I challenged Mari and Lila to read 10 books during their summer vacation, with the promise I’d take them each on a mommy-and-me date wherever they wanted if they completed their assignments before it was time to head back to school. I’m so proud to say that my girls not only made their deadlines, but read a few extra books, just for kicks. As her prize, Lila chose the zoo, which we’ll be visiting in the coming weeks. Mari chose the Georgia Aquarium, a veritable ocean of colorful, exotic fish and other water-loving creatures that live in some 8 million gallons of water in this Atlanta attraction the world’s largest aquarium. We visited a few weeks ago, before school started, and the girls and I had a blast fingering the starfish and anemone, watching the whale sharks stalk the waters above our heads, marveling at the playful, twirling Beluga Whales, hunting for neon pink fish and colorful frogs, and making fish faces at the alligators. Of course, I took my camera along; I not only wanted to document the fantastic time I spent with my girls, but the incredible colors and textures and beauty that can be found under the sea. Here, a few of my favorite shots (taken with my Nikon D50, with a Nikon DX 55-200 mm lens, which I’m slowly, but surely, learning how to use properly):

If you’re ever in the area, the Georgia Aquarium is a great day excursion for the kids. Admission is $35 for adults, $26 for kids ages 3 to 12, and $30.25 for seniors more if you want to add in extra exhibits and guided tours. For more information on the aquarium and its programming, click HERE.

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  1. oh wow. those are BEAUTIFUL shots. wow. it's so good to know your daughters had a wonderful time. God bless.

  2. Lynn from For Love or Funny

    I love the "WOW" expression of your girls as they looked into the aquarium window. Nature is beautiful, isn't it? I also love how you encouraged your girls to read 10 books this summer and they went above and beyond. It's wonderful to see kids rise to the occasion, and surpass it!

    Great mothering, Denene!!!

  3. You got some great shots! Glad the girls met the goal and had such a great time seeing the fish.

  4. Great pics. You can see your oldest daughter saying "Oooooo". I went snorkling years ago in the bahamas and was amazed by the beauty underwater to the point where I almost hyperventilated/drown trying to say "oooo".

  5. Huckleberry Arts

    Also agree beautiful shots and if I lived closer to the Aquarium I would be defiantly heading there sounds like a wonderful day!

  6. What a great idea. My dad used to reward our good report cards with books – only books. I thought it was lame then, but see it as brilliant now.

    Growing up in Baltimore, I'm aquarium obsessed! I adore these incredible places that allow us to see a representation of what is really the majority of the world!!

    Stopped by from SITS

  7. What a good challenge! Kids gain SO much by reading. Their writing skills improve, they travel to different worlds, their vocabulary increases, etc. I'm sure you already know this being the writer that you are…LOL! Sorry, didn't mean to insult :). I'm just glad to hear parents still doing this!

    The pictures at the aquarium are totally cool! The colors are so vivid and crisp. Lovin' it! What a place for kids!! 🙂

  8. Stephanie Faris

    Breathtaking pictures. I felt like I was there! What a nice treat. I live in Nashville and we have 2 aquariums, each a few hours away, each on the east side of the state. One is in the Smoky Mountains and one is in Chattanooga. I wish we had one here in Nashville but the closest we come to it is an Aquarium restaurant!

  9. found you at SITS – what a great way to celebrate reading and family time!

  10. What amazing pictures you got at the aquarium! 🙂 love them!

  11. Your page is so cute and so are your kids. I love the brown bookshelf. My daughter is 2 months but Ive already started getting her cute books for of beautiful brown faces.

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