On August 2nd I turned 19. We rented a little white Ford and with Mapquest.com guiding our way Mom, Amy and I drove down to Key Largo. The trip cost about $20 in tolls alone. It's insane! They charge you to get on the roads, they charge to get off and they charge in the middle too! Also we discovered that there are only 3 people who work the toll booths. They just switch around.
We found our hotel (it was pink) and found Dolphins Plus. Then we sat around in eager anticipation for our scheduled time to arrive.
There were about 20 people in our group, and the first thing we got was a lecture on dolphins and their behaviors. Then they split us into smaller groups. Amy and I were with a man and his two sons who looked Jamacan but were really from London. We followed our trainer (he was cute!) over to the pen holding the dolphins we would be working with. Sarah and her daughter, Bella. Bella had a very pink belly and pink stripes running down her sides. We let the two boys go first and then it was our turn. Sliding into the salty water in our swimsuits and life vests we bobbed around until the trainer told us what to do. Sarah and sometimes Bella (she's still young and likes to goof around *g*) pushed Amy and I around, came up and let us pet them, and did many other things. I got a double dorsal fin ride. Sarah on my right and Bella on my left, one fin in each hand as they pulled me back to the dock. It was amazing! They jumped a pole we held and gave us kisses. I had such a blast. I left there with a brightly colored sarong and a small stuffed dolphin I named August. :)
Our drive home was a harrowing experience. A huge storm sprung up complete with rain, hail and lightning. We had to pull over to the side of the road twice simply because we couldn't see. I amused myself by sending out more e-mails and reading. I was half way done with the 6th book. And I still had 3 more days until we got home! We went again to Borders and I dashed inside. To my dismay, they did not have the 7th book. I looked it up on their computers and found some other locations. But they were all an hour drive away. The next morning, however, Mom told me to map out the route to the closest Borders and phone to make sure they had the 7th book. Elated, I did. So we took the hour drive to the bookstore and I got my 7th book. Did you know that Hops is a chain? I saw one right across the street from the Borders. We didn't have time to stop though. On the way back home again we stoped at the Borders in Clermont and I grabbed the 8th and 9th books. I got all the way to the 9th book before we made it back to Prescott.
Ahhh..what a fantastic trip. I loved hanging out in Florida with my Aunt and Uncle, and felt like a little kid when I was running around Disneyland. It was wonderful. Thanks again to Aunt Linda and Uncle Bob for letting us come visit. Dad, thank you so much for the dolphins and thanks to Mom for taking us.