Thursday, January 15, 2009

Emperor For A Day

BRRRRRR! We are getting a taste of cold weather while much of the nation is shivering in sub-zero temperatures. A radio news segment broadcast this morning included a Chicago man who stated, "It's cold enough for penguins right now." True enough. Even here in Chattanooga, it will be cold enough for the next couple of days to suit our gentoo and macaronis. (Although they'll stay inside the friendly, and warmer confines of Penguins' Rock where temperatures stay in the low 40s year round. A virtual heat-wave compared to being outside.) So it was remarkable timing that these pictures landed in our e-mail this morning from a Tennessee Aquarium member. We're glad to share these shots of Bo, who was "emperor for a day" during the Aquarium's Halloween party. Here's what Bo's mom had to say:

Hello...I hope this email isn't too late but I thought I would pass on some pictures from our Halloween at the TN Aquarium. The staff was incredible. It was so fun! I was especially impressed and touched by staff members (Kevin, LoriBeth, and Amanda). It really was an amazing experience!!

Enjoy the pictures and thank you for such a wonderful facility...we enjoy our time there greatly!
Ashley & son, Bo

Thanks Ashley for sharing your story and pictures with us.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pop the question or take the plunge.

Love was in the air on a recent excursion aboard the River Gorge Explorer. While on the return leg of the Explorer's normal journey back to the Chattanooga Pier, the captains took a slight detour to the shoreline in front of the old catfish restaurant which is now a special events facility. And to the passengers' surprise, there was banner hung on the fence that read “Kimberly, will you be my Wife?” For one couple sitting on the port side, this was a very special moment. In front of about 36 passengers the young gentleman proposed to his girlfriend. And her reply was “YES!” The entire cabin came alive with applause and well wishes.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, you might be looking for a romantic idea. If so, join us for a romantic cruise aboard the River Gorge Explorer on Saturday, February 14th. This two-hour sunset cruise takes you into the gorge-ous Grand Canyon of Tennessee where a naturalist will point out soaring eagles and fascinating sights with complimentary appetizers. Pop the question, renew your vows or even tie the knot! Our captains are ordained ministers if you bring the license and witness. A cash bar will be available for wine, beer and soft drinks. Go here to book your seat on this special cruise:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Kaliedoscope of Colorful Fish

Visitors discover a kaliedoscope of colorful fish around every corner at the Tennessee Aquarium. And one display is even more vibrant than ever right now. Check out the Asian River exhibit the next time you are in the Rivers of the World gallery inside the River Journey building. "It's my favorite exhibit," said Aquarium voluteer Fran Hiestand. "The fish are so colorful." Several people were drawn to this spot to see the denison barbs which are pictured above. They were among several species recently added to this lively display. Along with the denison barbs, brilliant rasboras, harlequin rasboras, cherry barbs, rosy barbs, three spot gouramis, giant danios and a tricolor sharkminnow are new additions. It's truly amazing to see the spectacular markings of these very active fish.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fishy Fun

This Saturday, as the Ravens face the Titans, a challenge is also on between the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Gene Dwyer, the Tennessee Aquarium’s visitor services manager and Charles Myers, the National Aquarium’s director of visitor services have made a friendly wager. If the Ravens win, Dwyer will send some famous Tennessee BBQ ribs to Myers. If the Titans are victorious, Dwyer will get to enjoy some Maryland crab cakes, courtesy of Myers.

A few years ago the two friends placed this same bet. That game went to the Titans and Dwyer was able to savor the victory, enjoying crab cakes. Myers is hoping for a Ravens victory this time around so he can feed his “Raven-ous” hunger for some Chattanooga BBQ.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hooray for Rays!

Sometimes people watching is almost as much fun as viewing the animals at the Tennessee Aquarium. For example, if you hang around Shark Island long enough and you'll see all kinds of facial expressions. Ear to ear grins, eyebrow arching surprise to wide-eyed fear. We see a lot of stingray fans after an aquatic encounter in Ocean Journey. One such fan recently wrote to tell us about his "touching" experience.
"Dear T.N. Aquarium, I just can't stop thinking of the way you feed, teach, entertain & play with the fish. I love to read your "RiverWatch" magazines. Last time I went, I made a friend out of a stingray, cause it let me pet his wings & came back for more. Pretty soon, it was flapping it's head above the surface for me to rub it's forehead. I like to watch the penguins. They're hilarious. Your fan, Chase/ age 11"
Thanks for the great letter Chase. And thanks to Chase's mom who attached the following message:
"My son is so in love with marine biology and your aquarium has been extremely instrumental in that. ....He is such a huge fan of the Aquarium's and all of the employees. He loves to watch the divers feed the fish. - Donna from McDonald, TN"