Sunday, January 30, 2011

52 Floors

Standing tall among the Dallas skyline at 720 feet, Fountain Place is a downtown landmark designed by award-winning and internationally acclaimed, I.M. Pei & Partners (I.M. Pei is the same man that designed the pyramid at the Louvre). 

Photo taken from

The building is the fifth-tallest in Dallas, the 15th-tallest in Texas, and also just so happens to be where I spent my Saturday morning.

I had mentioned in an earlier post that my cousin and I had decided to participate in the Big D Climb, a 52 floor stair climb up the steps of Fountain Place to raise money for blood cancer research.

I’m happy to say we didn’t chicken out. J

We had been given a start time of 11:19am but were told we might start early so when Saturday arrived we decided to get there a little ahead of time .

Sure enough, we ended up starting early and as luck would have it we actually ended around 11:19am.

"The Bad Astronauts" at the top of Fountain Place!

Our two person team back at the bottom of Fountain Place with certificates of completion in hand...WOOT!

We weren’t the fastest climbers as we took 3 short water breaks but we were still able to finish in about 30 minutes … 

The time to beat was a man who participated with an earlier start time and finished all 52 floors in six minutes flat!

Maybe next year, haha.

As a reward to ourselves, we decided to hit The Dallas World Aquarium after the climb.

The aquarium was pretty neat!

Our indoor adventure began on the upper level in the Orinoco-Secrets of the River rainforest exhibit. The exhibit showcased a mixed array of birds that flew freely throughout the exhibit, as well as many other animals ranging in size from small vampire bats and lizards to large manatees.

We got to see them up-close, but you can click here to watch the manatee cam!

We couldn’t manage to get a photo of him as he was too high up, but one of my favorite creatures they had was a two-toed sloth that was allowed to roam freely about the exhibit.

He was taking a nap when we came by but still very cute!

…If anyone questions the cuteness of sloths I think you need to take a look at this video: 

When we entered the Aquarium portion of The Dallas World Aquarium we saw marine species from around the world including many sharks and my favorite salamander of the sea, the Axolotl!

Photo taken from

Like most aquariums we had to exit through the gift shop, but never fear!

On top of being filled with aquarium goodies they had a viewing area for their penguin exhibit.

We found out as we were leaving that before The Dallas World Aquarium was opened to the public in 1992, it had been an abandoned warehouse that once belonged to the Mohawk Rubber Company and Pioneer Steel Rule and Die.

The warehouse was built in 1924 so it took lots of renovations before it was ready for its current flippered residents.

I think they did a pretty good job!

The next time I'm in Dallas I'd like to check out the Sixth Floor Museum, the Dallas Arboretum, a few of their art museums, and the Dallas Zoo but there was only so much I could see in a short trip.

Just the same, I hope it won't be too long until I visit Dallas again. :-)

Now what to do today...

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