Friday, 3 April 2015

My Top Three Travel Bucket List

Usually when it comes to writing posts for competitions I avoid them as they have proved to be fruitless in the past. I made a pact not to do them, however last night I decided to break that pact. Late last night I notice a competition with Transun over on Emmy's Mummy's blog. I was sold at Northern Lights and knew I needed to enter, if it hadn't been so late I would have tapped away at my keyboard right away. 
I have traveled to a few countries with my family, and without them. I met my husband in 2006 and already had three children so we have not really had much alone time together as a couple. 
The last time we had a night away, never mind traveling together was almost 6 years ago which happened to be our honeymoon in Mexico. There, we visited the Mayan Ruins, swam with Dolphins, came face to face with a huge Parrot Fish and got the pleasure of snorkeling with wild Sea Turtles. I have some amazing memories and loved every part of it.

I would love to travel more and have a bucket list as long as my arm. 

My top three destinations are:

The Northern Lights
I am not saying it just because it is the prize, but I have wanted to go and see them for years. I even had my desktop image as the northern lights, up until a cute Spectacled Bear, named Bernardo took its place. The prize is perfect to what we would want to get out of a trip so it is perfect. Every opportunity to see the northern lights in the UK have been a disappointment for us, we never got to see even a hint of the spectacular lights in the sky.

We toyed with the idea of going to Africa on honeymoon but the cost put us off as we were paying for the wedding. This one I may get to for fill in the next few years. I am hoping to study Zoo Management after my Animal Management course is complete. The university I have set my heart on offers the opportunity to spend two weeks in Africa studying the animals out there. I would love to see the animals I love to watch in the zoos and safari parks in their natural habitat. I am not sure how my nerves will hold out at the time but I am sure it will be an experience I will treasure forever.

I would love nothing more than to take my children to Disneyland. They have asked numerous times to go. Daddy2five has been twice when he was younger but as a family we have  never had the opportunity or funds to go. One day I will make there dreams come true, I have no idea when but I will get them there!

So that is it, my top three. I have many more that could have easily been in my top three. They will move up when I can tick off, Northern Lights, Africa and Disneyland.

This post is my entry for the Transun competition.

Stingray Adventure at the Blackpool's Sea Life Centre

Cownose RayOn Wednesday we all jumped in the car at 6.45am to head up to Blackpool to attend the launch of Stingray Adventure at the Sea Life Centre. A new feature for 2015, Stingray Adventure allows you to get up close to these magnificent creatures that glide through the water with such grace and beauty.  The Cownose  rays were not shy, they swam around the glass front of the tank giving us all spectacular views and amazing photography opportunities. I can't help but smile when their undercarriage comes into view, they look like they have little smiling faces.

Official opening of Stingray AdventureThe launch was attended by press and special little stingray ambassadors. Officially opening the new feature was the general manager of the centre and the beautiful Sammy Winward. My mother in law whispered to us "isn't she beautiful" Big T responded with "Nanna you're right, she is beautiful". My eldest daughter reconised her and was a bit star struck.
I found a good spot to get a picture. As the scissors touched the blue ribbon, clicks of the cameras filled the air, with a final snip, Stingray Adventure was officially open.

Underwater Bubbles
We spent quite a bit of time around this feature. We sat by the glass mesmerised by the rays gliding past. We also spent quite a bit of time in the underwater bubbles, I think my children loved them the most. They would each take turns discovering what it feels like to be in the deep with all of the sea life. You are never too old to have a go either, my mother in law patiently waited her turn to have a go. Big T got a lot, sensory wise from the bubbles and loved sitting quietly taking in all of the wonderful sights that Stingray Adventure has to offer. 

One of the largest spider crab in the worldWe strolled around the centre taking in all of the other displays. Big Daddy, one of the largest spider crabs sat right at the front of his tank. Usually being the center of attention he looked a bit put out that all of the cameras were not on him. In reality I am sure he did not care one bit and just wanted to check out what all of the commotion was. He is so big, it was quite amazing to see a crab so large, every minute detail of him could be seen.

starfish, clownfish, regal tangs and seahorses
We stopped by the rockpool to touch shrimp and starfish, the starfish did not feel as I imagined they would. An interesting fact about them is, they can grow new arms if one is broken off.
We also spotted the clown fish and regal tangs that my children know as Dory and Nemo, 
in the yellow submarine. We also found the seahorses. They are such strange, yet beautiful creatures. An interesting fact about these is, the male of the species delivers the young.

Bowmouth guitar shark and black tip reef sharkIn the ocean tunnel we saw the sharks, lots of them. The Bowmouth guitar sharks swam around the whole of the tank, passing over head giving us all excellent views. The Blacktip reef shark, looked the meanest in the tank, with its razor sharp teeth. It gets its name from the black tips on its dorsal and caudal fins. Did you know, over 70 million sharks are killed each year for their fins! The shark fins are tasteless and are flavoured using chicken or pork! I honestly do not see why anyone would want to pluck these magnificent creatures out of the sea and onto the plate. They have been around 350 million years, way more than the dinosaurs!

I have not covered everything that was available to see, I could go on and on but won't. What I will say is, we had an amazing day and learnt a lot about the creatures of the deep. A family of four can visit for as little as £43 when booked online. I would recommend a visit to Blackpool's Sea Life Centre. We would happily return next time we are in Blackpool.