So apparently it’s illegal to swim with wild dolphins in the state of Florida. Instead of breaking the law with a dolphin boat tour, for our second day of adventures, we decided to do a boat tour that took you to Shell Island, and then allowed you to get close to dolphins without actually getting in the water. It was a day full of promise, and everyone was excited to see a not-typically-tourist-filled side of Florida!
We loaded up on the boat pretty early in the morning, and were lucky enough to get some of the last seats on the sides (rather than the middle of the boat). As soon as we set out, seagulls appeared out of nowhere and started flying around us, going crazy. People who worked on the boat then started walking up and down the isles with buckets full of Cheetos, which we could use to feed the seagulls. They’d fly by and take them right out of your hand, and they’d also swoop down and catch them in their mouths when you threw them in the air. It was definitely an entertaining sight.
After catching a couple glimpses of a dolphin in the water , we made it to Shell Island! I for some reason was stupid enough to say “I don’t want to swim!” before we even drove to the boat, so Shane and I didn’t bring our swim suits. It was really hot when we first got off the boat, and the two of us were kind of miserable knowing that we wouldn’t be able to cool off in the beautiful ocean. However, once we got down to the shore and sat down, the breeze from the ocean cooled us down enough that we weren’t dying, and we had fun talking and laughing together for the hour we were on the beach.
The rest of the boat ride consisted of searching for dolphins. We caught glimpses of a few of them, and laughed at the cute animals teasing people on pontoons and wave runners. My family and I left our seats (we got stuck in the middle row after we got off the island) to stand at the front of the boat. We felt wind in our face as the boat drove across the water and got front-row seats to the “dolphin show”. It was a fun experience!
After we got off the boat, we drove into Panama City to go to Golden Coral for lunch! We chowed down and ate enough to make up for the price! Man oh man, I love rolls with honey spread.
After stuffing our faces, we swam a bit back at the beach by our house. I very much wish my eyes weren’t so sensitive to salt water, but it was fun watching Brenna and Shane laughing joyfully as they dove into each passing wave.
Later in the day, we drove through traffic to Pier Park, a cute little outdoor mall in Panama City Beach! We walked around and looked in cute souvenir stores, and Shane and I even shared a delicious cotton candy Italian Ice. We also ate some burgers (grilled cheese for me) and fries at Five Guys before walking around a little bit more, us kids catching Pokémon and taking advantage of the extreme amounts of Pokestops at Pier Park.
Day two was full of adventure, and our last day in Panama City Beach was looking to be fun and awesome as well!