Middle School Learning and Adventure Trip
On May 10th, 2016 Middle School students and teachers headed out to the Florida Keys for the annual Middle School Adventure Trip. Alex Slayne’s grandmother was kind enough to let us stay in her cottage for an extended period of time. The day that we arrived most students decided to play in the pool while the others went to shop for our food. The first day that we spent in the Keys we visited the dolphin research center and went snorkeling during the sunset. Students spotted creatures from stingrays, sea turtles, barracudas, and many fish. The second day we explored Key West. We toured The Hemingway House, Mallory Square, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and we enjoyed watching street performers. Overall everyone had an amazing time, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to visit the Keys.
During our adventure trip, we went to the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key. We chose to do the dolphin encounter so we could be in the water and play with the dolphins. At the facility, they had animals such as; dolphins, sea lions, and parrots, we also saw some iguanas lurking about. The dolphin trainer took our group into a small water enclosure to meet and swim with two dolphins named Luna and Gambit. Those dolphins had been born there, and were 3 to 5 years old. The dolphin trainer split us into two equal groups to stand on platforms in the water. We all took turns having a dolphin kiss us on the cheek and get a handshake. We also got to either dance, jump, spin, splash, or spit water with a dolphin. We also took turns swimming out into the water to be pulled by Luna and Gambit.
After we had our dolphin encounter, we went to a tiny water splash park where we splashed around, and had a difficult time trying to figure out how to turn on the water mechanics. Afterwards we headed to a lunch stand where we ate lunch. We had a fun time at the Dolphin Research Center.
The sunset snorkeling cruise was a great experience for the whole middle school class. Our captain brought us out to Alligator Reef where the old Alligator Lighthouse still stands. As the middle school class snorkeled through Alligator Reef, we saw all different kinds of fish, coral, lobsters, sea turtles, starfish, stingray, and barracudas.
While we watched these amazing sea creatures roam around their habitat we had a lot of fun. Everyone got in the water just in time for the middle school class to see a big but majestic sea turtle swim up to the surface so we could observe it. On our way back we had witnessed a gorgeous sunset and a few wild dolphins swimming. The entire middle school class had a lot of fun and would love to do it again.
During our tip to the keys, we traveled down to Key West. While we were in Key West we visited the Ernest Hemingway House, Blue Heaven Restaurant, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Mallory Square, and the Southernmost Point of the continental United States. Each of these activities were fun and interesting. During the visit to the Ernest Hemingway House we learned about the author Ernest Hemingway and his cats. We took a tour of his house and learned about his life. After visiting the Ernest Hemingway House, we took a short walk over to the Blue Heaven Restaurant. The food at Blue Heaven Restaurant was amazing and the staff was very accommodating of all food restrictions. After eating, we walked down Duval St. and visited the Southernmost Point of the Continental United States. After visiting the Southernmost Point of the continental US, we started walking towards the other end of Duval Street. We were walking in the direction of Ripley’s Believe or Not Odditorium, where we would see unbelievable actions and exhibits. Once we arrived we walked in and we started reading some of the exhibits. This included a man marrying a dead corpse, and a sculpture made of spoons and knives. After this we started walking to Mallory Square where there would be a sunset festival. This event is held every sunset. When we arrived, we noticed a man doing tricks. He started his show soon after we arrived and his tricks were amazing. Some of his tricks included juggling sharp objects, balancing on a beam with a large tube under the beam, and juggling flaming sticks. After his show was finished, we went to another show, where another person was juggling flaming sticks. After he finished juggling the sticks, he got on a unicycle that had three wheels on it. Then he started juggling sharp objects while on the unicycle. After his show was finished, we started walking towards the van, and we were all thinking about what a great day we had.
The Sun Grove Montessori Middle School end of the year trip, also known as the adventure trip, was an amazing time for all of us. On the second day of our trip we went swimming with dolphins and snorkeling in Alligator Reef (don’t worry there were no alligators). When we went swimming with the dolphins we all got a kiss, a handshake, we were able to do an imitation (either a spin, bobbing, a splash fight, or spitting water from our mouths at them), and they pulled through the water by having us grab their dorsal fins. The snorkeling happened during a sunset cruise. All of us went into the water and saw all different types of fish, a lobster, a stingray, and two sea turtles.
The last day we went down to Key West. We went to the Hemingway house (mainly for the six toed cats), Mallory square, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not (we also did some shopping, in case you were wondering). The Hemingway house taught us more about the famous writer, and the six toed cats were adorable. Before we reached Mallory Square we stopped at Ripley’s Believe it or Not. We read about a man famous for being around 8 feet tall and another man famous for living without the bottom half of his body. Once we reached Mallory Square we saw street performers who would crack jokes and were known for juggling torches and sharp objects while either on a unicycle or on boards stacked on a rolling PVC pipe. It was an amazing bonding trip for all of us and everyone had a good time.