For my birthday/anniversary of my father's death this year, Greg and I went to the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium in the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets mall in Auburn Hills. I'd never been to the mall before, and I had some birthday money to spend, so we spent some time wandering around the mall, too.
What mostly amused me about the mall is that it is divided into districts. Nine instead of twelve (or thirteen), but I still found it funny. We parked in District One. Lucky for us! Being not at all impressed with the offerings, I ended up not buying anything. The aquarium, though, was fun!
The price of entry is a tad steep, admittedly. But for a mere extra $3, you can get a quick behind the scenes tour, which makes the regular admission a little easier to swallow. And there are regular feeding times you can watch, which are fun and interesting. We sat in on the feeding of the rays. Turns out they are like the hoovers of the sea. But more graceful!
We also saw their rescued sea turtle who has weights Velcroed to his shell to help him dive. There is air trapped in his shell from a hit and run accident with a boat, making it impossible for him to survive long in the wild because he can't dive deep enough, even with the weights.
Right next to the aquarium is a Rainforest Cafe. I decided to have dinner there since Greg had never been to one. It was significantly less charming than I remembered from the one I went to at Disneyland in California. The tanks were small for the size of the fish and seemed crowded, and some of the fish looked less than healthy. Maybe it's because we had just come from an actual aquarium, but I also own an aquarium, and I know a little bit about water to fish ratios. The motors were also very loud, which was distracting.
I do have to say that the drinks were great. I could have knocked back those cocktails all night! The food was also pretty good. But the motors and the fish with the bum eye... Distracting.
So it was no Halloweekends at Cedar Point (done that a few times for my birthday), but it was still enjoyable and Greg and I hadn't been able to spend unstructured time together like that in a long time. And that was the real win.