad memories are starting to fade now.  Hopefully we can make a second trip to the aquarium soon…we’ll see about the train part.  I’m not sure I’m ready for that again 😉



  1. Wow, what a way to ruin an otherwise great day! We loved the Dallas World Aquarium when we went a few years ago. Yes, pricey, but a great memory! How fun to add the train ride on top of that!

    Caleb’s had a stomach bug, too. Sadly, it lasted about a week, and this week Jon has it. Crossing my fingers that I manage to bypass it!

  2. What a day! I’m so glad you are documenting the good and the bad here for us to read and you to remember.

    It’s tough to have a puking kid, even at home! I can’t imagine trying to deal with it under similar circumstances. So thankful your mom was with you!

  3. oh poor Eliott. I am glad you had fun at the aquarium though

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