One of the best kisses of my life was from a guy named Auto, a huge sea lion at Gulf World in Panama City Beach. 

Gulf World Marine Park is home to sharks, sea turtles, bottle-nosed dolphins, rough toothed dolphins, birds, and sea lions as well as a few rescued dogs and cats. Located across the street from the beach, this family friendly attraction is the perfect half-day adventure that doesn’t take too much time away from the beach. 

There are 7 daily shows featuring various animals and marine life in the park. While the park is known for their dolphin shows, I actually fell in love with Auto, a huge sea lion who planted a big wet kiss on my cheek during our visit. 

Auto is a very friendly sea lion that seemed to love all the attention he received during his performance. During one part of the show, the trainer called for a volunteer. Loving all marine life and always being one to quickly raise my hand whenever asked to volunteer for anything, I almost jumped out of my seat as I raised my hand. 

My task: sit very still and wait for Auto to sneak a quick kiss on my cheek. 

It all happened so fast. Auto’s silky smooth lips were touching my face for a solid 5 seconds, just long enough for everyone to get a few photos. His whiskers tickle my face and I remember he smelled like fish, as expected since he had been given fish as treats during the whole show. 

After the kiss, and like a typical man, he gave me the silent treatment for the rest of the show. He looked around at all the other girls and waved and blew kisses to everyone else in the audience. He even kissed a dolphin in the show! While it probably didn’t mean that much to him, it was one of the best kisses in my life.