Santa And The Dolphins

Santa At The Beach

What are the odds of meeting jolly Santa at the beach? I would say, rare and unlikely unless there’s a scheduled date that he’s coming to town. But destiny at times brings you a  merry surprise.

2 weeks ago, while strolling by the beach my son and I saw a familiar figure in red. He had a white beard and a huge, generous smile. It was Santa. It felt like an early Christmas in November. He waved at us as we hurried our way to where he was standing. Several women were laughing and giggling as they had their picture taken with sun tanned Santa.

My son was eyeing for the gifts that were on and around a red chair where Santa was sitting. Yes, there was a red cushioned chair by the beach as well. Strange but who cares, it was Santa with his presents and he’s bringing us an early Christmas cheer.

I asked my son to stay close to Santa so I can take their picture together. My son looking  shy decided to cling around my leg. Finally, I was able to convince him to pose with Santa by whispering, ” You can give him your Christmas wish list afterwards.” Santa tried to make him at ease by saying, “Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas, ” as he placed gently his hands around my son’s shoulder. My son smiled sweetly as I clicked the camera.

As we said goodbye to Santa, I asked my son,” what did you ask Santa? ” He answered excitedly, ” Toys, lots of toys! ” I proceeded to ask him more questions, ” and what else? ” My son added, ” Um, stuff for mom and dad. ” I asked further, ” and? ” He replied quickly, ” and visit a fun place dad. “

I told myself, ” Those wishes seem easy and achievable. I can do this. Santa will bring my son the 3 wishes he asked for.”

You might be asking, “who’s Santa?” Nope! He’s not the one from North Pole. Santa is the guy who goes to work each night , gives his son a kiss before he leaves, then go home the next day, early enough to bring his adorable angel to school. He’s the guy who secretly writes his son’s wishes in his heart and thoughts to make sure that they will come true. Does he wear a red suit? Nope! He wears scrubs of his choice. Does he have a sleigh with flying reindeers? Nope! He has a SUV that can carry lots and lots of toys.

One Wish List Granted: Fun At The Dolphin Cove

One of the happiest memories that me and my son had was our visit to the Dolphin Cove at Sea World during last year’s Thanksgiving. After that, we vowed to visit the fun place and relive its magic.

A week after we met Santa, one of my son’s Christmas wish came true. We both get to go back to the one place where time seems to freeze as we play with the gentle and friendly dolphins of the cove.

We lined up to buy dolphin food which were fresh little fishes. We initially got 2 small boxes but seeing how happy my son was, my wife bought 4 more boxes.

My son’s laughter of joy filled the air as he touched and feed the dolphins. I had to hold his legs to make sure he doesn’t fall into the water particularly that the platform he was on was wet and slippery.

A bottle nose dolphin was showing us his jumping skills. He was amazing. My son kept saying, ” Oh, my Gosh, dad! Oh, my gosh!” It was a beautiful and unforgettable moment for all of us.

Another dolphin didn’t want to be outdone. It also made a high jump then flipped back. We were held breathless as it splashed back into the blue waters. The dolphins were in a playful mood that morning and we were so lucky to have witnessed it all.

Two charming dolphins went toward us, letting us pet their smooth, rubber-like head and mouth. I swear they sounded like they were laughing with glee and excitement as we fed them. One of them was smiling irresistibly. I was tempted to dive in just like the little boy in the movie, “Flipper.” I bet my son was thinking the same thing because he kept moving towards the edge of the platform.

Just before we were told to exit, a dolphin swam to the shallow edge as if saying goodbye. He allowed us to stroke his sides and back. It was a magical moment happening all over again. I can’t believe that it can happen twice and way better than the first.

We went to our hotel wet and smelling like fish. My son and I didn’t really care. We were so happy that we can’t wipe off the constant smile on our faces. At that point, I had a glimpse of how I was as a boy when I’m at my happiest moment. I can’t help but feel gratitude in my heart that I had the chance to relive and remember my childhood. A childhood that I thought I long forgotten.

It’s the month of December, a time of treasured and joyous events. A time where families gather and give gifts that express their love and generosity. It’s a time to hope, dream, make new beginnings and to believe that good things can happen.

Wishing everyone the best of the holiday’s merriment. May this Christmas brings you and your family happy and timeless memories. May it bring forth healing and forgiveness that would mend a broken heart and relationships.

What is your Christmas wish list. If you are given a chance to relive a happy childhood memory, what would it be?

 

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in 31 Days Of Christmas, family, Inspiration, nature, photography, Post A Week 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Santa And The Dolphins

  1. xandreverkes says:

    Gorgeous story!!! I can only imagine the priceless joy that you bought your son!!!! I can only think that he’ll remember these events for the rest of his life!!!! :) **

  2. wish you and your family a very happy Christmas…. I wish my daughter were there, she just happened to see the pics while I read and she also went ….oooh! wow!
    Nice story

    • Wishing you and your family a happy and blessed Christmas too. I hope one day your daughter will experience being around the amazing dolphins. It’s a priceless moment. Best wishes and thank you.

  3. munchow says:

    I am really impressed by how you are always able to post great pictures and interesting stories. Once again. It’s really fun to look at your photographs because you have such a distinct style, your own way of expressing yourself visually. My favourite this time must be the second one, the absurd picture (at least for me living in snowy winters) of Santa on the beach among bathers. The colours are great, saturated and warm. At the same time the tones are almost a little faded or bleached as if it was an old photo. I like. And you son much have had a good time, too.

    • I enjoy capturing the moments. I wish I can do more justice to the actual event or to the beautiful nature that stands before me. I try to do my best. Thanks for the positive feedback. I always appreciate them and it’s always a learning experience reading your comment. Wishing you the best of the Holidays.

  4. Arindam says:

    Beautiful post. Wish you and your family a very happy Christmas. You are a wonderful father there is no doubt about that. As always great content with beautiful pictures. Great job. Enjoy this season of the year to fullest.

    • Thank you. I try my best. I do have my shortcomings. But as I said before life to short to miss this beautiful and rare moments with my son and wife. What happens tomorrow is beyond anyones control, so I try to make the most of todays events. Merry Christmas to you and your family too. Enjoy the magic of this season. Stay cool my friend.

  5. jeanne says:

    Thank you for always sharing your heart and soul. What a great moment to experience Santa on the Beach with your son. So unexpected, truly a forever memory! God Bless you and your sweet family. Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks you Jeanne. Beautiful words. Yes, meeting Santa was a pleasant surprise. I told my wife, “you just missed Santa by the beach!” She simply smiled back. I felt lucky that I saw Santa with my son at our favorite place….the beach!
      Merry Christmas and a bountiful New Year to you and your family.

  6. thirdhandart says:

    I’m always humbled by your ability to find gratitude and joy in spending time with your family. And, who wouldn’t want to spend a few hours with Santa and the dolphins. Great post, and wonderful photos! Thank you.

    • Thank you. I felt blessed to have encountered both events with my family within the same month. I haven’t seen Santa by the beach until that day. I try to live life as fun and happy as possible for my family. We do have a lot of problems and trials but I no longer let it consume us. Life’s too short, to precious to waste on negativity. God bless you and your family always.

  7. Fergiemoto says:

    Those are great memories for your family, Santa!

  8. Northern Narratives says:

    You are so blessed to have such a wonderful family filled with love and fun times together. Merry Christmas to you :)

  9. wolke205 says:

    This post is written with a lot of heart, beautiful as always :) Christmas, the whole Advent season is my fav time of the year. My best Christmas memory? I was 3 years old & I got a plush toy – a boxer dog. My mom were searching 6 months & finally found one, it was the last one, really expensive, but she knew I would love it. She was so right. I still have him, he has his own place in our bedroom :) Thank you for this post, Merry Christmas to you & your family :)

    • That is one lucky plush boxer dog. That was so thoughtful and loving of your mom to find you the toy that you like the most. It’s a beautiful Christmas childhood story. Thanks for sharing them. Merry Christmas to you and your family. May your New Year be blessed with all the wonderful things in life.

  10. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful post, and I love the photo of your son looking back at Santa, and Santa looking back at your son!

    • Thanks. It was funny cause it took him a while to decide if he wants a photo with Santa. He gets shy with adults at first. I’m glad he finally said yes. It was a rare and precious moment. Happy Holidays my friend.

  11. barb19 says:

    You write from the heart IT and your gratitude for life and nature and your family, springs out of every one of your beautiful posts. I so enjoy reading them – it’s like a glimpse into your actual life!
    Your son is very lucky to have a father like you, you are giving him a memorable childhood – and that’s the best present anyone could have!
    Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and may you have many blessings.

    • “You are giving him a memorable childhood – and that’s the best present anyone could have!” When I read this, I remembered how my parents tried to make Christmas special for me and my siblings. We were not rich materially but the love and support was overflowing. This made our Christmas always merry and bright like the song goes. Now it’s my turn to give the same for my son and wife. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Stay bless always.

  12. Barb says:

    This is so cool. There’s magic everywhere. You never know how you’ll delight other people by taking a little time out of a day and doing something for others. Especially something so unique.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • What a wonderful comment. Thank you. We can make simple events into magical ones if we allowed ourselves for it. All we need is a heart that dreams and believes no matter how old we are. Happy Holidays….

  13. MOL says:

    A tanned Santa walking on the beach! What a sight! It looks surreal.

    When our daughter was very young, she was so excited with the anticipation of receiving gifts. She would keep looking at the wrapped presents under the tree. But it was quite obvious that many times, it’s not what’s inside, really, that was important. The enjoyment was highest during the act of tearing the wrapping apart and opening the gift.

    • That was my thought at first. I guess there was a pictorial for the City’s paper or something. My son is like your daughter. He would ask me how many more days before Christmas…everyday! You are right, it’s the act of tearing the wrapper and the surprise of what’s in it that makes kids so exited. Christmas is about giving and sharing , of making memorable memories with our families. It should never be about material things that is superficial and fleeting. Thanks for sharing a beautiful Christmas story.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family. May you all be surrounded with love , peace and happiness.

  14. aRVee says:

    What an awesome experience. You made your son very happy again, and you as well. It’s at these times that we can forget about everything and just enjoy and savor the moment.

    Your son must have enjoyed this so much and you, how cool is it to relive your childhood days.

    Christmas is coming and I am wishing you and your family good health, happiness and more blessings to come. Happy holidays my friend! Stay blessed! :)

    • Thank you for the warm and wonderful thoughts. Love it! I wish for you and your family also a Merry and meaningful Christmas blessed with love, joy and inner peace. Take care my friend.

  15. jakesprinter says:

    Dreams ,Hopes and Love representing in this post for this yuletide seasons
    great post my friend :)

    • Thank you . True Christmas is in the heart. It’s in being with our families and enjoying their presence. It’s the dreams, hopes and love we share and give that makes it the ultimate amazing holiday of all. Best wishes to your family. Merry Christmas.

  16. As always wonderful pictures. I love reading your posts you always have such great insight and the way you see the world through your sons eyes is awesome.
    Love the dolphins and I too have always wanted to dive in with them, Flipper was one of my favorite shows as a kid.
    My favorite child hood memory to relive would be the big family get togethers we used to have every summer at my mamaw’s house. Great food, my uncles and cousins playing music and singing, kind of an old fashioned country ho-down ;)

    • Love anything that involves family get together. I’m old fashion too. I remember doing “karaoke” nights and “ball room” dancing with my sisters and cousins during Summer and holidays. So much great memories . Thank you for sharing a fun and beautiful family memories. Happy Holidays.

  17. Sony Fugaban says:

    “I wish you were my dad.” :-) That’s what I exclaimed after right reading this post, bro. I have loved dolphins since I learned about them in movies and school and this is another dream which isn’t fulfilled yet to your son, it’s as if Santa was born to be at this side — literally and figuratively. Well, my father may lack some of things I wanted to see from him nonetheless I am aware that it’s not fair for my father to be somewhat denied for his shortcomings. It’s just that you’re such an adorable parent that one will surely wants to put you in his pocket given the chance. I’m impressed at how you connected Santa to the dolphins and the same to your being a parent to your son — and husband to your wife, of course. It created another moving story, I must say.

    If I’d be given the chance to relieve a happy childhood memory, it would be that time where my father used to bring me with him on fishing (along the longest river in the country, Cagayan River). That’s not something recreational, by the way. We did it to bring some food on the table. I remember how happy I was to dig the mud to pull out some earthworms for my father’s fishing baits. And, of course, the time he thought me how to swim. Life was so peaceful and simple back then. It makes me want to hug my father now and I can’t wait for December 21st to come.

    p.s.

    I wont’ greet you yet, bro. I’m still around the corner anyway until I go home to the province for the Holiday Season.

    Send my regards to your little buddy and wife.

    • Thank you for another unforgettable comment that shows a lot of heart and thought. You have an amazing father who taught not just to fish but to how to live your life when you grow up. You made me remember my father who sounded like your dad when you said, “Life was so peaceful and simple back then.” My dad was simply too. He would bring me to the farm or the fishponds with my sisters and we would have the most amazing adventures. It has nothing to do with buying like today’s transient thrills. It’s having enjoying nature and each other’s company . I miss those times and I wish my son one day would experience nature and fun down to its basics. I envy you in a way, you get to hug and see your dad in person. As for me, skype is the closest I can get to see my dad. That is one hard price I payed for leaving our country. So you can probably can sense that this Christmas season is also a time for me to be homesick.
      Give my regards to your wonderful wife and son. Happy Holidays my friend. Live your dreams well…

  18. Sony Fugaban says:

    “I wish you were my dad.” :-) That’s what I exclaimed after right reading this post, bro. I have loved dolphins since I learned about them in movies and school and this is another dream which isn’t fulfilled yet to your son, it’s as if Santa was born to be by his side — literally and figuratively — that he can just have what he wishes for. Well, my father may lack some of things I wanted to see from him nonetheless I am aware that it’s not fair for my father to be somewhat denied for his shortcomings. It’s just that you’re such an adorable parent that one will surely wants to put you in his pocket given the chance. I’m impressed at how you connected Santa to the dolphins and the same to your being a parent to your son — and husband to your wife, of course. It created another moving story, I must say.

    If I’d be given the chance to relieve a happy childhood memory, it would be that time where my father used to bring me with him on fishing (along the longest river in the country, Cagayan River). That’s not something recreational, by the way. We did it to bring some food on the table. I remember how happy I was to dig the mud to pull out some earthworms for my father’s fishing baits. And, of course, the time he thought me how to swim. Life was so peaceful and simple back then. It makes me want to hug my father now and I can’t wait for December 21st to come.

    p.s.

    I wont’ greet you yet, bro. I’m still around the corner anyway until I go home to the province for the Holiday Season.

    Send my regards to your little buddy and wife.

    • Sony Fugaban says:

      “I wish you were my dad.” :-) That’s what I exclaimed right after reading this post, bro. I have loved dolphins since I learned about them in movies and school and this is another dream which isn’t fulfilled yet to your son, it’s as if Santa was born to be at this side — literally and figuratively. Well, my father may lack some of things I wanted to see from him nonetheless I am aware that it’s not fair for my father to be somewhat denied for his shortcomings. It’s just that you’re such an adorable parent that one will surely wants to put you in his pocket given the chance. I’m impressed at how you connected Santa to the dolphins and the same to your being a parent to your son — and husband to your wife, of course. It created another moving story, I must say.

      If I’d be given the chance to relieve a happy childhood memory, it would be that time where my father used to bring me with him on fishing (along the longest river in the country, Cagayan River). That’s not something recreational, by the way. We did it to bring some food on the table. I remember how happy I was to dig the mud to pull out some earthworms for my father’s fishing baits. And, of course, the time he thought me how to swim. Life was so peaceful and simple back then. It makes me want to hug my father now and I can’t wait for December 21st to come.

      p.s.

      I wont’ greet you yet, bro. I’m still around the corner anyway until I go home to the province for the Holiday Season.

      Send my regards to your little buddy and wife.

  19. ristinw says:

    My Christmas wish-list is to build a snowman on the street, get many surprise presents, finish all my unfinished work, clean up everything before New Year…etc > u <

  20. eof737 says:

    Your pictures are always so cheerful and bright… here’s wishing you a December that delights. :-)

  21. Frank Bishop says:

    There is something infinitely amusing about Santa on the beach. Great pictures as usual.

    You seriously have the most interesting life. It is always at the back of my mind wondering where you will go and what kind of shenningans you and your family will get into. Your son will have such awesome memories when he gets older, something he will hopefully do for his children, keeping the cycle.

    • Aha, the cycle of a life of fun, love , joy and adventures! There was a time that I would get so stressed out and depressed about the the hardships and challenges of life but after hearing about friends and family dying and sick at an early age, I vowed to live my life today. This year was and is a big turn around for me. I still have my problems, lots in fact but I try my best to give my wife and son the happiest time and memory that they can ever have. I realize now that I don’t need lots of money to be happy and enjoy the beautiful wonders of life. And so my friend, there would be more adventures ahead. I hope you will be there to the last journey. Wishing you and your family the best of the Holidays.

  22. thedailydish says:

    I love this post!!

    That truly is the coolest juxtaposition. Santa in his heavy suit standing on the hot sand. I especially like the photos with your son in his shorts and the folks swimming in the background. So cool knowing how warm it is in Texas when it’s so cold here.

    Wonderful photos! Such a magical time with those dolphins.

    Wishing you & your family every blessing and joy this Christmas and in the new year.

    • Santa at the beach was a cool surprise and the dolphins just wonderful each and every time we visit Sea World. It’s always been my childhood dream to touch a dolphin and so when it happened I was so happy like my son. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Wishing you and your love ones joy , love and happiness.

  23. jhirzel88 says:

    Well, the thought of you seeing Santa on the beach must have surprised you. I wasn’t expecting that. For my Christmas list, I would like some video games, but I usually just buy them myself. If I could relive a childhood memory, it would be when I got my first Game Boy. That was an exciting experience for me. I was 10 years old at the time. There were also a lot more presents underneath the Christmas tree back then, which is another reason why I would love to go back in time to that.

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