Friday, November 7, 2014

Dallas World Aquarium & The Sixth Floor Museum

Bookmark and Share
The AIPAC Team coordinated a fantastic handicapped accessible van service for us during our visit.  We had two really nice drivers, Benny and Alan.  They both were so nice, always waiting and never leaving us at any place they took us.  We couldn't have asked for a better service to help us get around Dallas.   Alan loaded up Noah in the van and off we went to visit the Dallas World Aquarium.   I expected it to be a lot like the Denver Aquarium, but it's so much nicer.  Three stories, and so much to see.  We started at the top level and worked our way down.... twice because Noah demanded two tours.   Maybe he just wanted to make sure we got our money's worth, or maybe he thought it was the best aquarium he's ever seen.

We seen our very first sloth.  That was super neat, and he wasn't in a cage, just out in the open doing his sloth thing.  And gosh he was so cute.   Noah's favorite seemed to be these overly hungry saffon toucanets who wanted to snack on endless blueberries.  Luke was just happy to see reptiles and flamingos.   Noah also really enjoyed the third story waterfall.  It was certainly pretty.
Noah listening to the Waterfall

The Sloth
Hungry Birds
There was a point when I thought I was headed to an outdoor area where the penguins were and went through a door that had a exit sign.   Noah was fabulous about screaming to tell me I was going the wrong way.  I can always count on him to be so helpful in assisting me to navigate his wheelchair.  For a little boy who is non-verbal he can read, no doubt about that.   So I flipped around and went in the right direction, pleasing Noah that I listened to his loud warning. 

There were some areas of the aquarium that I had wished were more handicapped accessible.  Many areas had stairs that Noah had no hope of getting to.   And I will always wish for a fully inclusive world for him.   But for all the parts we could get to, he had the very best time.

We still had a few hours before dinner so we had hoped to visit Neiman Marcus.  We drove by it only to realize it was closed on Sundays.  Likely a good thing as I'm sure it would have only tempted me to purchase something that we didn't have money for, but nonetheless we got out of the van just to take a picture to say we had been there.
Neiman Marcus Sign
With Neiman Marcus a no-go, we headed to The Sixth Floor Museum, which chronicles the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  It was rather eerie to see painted X's in the road indicating the exact shots that were fired, including the fatal shot.  The sixth floor window with a box to mark the sniper's location.   It was an audio tour, and when we obtained tickets were told that there were no cell phones permitted and asked to turn our phones off. 
One of 3 X's marking the shots fired in the assassination of JFK

However, no one gave me instructions not to take pictures, so I was clicking away with a traditional camera when a security guard approached me and sternly asked me "what I thought I was doing."  I answered him "just taking pictures."  That was clearly the wrong answer.  As he stared me down and looked at me like I had just committed the biggest offense I possibly could.   I thought for sure he'd confiscate my camera, but my sincere apology seemed to keep him at bay.  He did continue to stalk me throughout the museum, I kept trying to smile in his direction to see if we could be friends, but he was having none of it.   He followed me to the seventh floor where he reminded me that the seventh floor was the only floor you could take pictures on.  
JFK Picture on the 7th Floor

Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Kennedy Onassis Picture on 7th Floor
All of that could have been avoided had the ticket counter told me no cameras in addition to asking me to shut my cell phone off.   I took pictures of almost everything on the sixth floor, but out of respect that I unknowingly did wrong, I'm only posting pictures from the seventh floor that are allowed to be photographed.

We did somehow leave a footprint behind... a minion figurine is somewhere in The Sixth Floor Museum, compliments of little Luke who fell asleep and dropped it out of his hands.   A distraught Luke pleaded for us to go back in and find him, but I just really didn't want to face that security guard again, and tell him not only did I take pictures but I'm littering the museum with minions as well.  Upon arrival home we repurchased the "lost" minion, and we told Luke that he just caught a different plane home.

It was nice to do some tourist things while in Dallas, the boys had a lot of fun, and it gave us a sense that we were on a mini vacation.   We had one last event to attend before we headed home - The Winspear Opera House AIPAC Dinner...


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.