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Eyes of curiosity

August 15, 2011

After finally having a chance to sit down and reflect on the highlights of the trip so far (and being at a hotel that offers free wireless in our room), I am able to submit my first ever blog. Memories of all the great information on climate change we’ve been presented with and of the time and resources the wonderful educators we’ve met have so willingly shared with us are recorded as notes that will be surely incorporated into future programming.

But the moments that don’t need to be written down are recorded in my mind and heart forever. Staff from the Virginia Aquarium took us behind the scenes into the harbor seal exhibit and let us take turns petting a seal. The seal’s big brown eyes were so engaging. During my group’s turn we even got to see Norton, one of the seals, paint with a brush! My second most memorable moment came at the Baltimore Aquarium, when, in even smaller groups, we interacted with a bottlenose dolphin and a trainer. During my time with Spirit, I gave her signals, petted her and even got a hug! Pictures to come later. The dolphins never took their eyes off of us, always curious for our next move.

Sara and group with Beluga WhaleI knew even after those moments of excitement, I was most looking forward to our time in Mystic, which came today. I have never visited this facility before and was looking forward to it the most. The Aquarium is gorgeous, and their staff is also so welcoming. But the smiles that can’t be wiped off our faces come from our time in the Beluga encounters. To have a 1400 pound beluga whale press against your side for a kiss on the cheek is something that will never be forgotten, no notes necessary. Of course sitting where Julia Roberts once stepped foot (Mystic Pizza movie reference) is also exciting, but nowhere close to the seal, dolphin or beluga experiences. I sit here with a belly full of Mystic Pizza and have to remind myself that there are still more adventures to come.

Looking forward to visiting Boston and going whale watching!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jan DeBlieu permalink
    August 15, 2011 8:51 am

    Wow! And wow! I love the picture of Sara and Spirit, and I can only imagine how cool it was to have a beluga press up against your side.

    I’m so glad our hard-working educators are getting a chance to have this experience. Have fun, take lots of pictures, and be safe, Jan

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