Wednesday, October 15, 2014


When we were planning our vacation, we gave Isaac the choice of Legoland or Aquatica, a water park across from Sea World. He debated for a long time and finally decided on Legoland.

We went the day after we hit up Sea World.
I must say I was disappointed. I like legos and all, but there just wasn't enough to keep us busy. It wasn't crowded at least.

It's an an old Cypress Gardens. It was hot and there was not a lot of shade.

Isaac rode the double decker ferris wheel. Together, we rode the roller coaster and he rode another ride by himself. The whole family went on a water ride where we got totally soaked. He spent more time playing on the playground, haha.

We enjoyed the cities made from legos. He recognized Las Vegas and there was NYC, San Francisco, Seattle and Cape Canaveral.

 We had a free child's admission so I'm glad about that. I don't feel it was worth the money. Sad to say, we only spent about 2 1/2 hours there.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sea World!

Our hotel was right across the street from Sea World! We could see the Manta roller coaster and Atlantis, the water ride from our window!
It was a beautiful hotel and our room was huge! Isaac was excited to sleep on the pull out bed from the couch!

We had a microwave and a mini fridge also!

Tuesday morning, we got up bright and early to head to Sea World. Apparently on certain days, they open to hotel guests an hour early. We thought let's take advantage of fewer crowds and go! So, we ate breakfast and went to wait for the bus to take us over there!

Sadly, only 2 rides were open and none of the animal exhibits were open that early! We were bummed that we got up so early just for nothing to do there! One ride that was open was the Manta roller coaster. No thanks!

The Antartica ride was open though, so we went on there. It was freezing cold! We've never seen people in Florida wear snow pants, hats, mittens and winter coats before! it was a cool ride-followed a baby penguin and then it ended at the penguin exhibit! The air temp was 32*, so nice and chilly in our shorts!

Eventually, we were able to talk Isaac into going on the Atlantis, which is (we thought!) a water flume ride. Well, it is but it's also a roller coaster too! He was not happy with us afterwards.

We went to the dolphin/bird show. It was pretty cool to see the dolphins interact with their trainers! There were also live birds flying around. There were divers that dived off these high platforms and people suspended on ropes doing acrobatic stuff.

This is where the divers were

Isaac was in love with this show! It was pretty cool. I had the feeling I'd seen it somewhere, but couldn't place it. It was our first trip to Sea World. He had no interest in seeing the whales or manatees. Boo. I would have loved to show him the manatees, as they are one of my favorite creatures!

When we decided to go to Sea World, we discovered they have a behind the scenes type dolphin tour. it was so well worth the money to get Isaac up close and personal with a dolphin again!
We met at the dolphin nursery, which is where the mama's and babies live. It was neat to see the babies and how they mimic their moms!

Isaac with the guide for the dolphin tour

Our guide pulled Isaac out of our group and was having him answer questions and be an example. He was over the moon! He was the youngest in the group, but I bet he knew a lot more than some of us!

Mark and Isaac "free fed" the dolphins. This is when they throw fish into the pool and it's every dolphin for him/herself. This teaches the babies how to eat and get food. (I took pictures!)
Afterwards, we went over to the Discovery pool, where they allow visitors to feed/touch dolphins. We were the first ones up!

We were paired up with a trainer and a dolphin. Our dolphin was Scott. We were allowed to touch him and learned a few hand signals to have him show us what he knows. Isaac LOVED it. And he's right-dolphins do feel like a rubber tire.

After our dolphin adventure, we wandered around and had some lunch. We went back on the penguin ride once it started raining. that made it even colder!

Afterwards, we rode the bus back to the hotel and Isaac hit up the pool. We went to bed early--we were tired after such an awesome day!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Our first full day in Florida, we spent time at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.This is the home of Winter, the dolphin with a prosthetic tale.
The houseboat from the movie "Dolphin Tale"

If you know Isaac, you know he absolutely adores dolphins. He was the first to recognize the houseboat when we got to the aquarium.
We got there right at opening and it was getting crowded already! We wandered around, looking at all the animals, including leatherback turtles, river otters, the pelicans that played Rufus in the movies.

Then we found Winter and Hope's pools. They don't share a pool, but do stay next to each other. Hope came to the aquarium after being found stranded, I believe. Winter had lost her other pool mate, Panama due to respiratory disease. Her son, Nicholas, is still at the aquarium. We were able to watch Nicholas show off his skills in the rooftop pool (pictures below). Isaac insisted on sitting in the front row so he and Mark got soaked! I wasn't able to get any good shots of him, though.

Winter! It was hard to get good photos as they have the bars, and you are about 2 feet back from the bars.

This was amazing for Isaac. He is so excited to see "Dolphin Tale 2" when it opens this week. It was awesome to see how in awe he was to finally see Winter and then Hope as we explored the aquarium.

The aquarium was the former water treatment plant before it was turned into the aquarium.

After the aquaruium, we headed to my aunt and uncle's. Then we headed to their son's home for a bbq. We had burgers, Iowa sweet corn that we brought down and ice cream with my grandma's homemade fudge sauce. It was great to see my cousin's again. Isaac was able to see their horses as well and he seemed to enjoy it! He also loved on their dog, Pepper!