Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Swimming with the Fish

Monday

First full day in Panama City.  Sharon had signed us up to go swimming with the Dolphins today.  We got to Gulf World Marine Park at about 9:30.



We then proceeded to see the shows Sea Lion,  Birds, Dolphin, and Sting Ray.




Slapped the ball with her tail

In between shows we visited most of the exhibits.  Just after noon we had a bite to eat and then watched the reptile show.  We walked over to where we were told to meet for Swimming with the Dolphins.  Megan met us there and took us to the class room.  We (Sharon and I were the only ones in the group) learned all the basics about the Dolphins and watched a video.  Then it was off to the locker room to get into our swimsuits.  Up to the pool area we went.  Its the same pool the Dolphin show was in.  We met our trainer and into the water we went.  Our Dolphin was Brenan, she is about 30 years old and is retired from the Navy in San Diego.  She also has a young baby.  But she was great, very well trained.  We got to pet and stroke her, you could tell she enjoyed it.  We learned how to get her to do some of her routines and jumps.  Also got to give her a big hug.  Then the real highlight was to be able to hold on to her dorsal fin and go for a ride.  Just like they did on the show FLIPPER, I used to love to watch that show.

She was very gentle

I think she liked me

Shaking hands with my sister

A great big hug

Splish Splash


We watched the last Dolphin show of the day and then left for the day.

High jumper


We decided to eat on the way home.  A quick check on my phone using the app YELP showed that we were close to Firefly which was highly recommended.  So we decided to give it a try.  The food was really good and we were in time for the Early Bird Special.

Started with a nice salad


Back to the condo to download pictures and update the blog.  Wow a busy day and its pretty late, more tomorrow.

Tuesday

The coffee I had at dinner last night kept me awake until 1am, but I did go right to sleep once I got into bed.  I started reading "The Help" and got about 4 pages read once I laid down.  I got up around 7:30 and had some breakfast and read some email and blogs.  Then Sharon got up and we finally left here around 11 to check out Panama City.  We stopped at the city marina and looked around a little.


Christmas decorations are already up


The it was off to find Los Rancheros for lunch we had a restaurant.com coupon.


The food was good, it was hot and there was plenty of it.  I forgot to take a picture until after I had a couple bites.

Burritos Mexicano

Chile Relleno
We decided we would go to the movies for the afternoon and decided to see J. Edgar.  We had some time to kill before showtime so went for a little walk on the beach.  We looked for shells but they were mostly all broken and small.


There is about a 3 foot drop off in the sand here.
The movie was over 2 hours long and it was almost 6:30 when we got out.
We decided to grab a sub for supper and so we tried FireHouse Subs

Firehouse Subs

We took the subs back to the condo and they were really good.

Time for a little reading and TV as the internet was out for a while, but now its back so I can get this updated.

Wednesday

We had a slow morning with not much planned today, so we walked over to the main building and talked to the concierge for about 45 minutes.  She was very helpful and pointed us in the right direction for the day.

Our Villa is in this building, there are 2 buildings 80 villas
We went over to the wreck building (they spell that way) for lunch.  Hot dog roast with the proceeds going to the children's miracle network

Our pool
We got a call shortly after lunch that there were a couple other people who wanted to go on the airboat ride and so they were going to go ahead and have the 1/2 hour ride.  So we jumped in the car and headed for the dock out near the airport.


Captain Richard (from Akron, NY) readies the airboat
 We rode along side the marsh grass instead of going through it as it is full of dried seeds that would fell the boat.
Marsh Grass

One of the Egrets we saw

Headed into the marsh
We made several stops and Captain Richard would talk about the marsh and what we were seeing.  We were in a rush as a nasty line of thunderstorms was moving into the area.  We had a few sprinkles but the wind and rain held off until later.

We then headed for a diving museum.  The Navy's diving school is near our condo and a lot of the equipment at the museum came from there.




This is almost 50 years old and was one of the first, they are getting a grant to restore it.

A very nice collection

Knot board with some fancy work on it

A deep water explorer
We headed for the beach road and Sharon did a little shopping.  Then it was off to Shane's for an early dinner.

Shane's
Great ribs

Can't eat like this all the time!
Great food and we had a coupon.  Then we headed back to the condo, stopping just to pick up some ice-cream for dessert.

Wow its Wednesday already so I will get this posted.

Thanks for Checking in.