Have you been to an aquarium lately? Grant, my 10-year-old
and I took a mini vacation together to see Winter,
the dolphin who lost her tail.
My sister recently moved to Clearwater which gave us the perfect excuse to
scoot down to see her and Winter, who we have wanted to visit for years.
If you have seen the movie Dolphin Tale, you know about Winter and the
loss of her tail due to getting tangled up in a crab trap.
Candace, Grant and I headed over to the aquarium, in the summer heat,
to learn more about Winter and the rehabilitation work they do there.
Even though it was stifling hot and crowded, we were able to see Winter
in the pool during one of her therapy sessions. She did not have her
prosthetic tail on. She only has it on for a short while, several times a day.
We encountered a large sea turtle who also had his back flippers amputated due to fishing line. My boys are avid fisherman and it is always a good reminder what happens to fishing line if we don’t put it in a bag and take it with us to dispose of. It may not seem like a big deal, but to a turtle who now cannot
swim well to feed itself, it is rough.
The facility is small and mainly does rehab, so don’t expect exotic fish
and a full day of activity. There are two locations that are included in
the price of admission. The first was the aquarium itself overlooking the
bay and the second was the movie sets and information on how they
made the movie, Dolphin Tale.
were filmed and now house many of the sets. We were greeted by a summer
intern who gave us a personal guided tour.
and how they had to use animatronic dolphins for some of the scenes.
I had never thought about that before! Although I think Grant was slightly
disappointed to learn about some of the information.
Children want to believe it was all real.
We took a boat ride back to the aquarium and finished our tour.
at Honeymoon Island State Park which we happened to visit the day before.
It was beautiful with breathtaking views and white sand. Did I mention
how hot it was? We did do a little bicycling on the nature trail until
my tire went flat. Then we walked along the beach.
Grant skipped seashells on the water and found a few interesting creatures.
We wanted to stay for sunset, which I hear is phenomenal. However,
we were attacked by the biggest monster mosquitoes I have ever seen.
When I say attacked, I mean blood running down my legs and screaming
for mercy! We ran and jumped into the car for safety.
Do you have plans to visit a state park? I hope so.
Just remember to pack bug spray and a tire pump.