On our family trip to Florida, we didn't plan on stopping by Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
We were right there, one day, but so was everyone else within a 100 mile radius,
and we just weren't sure it was worth the cost.
Cue up Minnesota's first snowstorm of the season and several canceled flights,
and we found ourselves with an extra (beautiful!) day,
and much less crowd to deal with on a Monday morning!
Clearwater Marine Aquarium!
Right when you walk through the doors with your tickets...
They ask you to stand against the green screen in a wide variety of poses...
You know what's coming next...
You are supposed to buy the CD with the images on it.
I snapped this on the tv monitor before being yelled at by a not-so-friendly associate.
Apparently, you can't take pictures of the screen.
After that, I wasn't interested in the disc of memories! HA!
There were some pretty cool animals at the (very tiny, for what we had been expecting) aquarium.
Including this sea turtle with a hump back shell.
He was hit by a boat propeller, and the hump prevents him from NOT floating!
Of course, the star of the show - who EVERYONE goes to see...
Is little Winter herself!
It's pretty amazing, that a dolphin can have a prosthetic tail!
And I've always thought this would be an incredible job to have!
We don't get much exposure to this sort of thing, up here in the Frozen Tundra though!
My hubs got these GREAT pictures of Winter and Hope -
I couldn't see over the people...
It was an amazing last day of vacation, enjoying the sun and the warmth, especially knowing what they were dealing with back home in Minnesota!
They were pretty much done with pics...but obliged their Mama all the same.
Shoot, it's not every day you are on a movie set, now is it?
Yes, it was worth the stop, for us, this time.
They are hoping to build a new facility, so perhaps we'll go back then.
I wonder if Nicholas the Dolphin will still be as nosy?
One of the associates told us to hold a piece of paper up to the glass and watch what happened - sure enough - Nicholas couldn't contain himself and scurried right over to see what we had.
It was a long, action packed day.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium....Tampa to Atlanta to Chicago to MSP by way of canceled and rebooked flights here and there.
Our travlerers were weary, but we can't wait to hit our next adventure!