Wednesday, July 13, 2016

diving with whale sharks


We family road-tripped to the Georgia Aquarium this week to watch my dad and my brother, Jon, scuba dive in in the aquarium’s largest ocean tank. My brothers and my parents are all experienced divers. Jack and Jon come by their aquarium love naturally.



Watching the dive from the other side of the glass was especially wonderful for Jonathan, as this tank contains four of his favorite fish: Alice, Trixie, Taroko and Yushan. Those are the names of the Georgia Aquarium’s whale sharks. My dad has taught Jack and Jon how to identify them on sight.



The tank they dove in has sharks, manta rays, and grouper bigger than me. So we stood (a bit nervously) at the window with our tour guide until the divers exited the tank. Then we got to see several behind the scenes areas of the aquarium, including the fish nursery and the veterinarian surgical suite.

022 023 017 018 019 021 020 016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

a key adventure


I’m a bit of a bore when it comes to summer vacations. And by that I mean that we have taken the same trip to the beach every summer for the past six years. We stay in the same place, we eat at the same restaurants, we hit the same beach and we play at the same arcade. And after a few years, I am a pro at doing Destin. I know what time the parks open, where to find ice cream after midnight, why you should not cross the middle of the bay on a wave runner and that the purple flag means you will most likely be stung by a pea-sized jellyfish.

But having summer vacation down to the science only appeals to me, apparently, because this year Jackson staged a little rebellion. He’s picked up a new interest in marine biology lately and really wanted to vacation in a place with good snorkeling. So we drove a whole lot further south and visited the Florida Keys.

09 057 021 020 019 018 030 029 033 031

I learned a little something about jumping out of your comfort zone and trying something new. Snorkeling isn’t my favorite pastime, and I much prefer sandy beaches to coral reefs, but I went along with this vacation because it’s so stinking hard to say no to Jackson when he is passionate about something. In the end I found Key Largo to be completely charming and inspiring.

023 054 017 065052 013 014 049 051 053 050 047

As if the crystal blue water, pet pelicans and 500 places to rent a colorful paddleboard weren’t enough, it only took one manatee rising to the surface beneath the dock and my dangling feet to send me right over the edge into best-day-ever territory. I was a little freaked and a whole lot smitten with island life. (Manatee not pictured because, dude, they can really scoot).

Adventure pictures:

024 022 036 025 032 027 010 011 028 035 034 026 056 012 045 046 042 043 044 041 040 039 038 037 016 062 059 064 063 061 060 015 058 048