Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 Florida Vacation - On to Orlando

After two plus days with Mama Dell and Papa Earl, it was time to move on. We had breakfast with them and one final photo.

Our first destination was the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to Winter, the star of the Dolphin Tale movies. We had enjoyed seeing the film that told the true story of an injured dolphin who washed ashore in Florida and was rescued by the folks at Clearwater, and eventually fitted with a prosthetic tale that saved her life. We looked forward to seeing Winter in real life.

The drive to Clearwater was to take no more than two hours, but we again encountered very heavy traffic and it added nearly an hour to the trip. It seemed even longer than that as Kai was constantly obsessing over the predicted rainstorm. In his mind, a tornado was sure to come despite our telling him (over and over) that it was just a regular rainstorm.

When we got to the aquarium, the parking lot was full so we had to park at an auxiliary lot a couple miles away. We went to the first building that told the story of the movie and had props to help bring it to life.

After a quick lunch, we went to board the trolley that would take us to the aquarium. We went outside and found a line extending down the block. It took about a half hour to get on a trolley.

Once at the aquarium, we found an area that was a viewing area for Winter. The stands were crowded so we figured that there would be some type of show. After several minutes of waiting, I asked a worker if there was going to be a show and she indicated that a naturalist would come out and speak. After several more minutes of waiting, I asked another worker who indicated that there was no show; this was just a place to sit and watch dolphins. Which would have been fine except there were no dolphins swimming around and there was no sign of Winter.

We quickly went through the rest of the aquarium and got in the line to take the trolley back to where we parked the car.

We then got on the road and headed to Orlando. We had tickets for a 6PM show of Blue Man Group and I was stressing out that we would not make it. Between all the bad traffic earlier and the extra time catching the trolleys back and forth and waiting in lines, we weren't going to have much time to spare.

Traffic to Orlando was very heavy, which did not do much for my stress. I was preparing Kai that we might not make it in time for the start of the show, but that we would still get to see most of it. I was relieved when we pulled into the hotel shortly before 6:00, and we were able to hustle over to the Blue Man Group with a minute or two to spare.

The show was terrific! All I really knew about the show was that there would be guys with blue heads playing percussion, but it was really a lot more than that. The music was great and the show was very funny and entertaining. Kai loved it, too.

Afterward we had a good dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.

After a stressful day, we had enjoyed a fun evening and we were looking forward to three good days at Universal Orlando.


  1. Everything seems to be going smoothly, minus the long waits and heavy traffic :) Believe me, those two things really stress me out too.

    I really loved the Blue Man Group also.

    Kai is going to have a great time these next two days as well. I'll be looking forward to pictures from there.

    1. Blue Man Group exceeded expectations. I would recommend it for all families.


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