MIA Cont.

So, I got home from vaca with a nasty cold. What better way to get back into the usual grind…but atleast that explains why I was too fatigued to even type about my vacation.

So, the first day was a bummer due to the weather. The next morning we woke up early to grab some coffee and head to the Miami Seaquarium. After spending $40 on a taxi just to get there, we realized how many people were waiting with little sheets just like ours. For some reason we had it in our heads that the dolphin experience would be intimate…perhaps bcause we each paid $215 dollars. But as we walked inside the Seaquarium and walked to “Dolphin Harbor” to check in, there were 20 other people. Literally. I was slightly annoyed. And slightly may be an understatement. We all rushed in front of one another to get on our wetsuits (which are NOT flattering might I add) and little swim shoes.

The pools where the dolphins lived in were actually quite large. There were 4 dolphins per pool, and us humans were divided into two large groups. Each large group was broken down into 3 people. So, it was 3 people per dolphin. We walked out into the pool on a cement platform. The water wasn’t too cold, and it was salty, as I figured. The dolphins were just swimming in circles until the trainers called them over. We got to touch the dolphin on the back and then pet its tummy. They were very elegent and yet much larger than I had imagined. You could tell how powerful they are. We took our pictures first, mine all turned out disgusting since they made everyone take all hair pins and rubberbands out. Awesome.

Once the photos were done, we put on some masks and watched from below the water. The pull from the water made it pretty difficult to stay underneath the water and I never really saw much of the dolphins because they moved so quickly in the dark water. Plus I was squinting from the salt water that had seaped into my eyes. We gave the dolphins a “fin shake” and let them do some jumps in front of us so we got splashed. My favorite moment was giving the dolphin a kiss, leaving a salty taste on my lips, but it was well worth it. And then the moment we had all waited for…

I reached my left hand into the deep water and waited for the dolphin to swim up and quickly grabbed his dorsal fin with it. Then I reached around with my right arm and we were off. I rode on the back of the dolphin across the pool. Pictuers were being taken but all I could think about was how powerful the dolphin was and how his huge tail was knocking me in my legs. It didn’t hurt but it was an interesting experience. I am pretty envious of the dolphin trainers. The experience didn’t seem to last too long, but it was amazing. I’m still debating whether or not it was worth $215, but I’m glad I did it. There’s no place near Chicago where I can do that.

#3. Swim with a dolphin – DONE!

The rest of the Miami Seaquarium left me feeling depressed, however. The manatees were in a pool covered with fallen leaves and nothing else. It didn’t look like a habitat at all, just a shallow pool too cramped for 5 sea cows. The shark had only a circle to swim around, just concrete walls and a few fish. The other exhibits we the same way. I would not have paid $45 to go there without doing the dolphin experience. Not worth it!

Another $40 got us back to our hotel and we decided to lounge at the pool for th rest of the day. And that is pretty much how the rest of our vacation went. Another huge let down was the fact that in Miami you are not allowed to swim in any hotel pools after sunset. We learned this the second night after I had already jumped in…hey! other people were doing it. But a very friendly security guard told us that police officers come in and do checks and hand out $5000 fines to anyone swimming. He said last Memorial Day 19 people from their hotel alone got fined. Apparently, this is all due to a little boy drowning at a hotel in Miami while swimming at night. Very sad indeed, but there are never lifegurds even during the day. Parents – watch your children!

Luckily, he told us of a pool on the 5th floor in anothe tower of our hotel where we could swim. So, we did the next night. And I skinnydipped for all of 2 minutes. But, it counts. I was afraid all the people on their balconies could see me…though it was dark and I don’t think anyone was out there. I hope for their sake I’m right.

#16. Go skinny dipping – check!

Time to get ready for work…the last details coming up.

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3 Comments

  1. Tim says:

    Wow, there is nothing like that near me in England. I think I have to go to America (discovery cove in Florida or somewhere like that) to swim with dolphins.

    Like

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