Thursday, May 17, 2012

Worth Every Mile

One thousand, seven hundred sixty! That’s how many miles we traveled to Clearwater, Fl and back last week. Thank you God for Your traveling mercies and a week to enjoy Your amazing creations. Our accommodations were very clean and comfortable. If you ever visit the Gulf Coast Beaches I would recommend Indianrocksbeachfla.com. However, if you prefer a more secluded beach I suggest researching the beaches further south. We explored the southern beaches and landed on Caspersen Beach. Just a few miles south of Venice this beach offers a more natural environment with palm trees and other vegetation gracing the landscape in lieu of the high rise hotels, condos and houses. Sweetness and Cutie Pie are enjoying the shade from this palm tree at Capsersen Beach.
Here is Sweetness wallering in SeaShells at Caspersen. Those of you, who know my daughter personally, understand that she is in shell heaven here!
There’s my Treasure Hunter scouring the beach for shark’s teeth; he found about two dozen!
On another day trip we visited Silver Springs Nature Theme Park. Treasure Hunter visited this park 30 years ago and was eager to share the experience with the kids. We boarded a glass bottom boat and took a ride along the natural spring fed waterway. The water is reported to be 99.8% pure. You could see 70 feet below the boat! The fish swim under the boat providing a beautiful show. I kept thinking of the “fountains of the deep” from the flood account in Genesis.
We saw about 30 alligators, including a white alligator.
There were birds galore!
And my favorite was this big huge Teddy Bear!
The highlight of our trip was the visit to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter the dolphin. If you have not viewed the movie Dolphin Tale, starring Winter, you should buy or rent it today! It is the best movie I have seen in a long time. We watched Dolphin Tale last fall. We were so in love with Winter we decided to go visit her, and Rufus : )
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a former water treatment facility transformed into a hospital & rehabilitation center for marine animals. Their goal is to heal, rehabilitate, and release the animals they rescue. Release is not always possible, so the animals live there. Winter was rescued as a baby. Her tail was tangled in a crab trap and due to infection had to be amputated. The lack of a tail resulted in an irregular swim pattern that began damaging her spine. A prosthesis tail was fashioned to enable Winter to swim more naturally! Here we are holding one of Winter’s tails that she has outgrown.
Sweetness asked if it would be possible for her to “swim” with the dolphins. I told her I really didn’t think so. Out of curiosity I researched the programs available at seewinter.com and there were tickets available for Wade with the Dolphins. Can you imagine how surprised they were? Here are some of my favorite snapshots of the experience! It was worth every mile! Panama gets a tummy rub!
Cutie Pie feeds Panama a fish!
Sweetness gets a turn!
Up she goes!
SPLASH!
Ahhhhhh!
Goodbye KISS : ) This one's for you Grandpa B!
So thankful to be home safely and must give thanks to the Lord for this fabulous trip.

1 comment:

InChristAloneMom said...

Hokey Pete, what a trip!! I love the dolphins! And you, my friend, look fantab!