Saturday, May 15, 2010

Discovery Cove

by Meghann on May 15, 2010

Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.

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Discovery Cove was worth the wait!

Swimming with dolphins. Snorkeling with sting rays. All you can drink beer. All you can eat food. Sun. Beach. Fun. It was everything I imagined plus more. Thank you Derek for a day I know I will never forget! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Discovery Cove is high class service all the way. From the moment we arrived we were personally greeted with smiles and as we made our way into the park we were directed every 5 feet by staff members pointing us into the right direction of where we needed to go and all the information we needed to know.

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Discovery Cove is all inclusive theme park. Everything from parking, drinks, food, sunscreen, lockers, etc. is included in your package. I actually felt like I was in at an all inclusive resort all day!

Before we could do anything else, we were handed out wet suite and snorkeling gear for the day.

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The snorkel doubled as a take home souvenir. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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All suited up and ready to swim!

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Don’t let that sun and crystal clear water fool ya – that water was COLD!

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Our dolphin interaction wasn’t scheduled until later in the afternoon, so we had all morning to experience the other attractions the park had to offer. We began our day with snorkeling the man made coral reef and swimming with the sting rays.

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There were so many fish! I think I saw more fish at the man made coral reef than I ever had snorkeling in the wild.

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Sunscreen is extremely important when spending the day in the sun!

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Right, Derek? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Around 10:30 snacks were brought out for the guests to enjoy.

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These snacks were kept out and plentifully stocked during the remainder of the day.

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I worked up quite an appetite snorkeling. A mini pretzel was just what I needed.

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With mustard. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The mini pretzel was delicious. I <3 soft pretzels! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Part of the fun of Discovery Cove is the option to relax on the beach as well as swim in it.

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We spent an hour or so watching other families partake in their dolphin interactions beachside. During that time I even saw one guy propose to his girlfriend with the help of the dolphin! The dolphin went to do a flip and came back with a booey that said ‘Will you marry me?’ on it. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone being proposed to before – it was such a cool thing to watch! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I could have sworn when we were checking in that the lady had mentioned charging beer and sodas to out guest pass, but Derek swore they were all included in the package. We walked by a bar to casually prove who was right and who was wrong and guess what? For once I was the one who was wrong this time!

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All beer was included in our package for the day. Yippee!!!

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I had a shock top before lunch and a couple of sips of Derek’s beers throughout the day.

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When lunch time came I was a little nervous on what exactly the food options would be. I was concerned it would be the typical theme park selections of hot dogs, fries, chicken tenders, etc.

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Yes, those options were available, but the selections expanded well beyond that! Overall there was a dozen lunch options to choose from and you had the option to mix and match what went on your plate.

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I asked for the grilled salmon with extra veggies and potatoes.

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The salmon was a little dry, but the veggies and potatoes were pretty tasty. The veggies were crisp and fresh. Yes, I could tell they had been cooked in a good amount of oil, but just enough to give them good flavor without crossing over that ‘too oily’ fine line. ๐Ÿ™‚

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For dessert I had gigantic strawberries.

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And a gigantic cupcake.

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Cupcakes are the best when you make sure to smear the icing on every nook and cranny.

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Birds need lunch too.

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Mmm… tasty

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Apparently my bird did not want a kiss?

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Here birdie, birdie, birdie

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The aviary led right into the lazy river.

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The lazy river and I became fast friends… mainly because their water was about 10 degrees warmer than the coral reef water. ๐Ÿ™‚

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That and the awesome waterfalls

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Before we knew it, it was dolphin time!!

We were given a specific time to meet at the Starfish cabana and were given a short safety lesson as well as some dolphin history. Our group was then split into 4 smaller groups of 6 people that were led to the beach to interact with two dolphins for 30 minutes.

Small world: I actually went to high school with one of the girls in my group! What are the odds?

Anyways, we met Liko first who was a 2 year old dolphin and is still currently in training. We were able to pet him and do some tricks with him like waving bye, dancing, spinning, etc.

I even got a kiss out of Liko!

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After Liko, Cindy came to interact with us. Cindy is a 34 year old dolphin who has been around since Sea World opened in the 70s! She’s been in a couple of movies including Jaws 3!

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We each took a swim with Cindy. I was basically instructed to grab a hold of her fin and flipper and to hold on!

It was AWESOME! I want to do it again and again. All I had to do was hold on and Cindy carried me through the water. She was speedy and it was over way to quickly, but still a moment to remember. ๐Ÿ™‚

The dolphin interaction came to an end with a big finale of dolphins jumping and dancing. It was a sight to see and the perfect way to end our day in the water.

After our swim we stopped at the bar so Derek could enjoy one last beer before we hit the road (I was driving) and I munched on an orange.

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We also split a small ice cream cup. I had two or three bites and Derek finished the rest.

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Danger. Danger.

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I guess someone forgot to sunscreen his legs? Hmmmm…

Discovery Cove was so much fun! If you ever have an opportunity to go, I say GO!!! We had a blast and would do it all again in a heart beat.

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I make the mask and snorkel look work, don’t I? ๐Ÿ˜‰

My parents were in town this afternoon, so we met them, my sister, and Anthony at Seito for dinner.

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Maddie joined us as well.

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I’ve always wanted to order a bento box

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Miso Soup

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Bento Box with goyzas, sashimi, sushi, rice, and salad.

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I ate it all, minus the rice. Anyone else out there not a white rice fan? It has no flavor. I don’t get why people like it so much?!?!

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And with that it’s time to say good night. ๐Ÿ™‚

Good night!

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Waffle Buffet

May 15, 2010

This morning I was hard at work in the kitchen preparing a waffle buffet for Derek and I. I started with a batch of Buckwheat waffles I made with a 365 Brand Mix. An apple & pear mix that I had heated up with a little cinnamon for a couple of minutes in the microwave. more ยป

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