This adventure was planned months ago when I set up my trip to visit Nikki in Orlando over a long Labor Day weekend. At the time I planned it, I had no idea it would not only be a really cool thing to do, but it would also be a day of celebration. It happened to occur just one day after I found out that a recent CT scan showed that my chemo, the third chemo this time around, is working, is showing “substantial improvement” in the words of my oncologist.
The adventure at Discovery Cove was just for Nikki and I, and not our kids. Mostly because of costs, we decided that Discovery Cove would be a day for the adult women to have to themselves. It was glorious.
I was so focused on the time with the dolphins that I didn’t even pay attention to the other adventures that Discovery Cove would offer us. So I didn’t know that a wonderful breakfast was included. I didn’t know that a super lunch was included. I didn’t know that I could have wine for lunch if I wanted and a pina colada during the day for no extra money, if I wanted. I didn’t know that snorkeling was included. I didn’t know that a ride with a sort-of noodle (only different from a pool noodle) down a river was included. It was all included. We did it all, and we loved it.
The dolphin swim was definitely the highlight of the day, though. About 9 of us were in the pod with what ended up to be two dolphins. We first met Rose, a wonderful, beautiful dolphin who swam past us several times while we touched her and learned what dolphins feel like. The trainer said that the best description she heard of what dolphins feel like are olives and eggplant. They’re smooth and feel incredible. We were able to touch Rose on her side (past her head which basically means past her blow hole) and on her belly. We fed fish to Rose. We had pictures taken with Rose.
Nikki said that I had a smile that big on my face all day long. 🙂
It was a truly amazing experience, from start to finish.
Dolphins are amazing, wonderful, beautiful, fun creatures. We learned that they like structure, so when they swam by us we were to stand side-by-side in a straight line, as close to each other as we could get. We learned that they don’t like being petted on the head. We learned that they like humans and are, in general, very social animals. We watched three of them perform jumps in unison at the end of our time with the dolphins.
It was just . . . well, amazing is a word I’ve already used on this post, but it fits. It was amazing. I was amazed and my heart felt full all day. As I said on a Facebook update:
Judy is grabbing life by the dorsal fin and flipper and celebrating each day. Each and every day — what incredible gifts they are.
Incredible gifts, indeed. I feel very blessed.
Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.