We decided to take pictures of our kids by the welcoming parrots they have out every morning. Ashton hated to see Miss S go, but was excited about what we had in store.
As we are rarely in Florida, I think the last time may have been our honeymoon, we decided to make the most of it and take a small detour. We headed to Clearwater to see Winter the dolphin. Ashton loves 'Winter's Tale' 1 & 2, the movies and wanted to see them for real.
Once we bought our tickets, there was a photographer that took your photo against a green screen for fun photos. We did them, and they came out spectacular.
I was surprised how up close and personal you could actually get. It was fascinating. There was lots of merchandising in the gift shop about the movie, obviously. But once out you were there where they train and work with all their rescues.
We saw Winter almost immediately. She was on her platform warming up, I suppose.
We also got to see Winter and Hope swim about beneath the pool.
We also got to see Hope do some tricks. I got Ashton smiling, but the one with the perfect tail flip, no smile. Figures!
We then made our way to the otters. They were so cute. I wish they were cuddly. We spoke to a intern who was very informative and told us lots about the two otters.
Then we went to see Mavis the turtle. She/he had another name, but played Mavis in the movie.
We then made our way to see Rufus the pelican. Ashton was thrilled. She loved him! I think he made quite an impression on her. She says it's because he's so funny.
We then toured the rest of the facility.
Ashton got to pet a stingray and got to pet a sea urchin and see lots of neat things.
It was awesome. I hated rushing through it, as we had a long drive ahead of us, but I'm glad we got to stop by and check it out. Also, Clearwater was beautiful. We definitely have to stop by this city again.
On the border of Georgia, we stopped by the hotel we stayed at during the beginning of our trip and picked up Ashton's pillowcase that she had left behind. I'm so glad they held onto it. She did well sleeping without it these past few nights, but I'm sure it would have stopped once the vacation was over. Ashton was over the moon to see it back.
We drove a long ways and stopped in Tennessee for the night. Ashton was tired but wanted to watch some cartoons while we settled in for the night. There were none this late, but Ashton was insistent. She asked to see this movie that was already in progress. I recognized it immediately and told her she didn't want to see it. She asked why. I told her it was 'Sleepy Hollow', a movie about the headless horseman. She then agreed I could turn the TV off.
It's still a long way home, I wish I could say I'm ready and miss it. But truly, I could have stayed in Florida a little while longer.