Dolphin and shrimp - yes, it was a good day. Even though the line to our favorite breakfast spot (Pocahontas Pancakes) was too long to wait, we did find another typical beach pancake house and filled up before heading to the dolphin boat tour.
As I anticipated, Ashley was VERY anxious about actually boarding the boat. I had hoped the boarding would go a little more smoothly than last year's trip because I had called ahead and asked if the boat trip was accessible. I was told that it was, but what that meant was that two strong men would lift Ashley in her wheelchair onto the boat. If you are familiar with people in wheelchairs and understand how they feel when someone puts their hands on the chair, you know that more often than not, it is not well received. And believe me, it was not well received by Ashley either.
Once Ash had settled down from the men-handling, she did seem to really enjoy the trip. While she is unable to see the dolphin, she loves to feel the wind on her face, smell the salty sea air, and feel the rhythm of the rocking boat. She even seemed to enjoy licking the saltiness off her lips.
After a short nap back at the hotel, Ashley and I went for a walk by the beach, and that was followed by dinner with my brother and niece. While Miss Amy took Ashley back to prepare for bed, Chip and I headed to the beach with my brother - the photographer - so Chip could have his senior year pictures made. I think we will have so many good ones to choose from that I will have an extremely hard time choosing!
Tuesday begins the preparation for the conference and family retreat. The hotel facilities are in no way what we need for a successful family retreat, but that is a subject I will address in my next post. Suffice it to say that if you are planning a conference on the subject of severe disabilities, AND you know you will have attendees and family members with severe disabilities, perhaps checking out the facilities before the actual start of the conference would be a good idea.