Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sea Turtle Magic

Our one year anniversary has come and gone. I still can't believe we got married one year ago! It both seems entirely far away and yet also like it was just last week we were finishing the last minute things for the big day. So much has changed and happened in our lives since the wedding -- the move, my new job, Kyle's new job, our new house. It's crazy. But I don't think either of us has been has happy and free as we are in this moment in our lives. One year of marriage feels good!

Since out anniversary weekend was filled with fantasy football and lots of great friends (another story), we postponed our celebrations a few weeks until we went away to Kiawah Island. On our actual anniversary however, we still planned on having a nice day together. Kyle surprised me with diamond earrings (!!!) and had our day planned. He said he wanted to take me to the SC aquarium, which I was excited about because it was on our list of things to do and we both had too much sun the rest of the weekend. Plus, as a teacher, he gets free admission all the time.

He really wanted to take me to the aquarium because they have a sea turtle hospital! For those of you that don't know, I have an obsession with sea turtles. I think it started while I was abroad in Australia and we saw them in the reefs. I was thinking about what makes me like them so much the other day, and I think it's because they are as old as dinosaurs, live in the ocean, and just seem so peaceful and knowledgable. Because they are so ancient, I think it makes them so special and I feel like they have seen everything and know secrets about the world. Plus I absolutely love how they nest. The mother turtles will return to the site of their birth (crazy) which is usually a beautiful beach, and nest in the same location. And it's all done with the tides and moon. It's magical!

The sea turtle hospital was an extra cost to the aquarium, but so worth it. They tell you about the different types of sea turtles and about the ones they currently have in the hospital. Down here, most of them are loggerheads and kemp ridleys. They stay in the hospital for various lengths of time depending on why they came in. Some of them were hooked by fisherman, and so if brought in with the hook intact, are able to have it removed and leave fairly quickly. Others have more serious issues like neurological problems and "lock jaw" and stay for months at at time.

Hiding in her tube!
 We got to meet 7 of the turtles. I swear I could have cried being that close to them and looking in their eyes! It was such an awesome thing what the hospital does. And obviously I'm not the only person who things turtles are magical because they didn't have a specific hospital for other animals there!
The one Kemp Ridley - They are naturally much smaller than the loggerheads.

Up close!
They all had names as well. And the coolest thing was that when they are ready to go back into the wild, they have a release party! They make an announcement on one of the turtle websites, and they open the public to these releases on the beach. We learned that they were likely going to be releasing three of them that upcoming Friday. It seemed like such an amazing thing to attend, especially now that we had seen the turtles at the hospital first!

Stay tuned to find out if we were able to make it...

Hope you're enjoying September - the best time of year! xoxo