This guest blog comes to us from a visitor and fan of CMA.

My family and I seem to stumble into some of our best vacations. It’s not that we aren’t planners, it’s just that chance and circumstance have often handed us some of our best memories. My visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, for instance, wasn’t actually a vacation at all. My 8-year-old son and I made the most of a break in our schedules and tagged along with my husband on a business trip to Florida. We did some of the usual tourist stuff, but we wanted to do something just a little off the beaten path as well.

Ethan's Visit to CMA

There, not very far off the path at all, was Clearwater Marine Aquarium. My son and I spent an unforgettable afternoon watching Winter and her friends slip gracefully through the water. We explored the touch tank, wished we could see baby dolphin Hope (she was still in quarantine at the time) and got a glimpse of the amazing work the staff and volunteers at CMA do every day. While we were there we heard something about a movie, but at the time neither of us paid much attention. We were too absorbed in the moment, enjoying the atmosphere of a working rescue, rehabilitation, research and education center. It’s a place that has, since 1972, unwaveringly gone about making a real difference—in the lives of marine animals and in our own lives as well.

So our non-vacation turned out to be one of the most memorable trips we’ve taken. What are some of your family’s best vacation memories? Have you ever had an unexpected “vacation moment”?

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