Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Vacay 2011 Part One

Another summer has come to an end. Labor day weekend is upon us and soon school begins. As I write this I am in Clearwater Beach, Florida on my annual vacation with my son and mom. This vacation is one to write about and one for the memory books.

Our journey began on Amtrak from NYC to Tampa. Oh wait, we actually never made it to Tampa because of an earthquake that happened in Virginia so our train, 3 hours delayed, deployed us in Orlando. Amtrak was kind enough to bus us from Orlando to Tampa where my rental car was awaiting us. A 24 hour journey that took about 32 hours and one to never be repeated again. A sigh of relief once we are in the rental on our 45 minute car ride to the hotel. Hurricane Irene must still have had some wind in her because I had to drive through some rain that actually scared the jahibbies (I am not sure that is a word) out of me. I could barely see with the windsheild wipers going a thousand miles a minute. Just like typical Florida weather, soon the sun appears through the clouds, another great relief for me to see.

Each and everyday we went out somewhere, had some pool time, watched the sunset. I really was in a good mind frame to relax and enjoy my time. Here is one of the sunset pictures I took. I was so amazed by the beauty and warmth of the sun in the clouds.

The best time I had was when I took my son and mom to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This aquarium is none like no other. It is a Rescue, Rehab, Release aquarium and they currently have 2 wonderful dolphins in their facility. Panama is a 35-40 yr old female dolphin rescued about 12 years ago. She is beautiful and sweet. She is also deaf. It was amazing watching the trainers communicate with her and watching her interact with Winter.

Panama showing off how cute she is.
As I mentioned there is also Winter. Winter is younger than Panama and the star of a new movie that is hitting theatres this September. Winter is a dolphin who was rescued after she was found trapped in a crab trap and wrapped all up in the wires and rope. The whole movie was filmed at the aquarium and the trainers, volunteers and staff worked hard to prepare Winter for her acting debut. Wait, I forgot to mention what also makes Winter so special. She didn't have a tail fin and so she was fitted with a prosthetic and gets physical therapy everyday. I was so touched by the special relationship she has with her trainer/physical therapist. It was so sweet watching them interact and my strings were pulled in all directions. I am excited to see the movie when it hits the theatres and will continue to donate money to the aquarium. My son actually donated his own $5.00 to the donation box. Of course in good fashion, he spent more of my money on a Winter stuffed animal and notebook with pen. His logic was that it was all for Winter..How could I refuse?
Winter getting her prosthetic fin put on for her therapy.

Winter getting her treats for a great job!

Winter and Panama with their therapist.

What charitable organizations are you passionate about?

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