Winter Beach Retreat - Bucket List

I promise to not drag out the posts about our recent vacation too long. There will only be one or two more after this. BUT this is the BIG one...

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. After my first trip to SeaWorld, that changed to marine mammal handler. I have always loved the ocean and its wildlife, especially dolphins and whales. I used to want a Wyland-esque mural painted in my home and oogled the bronze statues in his galleries wherever I could find them. I don't quite know how to explain it, but I think any dolphin lover understands. There is something almost magical about them. I used to sit on the beach in Newport and watch the dorsal fins bisecting the waves up and down the beach for hours. Once, in between dives on a scuba boat where I was experiencing worse than normal sea sickness, a pod of spinner dolphins started playing in our wake and I immediately felt better just watching them. Glorious distraction.

Swimming with dolphins has been on my bucket list for-e-ver. So when we walked to Ocean World for our complimentary day of watching the marine life shows in Spanish and the Captain suggested that I do the dolphin swim, I was beyond ecstatic!

It started with an anxious wait and a really cold shower. Then we sat through a quick "where you can and cannot touch the dolphins" lecture and a long, round about walk to the tank where I met Chiquita and Cicero, two beautiful bottlenose dolphins. The Captain found a perch to take photos from while I had my first in-the-water dolphin experience. 

We clapped with them, danced with them, pet their backs and underbellies. We held onto their dorsals while the swam. They kissed us on the cheek and the lips! Those flirty dolphins. We fed them a fish after they swam it to us in their mouths.  They jumped over us from behind. Oh the tricks they can do. Thrilling!

I got to live out my fantasy of being a 'marine mammal handler' as they pushed me across the pool, each with one of my feet on their nose. It was truly a dream come true, as I am sure you can tell by my face. You can't fake that kind of pure joy!

Thanks hun, for helping me realize a dream! Oh, and my mom said to give you a hug from her for that,  too, so don't let me forget!


The White Silk Purse (Dana) said...

What a marvelous experience! You look radiant and joyful. You certainly picked a winner when you chose your spouse!! :)

Emily said...

The smile on your face is the best part of these pictures. And it totally erases any feelings of jealousy I may have been previously harboring.

Lindsay said...

Wow -- that looks like so much fun!