Timeline: New England, Wednesday November 9, 2011.
Today was to be a sightseeing day for me. A day off from shooting videos or discussing internet stuff and Justin invited me to join him on a family trip he had organised to the New England Aquarium in Boston.
We drove to Boston and on the journey I noticed that many of the trees had already lost most of their leaves – I would have had to have come a month or so earlier to see the fantastic colors which brings visitors from around the world to experience the sights of New England in the fall.
However as we arrived into Boston I did manage to shoot the picture of the tree which I have been using as the header shot for this series of blog posts.
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The aquarium was very interesting. There were a lot of school-children there and the first thing I noticed was that they seemed to be far better behaved than groups of British children on day trips.
In fact it took me a while to realize that there was very little of the usual shouting, screaming, pushing and shoving which accompanies every group of UK children on a day out.
Another difference was that the children at the aquarium actually listened to the staff members when they explained what was going on around them.
One of the most popular exhibits at the aquarium was the Shark and Ray Touch Tank which was a huge hit with adults and children alike.
Here was an exhibit where you could get your hands dirty, well not dirty actually, but you could get them wet and get to touch small sharks and rays in the process.
Next up was a look at some penguins and I learned something new.
I thought all penguins lived in very cold places but I was wrong…some like it hot, so to speak.
The penguins at Boston are the ones which prefer temperate climates so you won’t catch a chill when you check out the penguin exhibit.
If you visit with children then once they find the ‘penguin light station’ you will have a hard time dragging them away.
Here you get to shine a bright light, which is shaped like a fish, into the shallow waters where some of the penguins like to play. As you move the light around they will follow with you and try to ‘catch’ the bright fish below them.
I seem to recall that this feature is turned off every so often to give the penguins a rest, otherwise they would exhaust themselves from playing with the light all day long. Ah the joys of being a penguin.
The aquarium also comes with its very own ER but the Aquarium Medical Center is not the place you want to visit if you fall ill.
While it does come complete with a diagnostics area, an examination room, a treatment room and a critical care ward, this is strictly for the animals only.
On the day I visited there were no animals being treated but the equipment on hand to nurse sick animals back to health looked really impressive indeed.
The centerpiece of the aquarium is the Giant Ocean Tank, a four-story coral reef exhibit located in the middle of the Aquarium.
Actually to simply call it a ‘tank’ is something of an understatement. It is 23ft deep, 40ft wide and contains 200,000 gallons of salt water which is constantly filtered and refreshed from Boston Harbour.
In fact it is so big that the tank was put in place first and the rest of the aquarium was built around it.
A spiral ramp around the outside of the tank allows visitors to view the exhibits inside through huge glass viewing panels and once at the top floor it is possible to look directly down into the water below.
Although I didn’t attempt to count them all, I am reliably informed that there are about 600 animals in the tank including sea turtles, sand tiger sharks, barracuda, stingrays, moray eels and hundreds of colorful reef fishes.
Divers are also regularly seen in the huge tank, either feeding the animals, conducting various checks or undertaking routine maintenance.
Before leaving, I noticed an exhibit of jellyfish in a series of cylindrical tanks and that is the way I prefer my jellyfish…with a protective barrier between them and me.
I shot a quick video of them though and you can see it below:
I enjoyed my day at the aquarium and it was evening by the time we got back to Justin’s house where I was invited in for another cup of coffee from the cat food selection box.
We spent the rest of the evening reviewing the material we had shot yesterday and discussing some plans for the future.
We were still discussing marketing-related matters at midnight, during the drive to the hotel and for the next two hours in my hotel room until Justin decided it was time to call it a night and headed off home.
I then spent another couple of hours working online in my hotel room before finally tiredness got the better of me some time after 4am and I finally went to bed.
Thursday November 10, 2011.
And so on to my final day in New England.
I spent the morning working on my blog in the hotel lobby and at around midday Justin collected me and we drove to Larry’s house for my final get-together with the TimTech guys.
It was decided that Tim and I should record another video – this time on the subject of blogging since we are both keen bloggers and could pass on some useful tips for those new to blogging.
So we mounted a flipcam on a tripod, sat down on Larry’s front porch and started talking.
I knew some of the ground I wanted to cover and I think we had covered most of it by the time Larry’s dog Bentley had decided to take up position behind us and begin barking loudly.
If it was a cue to stop then it worked, and in any event, it has just started raining so it was time to come back inside anyway.
Once again Justin worked his editing magic on what we had shot and the material now forms part of the Blog Mastery section within CTP for upgraded members.
And here is a sneak preview of what it looked like in a still from the first video:
Obviously you are already familiar with my blog but you may also like to check out Tim Linden’s blog too. Clicking on the image below should take you there.
Once inside Larry’s house to shelter from the rain Tim, Justin and I also shot another video about blogging but I am not quite sure what is happening with that one.
However I recall that as we set up the videos in Larry’s kitchen and we were about to start filming, Larry unexpectedly moved one of the cameras to get something out of the fridge and thus ruined our carefully-framed shot.
This is what happened:
And that was very much it for my New England Adventure. A couple of hours later I was sitting on the train headed back to New York for the rest of my vacation.
Thanks to Justin, Larry and Tim for their great hospitality during my stay and for making me feel so welcome…I enjoyed every moment of it.
Finally thanks to you for sticking with me during this marathon three-part series of blog posts as I recalled what happened during those four days in November last year.