Monday 13 January 2014

Ripley's Aquarium Visit

Yesterday my boyfriend and I made a trip to the newly opened Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto - sort of as a birthday outing, sort of not. :p

Anyway, it was INSANELY crowded. Never going on a weekend again. But it was still quite a good trip and I got a lot of photos. :)

Ripley's Aquarium - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When you first walk in, there's a large mural on the wall that makes it look you've just stepped onto a private island.

Next you go through an exhibit full of fish and such native to the area. They had all kinds of trout and cod and anemone and a tank full of lobster. On the ceiling here they had hung a bunch of lobster traps and netting. Not something generally considered beautiful, but I think they did quite a good job.

Looks a bit spooky. ;)

After the local fish section, you walk out facing a huge colourful tank filled with (fake) corals and (real) tropical fish. It was quite a surprise after the greyness of the Great Lakes exhibits. ^^;

The reefs exhibit sort of blends into their 'Dangerous Lagoon' tank which is the largest one in the aquarium. It's got a few types of sharks, some rays + sawfish and at least one green sea turtle. I bet there are at least two but I only saw one.

You go through on this sort of conveyor belt underneath/inside the tank so you can see all around. The sawfish liked to sit on top of the tunnel roof for some reason. It was pretty funny to see.

Finally, the last(-ish..) section was my absolute favourite --- JELLYFISH! :D

They had a few different kinds, but they three main attractions were the Sea Nettles, the Moon Jellies and the Australian Spotted Jellyfish - which are entirely adorable.

Sea Nettles
Sea Nettles

The Sea Nettles Tank was all lit up and on a rotating timer so that it changed colours every minute or so. Since the jellies are translucent but coloured, they turn all sorts of crazy colours in response to the light. Most aquariums just keep them on a light blue background, where they look bright orange, so it was neat to see all the different colours. 


I may have found my new favourite jellyfish - Australian Spotted Jellyfish. :) I played around with my macro lens for these photos. Worked out pretty well I think. I tried with the baby moon jellies too, but they had them on a blue-lit tank (instead of the more common black) so they were basically invisible. :(

Australian Spotted Jellyfish, Ripley's Aquarium - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
About pingpong ball sized in person

Australian Spotted Jellyfish, Ripley's Aquarium - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Golf ball sized.

I think I'd like to go back again some time, but probably not in the very near future. If you want to visit, I'd strongly suggest going on a weekday during school hours and buying your tickets in advance. The line to buy tickets was crazy.

And now, back to sewing and class readings. ^^

Thursday 2 January 2014

Finally some downtime!

Things have been exceptionally hectic since my last update.

Bella's shipping notice arrived just at the start of my exam period and she arrived on the day of my first exam so I didn't get to open her until 10pm. :C After exams I had about one day before my boyfriend's parents arrived to stay with us for 10 days, during which we had to drive to and from Virginia for a wedding. Then it was Christmas celebrations and finally New Year's Eve... and now it's today... and I must say, I'm very glad for the break from all the running around.

So... with that out of the way, time for the updates!!

For the curious:

Bella is safe and sound and sporting a temporary face-up. Her new eyes, wig and extra sleeping head have all arrived as well. The eyes are stunning, but I'm still not 100% sold on the new wig. She has two full outfits and a PJ shirt and has claimed many bracelets. I hope to give her a new face-up when it warms up again now that I have more of an idea how I want her to look. :)

My holidays were busy but otherwise lovely. The wedding was very sweet, and worth the 9.5 hour drive to get there. I was gifted a new printer and have been playing around with printed t-shirts. Also, I was given a 60mm macro lens by the aforementioned boyfriend's parents, which I finally had a chance to try today.

This is my favourite photo from my first lens test. It's not the best, but the cropping is straight from the camera, and that's pretty wonderful. Definitely need to practice with it more, but I don't think that's going to be much of a hardship. ;)

Lastly, I've been working a lot on prototypes and samples for a bunch of new items. They're all in varying stages of completion, but I hope to get at least a few photos up this weekend since I start classes again on Monday. :)

I hope everyone had an excellent holiday as well and I wish all of you a very happy and productive 2014! <3