Sunday, May 13, 2012

Belle Isle Aquarium: Behind the Scenes

This weekend I got a rare opportunity to play around in a 650 gallon fish tank in an aquarium that is over 100 year old!  What a treat!  I like old buildings and old stuff.  I like snooping around and going places that most people normally don't get to see.  When I travel, I enjoy off the beaten path kind of spots.  So, hanging out in a fish tank is just the place for me.

In case you did not read Thursday's post about 715 Pillows decorating and empty tank, here is where you can check out the back story.  Late Friday afternoon, pretty much immediately after my husband returned home from Seattle, I packed the family up to pick out my fish tank at the Belle Isle Aquarium.  There were fish, turtles, an eel, a few volunteers, and the Pewabic Pottery folks hanging around the old aquarium.  I just love the green tiled ceiling.  You really do feel like you are underwater.  A volunteer showed me my choices of empty tanks and I chose a medium sized tank that had fake coral ledges.  My thought was that it might make it easier to stack pillows.  We walked through a narrow corridor, behind the tanks to get to my tank.  I climbed down into the tank, got a feel for how much space I had, and arranged a few of bins I brought.  I also let the girls get in so they could imagine they were fishes.  Unfortunately, as we were walking out I found out that the aquarium was not going to be open on Mother's Day due to unforeseen circumstances.  However, the Grand Prix is still a go!
Me in a fish tank!

Mimi and Vi decided to take the plunge!

Very fun evening!
I had a very bizarre dream Friday night.  I went to the aquarium to set up my tank and guess what?  My tank was set up like a tidal pool and filled with critters such as lobsters and crabs.  I was told I need to share the tank with the animals.  Yikes!

Saturday morning we loaded the car with lighting, a chair, and pillows.  We were ready to go.  But, we were bringing someone else with us, my friend's son who is a four year old fish enthusiast.  On the car ride to Belle Isle, my husband and I chuckled as we listened to a three year old, four year old, and five year old bond over poop jokes.  It was very entertaining.  When we arrived at the tank, we unloaded and started to get an idea of what we needed to do.  First, we had to lower the kids into the tank and then I got to work

Putting my husband and three little kids to work!

All the kids made it safely into the tank.

Kids out, time for me to work.  It was not easy.  Small space,
lights were shining down, no ventilation.  I was very warm. 

I'm a very funny looking fish.

See my lower extremities?  

Almost done...

...oops, I knocked over some pillows trying to get out.


Putting everything back in place.

My sign.

I am really happy with how the exhibit turned out.  The glass is cloudy but, it does look nice.  It is hard to take photos in the aquarium so hope you enjoy the gritty quality of the photography.  After we got our work done, we walked over to the conservatory to play.

The three musketeers ready to play.  

Conservatory - we actually saw a raccoon inside!

A fantastic outing!
It would be really nice if this little display resulted in a few sales.  But, as far as I am concerned, playing around in a 100 year old aquarium after hours was worth all the work.

No comments:

Post a Comment