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Kevin’s Anniversary Surprise – Swimming With Dolphins & More!

For Kevin and my anniversary, I surprised him with something he’s always dreamed of doing! Check out our experience swimming with dolphins and more in Florida!Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Florida Fun in The Sun

For the past couple of years at Christmas, Kevin has surprised me with some sweet, amazing, thoughtful trips. The first time to Savannah, Georgia, and the second time he surprised me with an incredible 15 day vacation to Scotland, London, and Paris. So this year, for our 12 year wedding anniversary, I decided it was time to surprise him.

For as long as I’ve known him, Kevin has always wanted to go swimming with dolphins. In fact, he wanted to go on our honeymoon, but it just wasn’t in our 20 and 23-year-old budgets.

The night before we got on the plane, I gave him this, just like the two he’s given me, detailing our itinerary for an unforgettable surprise anniversary weekend.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

I planned a weekend for us at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. Here we could swim with dolphins, snorkel with tropical fish, pet velvety rays, feed colorful exotic birds, and float in a lazy river surrounded by wildlife.

Discovery Cove was recently named best amusement park in the world by TripAdvisor for the second year in a row. The TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards are determined based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

As soon as we checked in, we were whisked to our private cabana overlooking the dolphin cove.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

We would relax here later in the afternoon watching the dolphins swim, jump, and play with hula hoops.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Our cabana was quiet, secluded, and came with everything we needed for a day of relaxation.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

The fridge was stocked with cold drinks, our cabana had plenty of towels and free equipment rentals for snorkeling, complimentary sunscreen, delicious snacks, and we even had our own private locker in the cabana. Did I mention all food inside the park is FREE?? The restaurant serves a freshly prepared breakfast and lunch, as well as unlimited snacks and drinks throughout the day.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Discovery Cove doesn’t officially open until 8am, but you can get to the park as early as 7:15am to check in, eat breakfast, and get settled before the water officially opens. After checking in you’ll also take a complimentary family photo that can be picked up for free when you leave the park!  We recommend getting there early to avoid the lines that can start to back up around 8 o’clock. After breakfast we went back to our cabana and had a surprise guest waiting for us!!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

This is Manny the anteater!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

We fed him avocados. It tickled when he ate out of our hands!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Isn’t he a cutie??

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

The Aviary

Our first stop as soon as it was open was the aviary. Here you can feed and interact with hundreds of colorful and tropical birds from all over the world. Here’s our tip: make the aviary your very first stop of the day, as the birds are always hungriest in the morning! They’ll fly right up to you and land on your arm, shoulder, or even right on your hand. However as the day goes on, the birds will get full and are less interested in people.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

How amazing are these colorful creatures??

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

There was a gorgeous peacock.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

This curious little guy landed right on my finger!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Just hanging out with a couple of new friends! ;)

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Underwater Adventure

Our next stop in the park was SeaVenture, a one-of-a-kind, under-the-sea experience!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

SeaVenture is an underwater walking tour made possible by the use of a dive helmet. You don’t even need to have SCUBA certification.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Your hair doesn’t even get wet! ;)

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

I have never done anything like this before, it was honestly like walking on the moon or being on another planet.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

It was the neatest experience being face-to-face with hundreds and hundreds of colorful, tropical fish!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Another awesome thing about SeaVenture? You can totally bring your own underwater camera (we did!), but if you don’t want to buy one just for the trip, they will give you a nice underwater camera for free (not just a disposable one) and then you only pay for prints. It’s free to use the camera, so might as well take it when they offer, and then you are not obligated to buy any prints. But just in case you happen to take an awesome one, the option is there if you want it. :)

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

So incredible!!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

We got to hold a velvety-soft yellow ray…

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

His name was Bolt. :)

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

And we came face-to-face with SHARKS!!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

They were behind glass. :)

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

They were just a snoozin’!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlandoWe even got to hold this cute little sea urchin.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Petting a Shark

After our SeaVenture adventure, we were whisked off to another once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

We got to pet a shark!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

A real, live shark!!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

The trainer did this thing where she tickled his belly…

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

And he squirted us with water!!!!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

Kevin got to feed him. He sucked it right up like a lightening-fast vacuum cleaner!!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

He felt completely the opposite of the rays. He was SO rough and felt just like sandpaper!!

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

After our shark encounter, it was time to head to the Grand Reef and snorkel with the cute little cownose rays.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

They were just happy as little clams swimming all over the place.

Swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. #travel #florida #orlando

And they were so soft!! Loved swimming with these little guys.

But the biggest surprise of the day was still to come. :)

Stay tuned for the next post!! :) xoxo

 

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36 Responses
  1. Joslyn

    I loved those pics. Over spring break me and a few of ours friends got to go there and I loved the dolphin experience. Happy anniversary!❤️😍

  2. Tricia Richner

    Glad to see you guys doing so many fun things – BK – before kids. Maybe you are planning on kids or maybe not. . .but it is so fun to do fun stuff BK – because things do change – after kids. Not necessarily in a bad way, but change. As long as you are conscious of this – all will be well. I was never gonna change, but I did, and it’s ALL OK. So happy to share in your journey. Ya’all seem like cool kids.

  3. Kim

    This looks amazing! Is this a special type of package that you can book or was this a sponsored trip? Looks like the perfect graduation present for my son!

  4. Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com

    This looks incredible. I’ve never had any interest in a sea adventure like this, but you’ve got me rethinking that…

  5. CarlaM

    Oh noooo…. It was like watching a great movie, lots of excitement, and suddenly… “to be continued”…. OH NOOOO!!! Ack!! Looking forward to seeing more more more of this wonderful trip! It looked fantastic!

  6. Rebecca

    I have many family members who vacation in the Orlando area and so I posted this to FB. Whenever I post your blog, I get the same photo of a chocolate sundae as the picture accompanying the post. Today, the caption referred to one of your London posts. I posted it anyway and then clicked on the link in FB and this blog cam up. This is a glitch you need to fix. It has been going on for some time. Thanks for the great article. Always enjoy your blog.

  7. Sara

    That sounds like a great surprise! I really hope I can find a guy as great as Kevin! You guys are so adorable!
    I love your nail colors! Where did you get them?!

  8. Jenny Flake

    Oh my goodness!! This might be my favorite trip of yours yet! So fun!! Love your glowing nail polish under the water…and love your top knot!

    xo

    Jenny

  9. Mary

    Amanda, how do you find out about all these cool places? You always take the best trips! Thanks for sharing them with us!! BTW…how do you stay so thin with all the great food and sweets you eat? I need to know your secret! Also…I LOVE the little Boston terrier icon that comes up on your blog site! So cute!

  10. Norma

    The pictures are amazing! So glad you were able to give him this surprise. Both of you are so sweet to continue to do things like this for each other.

  11. Karen

    I was fortunate that on my 40th birthday (11 years ago) I got to go and be trainer for the day at Discovery Cove! It was a chance of a lifetime! Isn’t that place amazing? It is so clean and well done that you truly feel like you are in a world of your own! The water that houses the dolphins is so freezing, though! Our guides MADE us all dunk up to our necks before we were allowed to swim holding their fins. I laughed because I used one of the underwater cameras they provided and the picture underwater showed everyone’s huge chill bumps! ha! I had the best time and even kept a diary of every single thing we did so I’d never forget it! It was my birthday and my niece who arranged the trip had a dolphin bring me a rubber bouy with “Happy 40th birthday, Karen” on it! It was so amazing!

  12. Holli

    I had no idea about this place! I’m already trying to plan a trip for my future husband and I to take down there! I hope you’ll provide some hotel details in the next post about the big surprise! :)

  13. Marsha

    Oh………..I was so getting into this blog when the part came “Stay tuned for the next post!! :) xoxo” – Aghhhhh! I’m one of those people that will absolutely go crazy until you post your next blog. It’s like someone that says they have something to tell you and then they don’t. Drives me crazy – but happy! Can’t wait to see your next adventure!

  14. Lucy

    What an awesome surprise!!! Kevin must have been thrilled!!! Hey Amanda … I’d go too if I looked as cute as you in that wet suit;-D. Please hurry and post the next part! I can hardly wait!!! Thanks as always for sharing . . . You always put a smile on my face;)

  15. Stewart

    Fun times! Looks like you had someone else taking most of the pictures – kinda nice to see both of you in a bunch of pictures!

  16. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    You had so many cool experiences I didn’t even know you could do a Discovery Cove. Looking forward seeing the rest.

  17. Jon

    It looks beautiful and I love water (Cancer-Astrology)! – though I am not sure if I would dear to swim with the dolphins… can’t wait for next part.

  18. Anele @ Success Along the Weigh

    Major wife points!! That looks like SO. MUCH. FUN!!! I’m definitely giving this is peep as a future trip because we’re feeling a vacation rut. Can’t wait for the cliffhanger! :-)

  19. Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

    Oh my goodness, so much fun! This is my kind of dive experience, with the sharks behind glass, haha.

  20. Tom @ Raise Your Garden

    Wow an anniversary surprise vacation! This number eight for us. I’d be a little worried about planning a trip without her permission. I’ve learned that after eight years. Those pics look amazing and I can’t wait to see what the surprise is going to be!

  21. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I loved all these pics!!! Happy Anniversary and what an awesome, amazing day! I want to go there after seeing your post!

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. Meet our Boston Terriers. Take a tour of our house. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.

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