Friday, May 16, 2014

Miami Seaquarium

At the beginning of March my good friend, Whitney, asked if I wanted to go to the Miami Seaquarium with her and her girls.  They were having an amazing deal for Florida residents, where one regular ticket cost would pay for an annual pass as well.  I'm not one to turn down a new adventure, so Daxton and I jumped at the chance to explore a new park.  The morning we were to leave, Whitney's husband, Kirk, found out he didn't have to work so he joined us for our adventurous day.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous that it might feel like Daxton and I were tagging along on their family outing, but it turned out perfect!  Both Whitney and Kirk are two of the most easy and fun people I've ever met and made us feel so comfortable.  We had a blast!  Not to mention that Kirk was seriously hilarious to watch.  He had never been to Sea World or other aquarium parks and was literally squealing with joy as each of the trained animals performed different tricks.  I wish I would have gotten a video of him laughing hysterically at each of the shows!

The Miami Seaquarium reminded me of a much smaller Sea World.  There was a dolphin show and an orca whale show.  There were also several aquariums and exhibits to explore.  The location is stunning, right on the coast of Key Biscayne looking back at Miami.  
Just some of the fun dolphin tricks...
February and March were difficult with Daxton as his 2 year molars started to push through, so we was a bit of a "pill" for me.  At one point during the show, as he was fighting in my arms, Whitney offered to hold him to see if he would calm down.  I swear she's the baby whisperer, because within a few seconds he was sitting calmly in her lap watching the dolphins.  During a section of the show, the dolphins bounced numerous beach balls out into the crowds.  It was fun to watch people play "volleyball" with the dolphins and even more fun to watch Kirk rush to the front in hopes of hitting one of the beach balls.

After the dolphin show, we explored some of the enclosures.  I was super happy they had a few manatees to observe.  My dream is to swim with them in the wild, which is pretty common in Florida.  I remember doing my 4th grade animal report on them and they've been a favorite of mine ever since.  It's funny how they look like giant floating potatoes for the most part.

There was also a GORGEOUS peacock walking around the grounds.  I've seen several peacocks before, but never with their feathers out.  It was absolutely stunning!

There were several bird exhibits we explored as well, but what we loved most were all of the wild birds hanging out along the pathways.  The little guy below was sitting on a post and loved squawking at us.  Brooke and Daxton were a little apprehensive at first, but as soon as it started talking they both started giggling.  It was too cute!
Birdie stare down...

The kids loved the dolphin observation tank.  The dolphins were so playful and swam right next to the windows several times.  Plus they had built fun ledges and handle bars for the kids to play with. I could immediately tell how much Daxton misses aquariums.  We would go to an aquarium at least once a week while living in the bay area, but there really aren't any down here in south Florida.  I was so happy to find out about the Miami Seaquarium, so Dax and I can do some more fish watching.

We of course had to take a few pics by the giant shark's teeth!

While we were waiting for the orca show to start, Brook, Macy, and Daxton all enjoyed some yummy snacks.  Daxton is super obsessed with Brooke, who's almost 2 years older than him, and would give her snuggles and hugs periodically throughout the show.  She's such a good sport about it and doesn't get too annoyed with his affection.

My favorite part of the park was tucked away into the trees with a gorgeous wooden walkway circling the enclosures.  We were able to see several crocodile, turtles, and lizards along the way.
Daxton had a blast running along the wooden walkways.  We were pretty lucky because there were hardly any people there, so the kids could run around safely.  I loved watching all the sea turtles, since they're my favorite.  The park is also right up against the ocean,  so you could see the waves right on the other side of the perimeter fence.  It was such a stunning view.  I'm still in awe of the beauty of where we live!

Best surprise...
While I was running after Daxton, Whitney and Kirk stole my camera and took these precious gems below!  Just one of the many reasons why I love them!
It was such a fun day and I'm so glad we got an annual pass!  There will be many more adventures at the Miami Seaquarium in our future for sure!

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