When Traveling Gives You Lemons…

New England Aquarium Penguins

No penguins for you

As I write this, sitting on my couch, I’m supposed to be in Connecticut, reviewing a hotel in Greenwich.  But, due to the impending snowstorm (which, of course, is now only forecast to be a small snowstorm), our trip was cancelled by the hotel.  This February weather has certainly been frustrating.

But, the change in plans meant that we had a free long weekend – a rarity here.  So, yesterday, we decided to head into the city of Boston to have some fun with the kids.  After a vote, with my daughter choosing the Boston Museum of Science and my son choosing the New England Aquarium, we chose to go to the aquarium.  My son is obsessed with penguins and wanted to see his favorite animal.

Lunch at 5 North Square

Lunch at Gennaro’s 5 North Square

We first went to the North End for a delicious Italian lunch at Gennaro’s 5 North Square – one of my favorite spots.  We then drove to the aquarium, found a spot in the garage, and headed to the waterfront, to find…. a HUGE line.  In a tent.   With a carnival barker type staff member on a microphone recommending that guests buy combo tickets with the show over at the Imax theater since they could skip the line.  Or that you could purchase a membership and skip the line.  Oh, and did you know?  The giant ocean tank is under construction and and the penguins are on vacation in Quincy, MA.

We waited in line.  And waited.  And waited.  They even offered free hot chocolate and cookies.  We waited some more.  Then we realized that ALL.OF.THESE.PEOPLE would be hovering around the remaining exhibits at the aquarium.  It would be crowded and not fun.

So, we started negotiating with the little guy. “There are only a few penguins here,” we rationalized.  “Should we leave and do something else?” we begged.  My daughter got in on the act.  Finally, after the deal of a new DVD movie and a new Skylander, we left, 40 minutes in.  There was still at least 20 minutes of waiting – just to buy tickets.

We got back to the parking garage and paid to retrieve our car – $16 to wait in line.

My son got his movie and toy, and a promise to see the penguins when they return this summer.


  1. says

    So crazy! I’m curious which hotel in Greenwich you were headed to? Also, I highly recommend taking the not too long trip to Mystic Aquarium for the full Penguin experience!! I believe they have a new baby too!

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