Friday, March 29, 2013

Swimming with Dolphins!

The kids woke up this morning and the first thing they wanted, not totally unexpectedly, was to go to the indoor pool.  The boys are not doing so well in the art of compromise.  And were less than thrilled when we told them that we weren’t going to swim until AFTER the dolphins.  They don’t seem to get that they were getting what they want while Josh and I get what we want.  Something to keep working on I suppose.

View from our room on our first morning... not to shabby!

Liam and I hanging out on the balcony of our room

A daytime view of our car without hubcaps ;)

Regardless, we had a few hours to kill before leaving for the dolphin swim and so we decided to walk around St. Julian’s for a little bit.  Malta from what I can tell is very much a mix of modern and ancient – with a big shopping center next to what must be a centuries old building.  Also something to note that I only found out the night before we left – Malta has more people per square mile than Washington, DC.  That’s a lot of people on one tiny island and it shows.

I have no idea what the purpose of these slabs of concrete on metal spikes are supposed to be for, but they made great impromptu surfboards!

Cool building near our hotel - no idea what the purpose of it is, but I liked the way it looks...

Liam told us he was going to run across the beach and meet us on the other side - that lasted less than 2.3 seconds before he yelled that he had rocks in his crocs!

And I have to say, for what little bit I’ve seen, it’s also not the cleanest island.  Trash everywhere and when we went to a little inlet of rocks by the water, there was broken glass at every step (and I even found a few condoms, ew!!).  Not what I would call island paradise.  However, giving the benefit of the doubt as I’ve heard there are some stunningly beautiful parts to this island, I’m just going to guess they are not in St. Julian.

St. George's Bay

Aidan playing along the (scary, glass covered, rocks)

But he can make any setting look good ;)

Near a little inlet

My two handsome boys!

With my other handsome boy... 

Me taking a picture of Josh taking a picture ;)

While walking we also came across a guy for the hop-on, hop-off bus.  Given that there are so many places for us to see in just a few days plus not being really sure of what the parking situation is in many parts, this may be our ideal.  Since we couldn’t do it today and with Josh diving tomorrow, we’ve put this in for a possibility on Wednesday.  It will be easier with the kids than us having to find our way around the island and give us the chance to see a lot of things. 

But the big part of our day was Aidan and Josh getting to swim with dolphins.  Now, I’d looked on TripAdvisor before booking this excursion and I’m glad I did because I wasn’t let down.  As expected, the park itself was pretty run down and really had not much to offer beyond the dolphins.  We went to the dolphin show before the interaction that we had scheduled.  It wasn’t anything to write home about (and yet here I am, writing home) – I’ve seen much better shows.

However, you would have thought that Liam had never seen dolphins or a dolphin show before because he was absolutely in his element and so excited.  I also think that getting to see the dolphins beforehand got Aidan excited – I could tell he was a bit nervous about the idea beforehand.

Liam in awe of the dolphins

Look at her jump!

Josh and Aidan getting ready to swim

Josh and Aidan touching the dolphin

Look at that smile on Aidan's face

The dolphins were swimming all around them and when Josh and Aidan put their heads in the water, they said they could hear the dolphins "talking" under them.

Aidan hugging the dolphin

Aidan can barely control how cold he is here... what a trooper!

Josh hugging the dolphin

The only downside to today’s swim was the weather.  Now I know my friends back home won’t appreciate me complaining about temps in the early 60s, but add in 20 mph winds and not only did it not feel like 60, but of course, they had to get in the water too!!  Aidan was a total trooper and I think loved every moment of it. 

Ok, I normally don't buy the pictures these places take but I have to say, these all came out awesome, so we had to buy them!

So while the marine park wasn’t all that great, the swim with the dolphins was well worth the money.  Josh, I could tell, also loved it.  We kept this as our one big thing for today, keeping the day relatively low key and not overdoing it with the kids (we’ll do that on Wednesday!).  And in the end, the kids also got to swim in the hotel pool, putting a perfect end to the day!!


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