When I was traveling around the country for media conferences in college, the very first thing I did upon arrival was find the aquarium, the zoo and the natural history museum, find how to get there via public transportation and go. I’ve been living in Atlanta for about a month now, and I haven’t done any of the above.
Why? I blame money, mostly. The Georgia Aquarium, which is supposedly beautiful and engaging, is also exquisitely expensive. So is the zoo. And the art and natural history museums. We were casually planning on taking a trip to the aquarium yesterday, but including parking fees and not including lunch, we were looking at $65 for the two of us. Ouch.
But they have frikkin’ whale sharks! As much as I sound like a 12 year old for saying this, I want to go so bad, but my wallet says, “We have to pay for this stuff now?”
I’m sure Atlantans, New Yorkers, San Franciscans are thinking to themselves right now, “Suck it up buddy. Who do you think you are that you shouldn’t have to pay?”
I’ll tell you who I am. I’m a native Marylander and honorary Washingtonian, and we don’t pay for our museums thank you very much.
You see, you can literally plan an entire day in DC for about 15 bucks, the cost of your metro ticket for the day as long as you bring a lunch (because the food on the Mall sucks). The National Zoo, the US Botanic Garden and the National Museum of Natural History are free. In fact, just about all of the educational entertainment in DC is free.
When I was living in that area, we would generally make a trip to one of the museums every couple weeks or so, and I would always find something new in the larger attractions like the Zoo or the NMHN. Now it seems like our trips will be just another budgeted expense. Hoo-rah.
But as much as I complain, I’m still looking forward to exploring the city’s museums in the next few weeks. I’ll make sure I post pics as soon as I get them.
Whale sharks, man. Whale sharks.