Friday, June 29, 2012

swimming with dolphins!

We took a bus to Sea Life Park to swim with dolphins!

The kids and I were way excited about it, but, inexplicably, Marc just wanted to watch and take pictures. I wasn't about to pass up this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

(The look on Eva's face is a good predictor of the way she handled the experience.)
First up was Eva's dolphin encounter. Kids her age have to be with an adult, and I was nominated to go with her. As excited as she was to interact with a dolphin, the reality proved to be much more frightening than she expected.

The water was cold, the dolphin, Mikioi, was really close, and pretty large. There were many reasons (in her mind) for her to be stressed. She cried through much of it. The trainer was very understanding and didn't push her to do anything that made her uncomfortable. She touched the dolphin, but did not want to give him a kiss.

By the end, I was able to talk her into dancing with the dolphin, as I was afraid she would have regrets if she did not. Now, she only remembers the positive parts of the experience, and tells everyone she danced with a dolphin! Whew.
After witnessing all of her upset, the Aussies next to us were thrilled for her success as well.
We had some time before our next dolphin encounter, so we caught the sea lion show. This one painted with a paintbrush in her mouth.
And this one danced.

They were just all-around pretty adorable.

The boys and I went off for our turn with the dolphins. I enjoyed it much more without having to hold Eva! 
Max kissing Lupita.

Lucas's turn. We teased the boys about their first kisses being with a dolphin!
My dolphin ride! It was truly amazing to feel the power and energy of the dolphin as he pulled me along.
Lucas's turn
Max's turn
This is one adventure I am happy not to have missed!


Claire said...

I have always, ALWAYS, wanted to do this! I'm glad you're family enjoyed the experience.

Jill said...

Seriously why did Marc not do this?!! It's so cool that Bob and Mim provided this amazing opportunity for all of you.

The look on Eva's face in the first photo is hilariously perfect for so many situations in her life!!

Marie said...

How awesome is that? Swimming with dolphins is number one on my bucket list! I'm so glad Eva has some positive memories, I can imagine how that might be scary for a child.

Natasha said...

What an awesome, once in a lifetime experience! I wouldn't have wanted to miss it either!

There is a dolphin here that has bitten three people within a week and everyone is in an uproar and calling town meetings etc. I think it's so silly because the dolphin is WILD and they go into his water and stick their hand out, what do they expect?

I would love to experience a dolphin in a contained environment like this but would never reach out to one while on a boat in open water.

patsy said...

Oh my gosh-
I don't even know what to say... I'm speechless.
I am terrified of water but I think I would not have missed this either. What gReAt pictures here though!

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness, Phoebe would have been in heaven to do this! The girl is obsessed with the Dolphin Tale movie right now. I love that Eva overcame her fears, the pictures were awesome!

jenn said...

SO amazing! I want to do this someday. I'm glad you got a turn without Eva and not just a shared turn.

Anonymous said...

Wow this is so cool Michelle! I didn't know you did all this!

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