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Clearwater Marine Aquarium

I am worried my words can’t do justice to the day we spent at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

After 2 years and 8 months working on this, on Monday May 5th, I woke-up and took this picture.  My girl slept like a rock the night before.  I thought the excitement would keep her awake but I guess the flight and shopping tired her.

I got us all dress in matching outfits. That’s a sight you will not see that often!

We rented a car and started driving from Orlando to Clearwater.

We saw this!

Eventually, this!

And finally these!


It was a gorgeous day in Clearwater.


We were VIP’s πŸ™‚


This is Emily looking at Winter.   She had tears in her eyes.

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Emily relates to Winter in a way that none of us can see or feel.

None of us!

Which is why I’m worried my words can’t express the magic we witnessed that day.

Since the very first movie preview…

Emily wanted to know more about Winter the dolphin that never gave up.

Winter who, against all odds, survived and now thrives.

Winter, the dolphin who inspires thousands to move forward.

We took a behind the scene tour… We learned about the history of the place, we saw the turtle intensive care unit, Emily asked questions and contributed to the tour.

When Emily heard Winter whistled, it was as if the whole world made sense.  She was so happy.  She had stars in her eyes.

I probably have a couple of hundreds of pictures of our day.  Picking the ones included in this post was challenging.


Here is Emily getting ready to meet Hope (Winter’s buddy) and finally, Emily listening to Mallory and playing with Hope.

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I cried while taking these pictures.

I can try to explain why I cried…

When Emily was diagnosed with cri du chat syndrome, we were told she would do nothing.

Never walk, talk, not recognized us, not show or even comprehend emotions.

When I saw her listen to Mallory and reach out to Hope I was slightly overwhelmed.

New parents assume their kids will do things and experience life.

After Emily’s diagnosis, all of our hopes and dreams were crushed.

All those new experiences, small or big, they are all big wins for us!

So, I cried.

Just a couple of tears really.

One tear for my baby girl who struggled with everything from drinking, to gaining weight, to sleeping…

One tear for my 24 year old self who cried so much.

One tear for all the doctor and therapy appointments who took over our lives.

One tear for our crushed dreams who are slowly coming true.

Thank you Becca for your help in making this dream come true.

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We saw Winter getting her tail put on.


Emily received the cutest USB key ever made.


Our visit continued at the museum.


And concluded with a Sea Life Safari tour.

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Thank you Sunshine Foundation of Canada and Thank you Clearwater Marine Aquarium


22 thoughts on “Clearwater Marine Aquarium

  1. Beautifully written. I too have special needs kids, and when they are born, you have all hopes for them. At some point those hopes are put on hold and therapy takes over. But thank goodness for therapy!

  2. Pingback: To lose a shoe! | Lessons from my daughter

  3. Reblogged this on Joe's blog and commented:
    Just thought of my previous blog entry about my birthday…. Pascale has done a great job of summarising the day her family spent at Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, FL

  4. Hi Pascale – I am enjoying reading your blog all the way from Australia… I stumbled upon it by chance while looking over some photos on a Facebook page. It looks as though you have brilliantly described Emily’s day at Clearwater Marine Aquarium – I was choking up as I read this!

  5. Hello! I was there when your daughter got to meet Hope! πŸ™‚ I was the girl who was meeting Winter a few minutes before your encounter. I took some photos of Emily and Hope, if you’d like, I would be happy to send you them! Just email me if you’d like them!(:

  6. Judging by the tears in my own eye after reading this . I would say you did a brilliant job of describing .

    As a mom I think I get it

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