Bucket List Accomplishment – Play with Dolphins

Thank you SeaWorld for providing our family with admission tickets!

I’d like to share a story with you that happened just over 10 years ago.  Jon surprised me for an anniversary (or, Christmas?) with a 5 day cruise with Princess Cruises.  I was completely shocked and blown away by the gesture.  Immediately, we figured out it would be SO.MUCH.FUN to invite lots of friends too.

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Most of the crew, we had about 13 in total

We invited some friends, then they invited some friends, and they invited some friends.  It was the best trip ever!  One thing I knew I had to do was go on an excursion to swim & play with dolphins.  Michele (in the white) was just as excited as I was to do this.  It was going to be the highlight of the trip.  About a month or so before we went on the trip, she shared some AMAZING news with us – she was pregnant!  This did drastically change our plans since she wouldn’t be able to swim with the dolphins, so I cancelled my excursion too.  I knew, though, I’d get to do it one day.

A few years later, Jon and I were heading to Costa Rica with another couple to get away and Jon and I talked about it and I was going to take that trip to play with the dolphins.  I was so excited to finally get to do this.  And then, a week before our trip happened, I found out I was pregnant and due to some potential complications – we didn’t go on the trip.  Dolphin play would be postponed again.

Last January – Jon decided to celebrate his graduation – we would go on a family trip to Carlsbad & San Diego.  We would go for a week, visit some theme parks, hit the beach, and hang out.  When I shared with friends that we would be visiting SeaWorld – one of them told me of a must-do if we wanted to get some quality time and play with dolphins. DOLPHINS!!!!  I didn’t ask how much it cost, but I told Jon we had to check it out.

As you walk into SeaWorld – after the bag check, but before the main entrance – there’s a section to the left that has lines for the attractions to sign up for.  We waited in line and as we approached the desk, I asked what options we had for the kids and us.  The woman talked about a private tour of the facility and then we asked if it was to play with dolphins :) . Jon was very much for having us all participate in the excursion (it was about 60 or so each).  I was so stoked!

playing with the dolphins - seaworld - dolphin excursion

Our appointment was for the end of the day – and it was really hard making it to that point.  Ryan wasn’t having a great day, the kids said they were tired of walking – but we managed to rally till our time.  We arrived by the dolphin exhibit as they were wrapping up a show and Aubrey thought it was the best thing ever to stand so close to where they were swimming and talking.

We lined up and were split into smaller groups.  Ryan stayed in the stroller most of the time (and was completely content with his cheerios).  We were with the dolphins for about 15-20 minutes and I loved every minute.  We fed them, watched tricks, got splashed, and a fun time all around.

playing with the dolphins - seaworld - dolphin excursion

playing with the dolphins - seaworld - dolphin excursion

playing with the dolphins - seaworld - dolphin excursion

At the end, Luke was asking the trainer about Echolocation and I think she was kind of stunned a 3 year old knew that word.  I give all the credit to Bubble Guppies – as they just had an episode that aired about dolphins.

I was so happy to cross this item off my bucket list.  Or, maybe just a half-line.  While it was fun to play with dolphins and feed them and see tricks,  I really want to swim with them when the kids are all older.  The SeaWorld photographer grabbed an awesome photo of all 5 of us and that was Aubrey & Luke’s souvenir. Although as we walked out, Aubrey asked for a Dolphin Sleep Friend.  Maybe one day, love.  For now, just the memories & the photo!

playing with the dolphins - seaworld - dolphin excursion

 

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