Traveling sure makes life more fun.
Even parts of life that are normally pretty cool, like going to the movies, can be a lot more fun when you’ve traveled to the locations where movies were shot.
Not that I’m a big movie buff, and I am certainly not a star chaser, but when the movie Dolphin Tail hit the theaters, we certainly didn’t waste any time getting the kids packed up and driving to Denver to see it.
The movie really struck home with our kids, and both of us for that matter. It deals with the story of Winter the Dolphin.
Winter is an Atlantic Bottle Nose Dolphin that lost it’s tail when it was caught in the line on an abandoned lobster trap when it was a few months old.
Rescued by the good people at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida, the dolphin became the subject of an extensive program that lead the way in animal prosthetics. Dolphin got no tail? Just build one!
The movie tells the tale of the struggling animal rescue facility and the challenges that were faced in keeping winter healthy. But the end tells the true tail. The aquarium ends up with good financing and becomes all “Prettied Up.”
When we first visited the aquarium in 2010 and 2011, it was exactly as it is portrayed in the movie. In-fact, my son and I sat in the car while he slept for over an hour, then in the movie, a car pulls into the empty parking lot and parked in that very spot. Touching... I know. But the point is, that spot isn’t even a parking lot any more.
The entire facility has been transformed into a money sucking tourist trap! Beginning with the minute that you walk through the door, you get the “Tourist Photo” in front of the green screen!
My favorite, quaint, low key, working animal shelter has morphed into a mini Sea World. That’s not to say that they are not doing their same great work, because they are.
I know that this is a change for the better. There is all kinds of new technology available to the scientists, and the facility is infinitely more modern. They are able to reach out and educate many more children and adults, all while running a booming gift shop business.
Sometimes I hate change, but one thing in Clearwater that hadn’t changed was Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill!
One of my favorite places in the world to enjoy a Caribbean Beer and bit of nourishment from the sea, Frenchy’s is the type of place you think of when you close your eyes and think BEACH BAR!
With sand on the floor and open-air dining, Frenchy’s just screams “CHILL OUT!”
If you’re ever in the area, both attractions are worth your time.
If you’re not in the area, but you’re looking for some fun with the kids in somewhere without snow, this is worth a second thought!