Friday, June 27, 2008
San Antonio: Sea World
Good news: We made it to Sea World!
Bad news: We got there over an hour after the park opened. Closing time: 6:00 p.m.
Good news: Daddy had pre-purchased tickets online, so we didn't have to wait in line to get ours. We were able to go right through the turnstile.
Bad news: Instead of planning our day around the shows we wanted to see, we just went here and there willy-nilly and ended up missing out on a few shows and exhibits.
Good news: In spite of all that, we had a blast! I'm ready to go back!
In a nutshell:
1. The Budweiser Clydesdales are beautiful! And HUGE!
2. We fed the dolphins some fish and tried our best to pet them, but they were just always out of reach. I think maybe Melissa got to touch one. I couldn't lean across the wall very far because my purse would've gone splashing into the tank, and I didn't want to set it down and risk losing it or getting it wet. Otherwise I think I would've been able to reach one. Maybe next time...
3. Shamu's show Believe was good, but not as great as the show I remember seeing as a child. I really wanted to see the trainers swim with the orcas. Still it was good seeing how the whales and their trainers interacted.
4. Rio Loco is great! We all got soaked at the waterfall. Luckily we had enough foresight to rent a locker to stash our stuff so it would be nice and dry. It was the boys' first theme park ride and they loved it. Jacob was scared to get on at first and was fighting me when it was time to get in our raft, but my dad picked him up and he settled right down. In the end, though, he wanted to ride again.
5. Daddy made friends with a macaw, who bobbed up and down every time he shook out his wet handkerchief.
6. We all liked Viva! better than Believe. Dolphins and belugas jumped and did flips while divers dove from scary heights and acrobats performed on wires and rings above the water. A diving clown also provided some comic relief.
7. There were a lot of places to choose our lunch, but we didn't want to venture halfway across the park to find something. We found something near where we were and really enjoyed our food. The boys got kids' meals in plastic Shamu lunch boxes, but they didn't eat much because of all the excitement. Daddy got a tasty-looking Caesar salad with grilled chicken. The rest of us got "healthy" bacon cheeseburgers and fries. Mmmmmm-mmmm good! We had some watermelon slices for a fresh, cool dessert.
8. The boys had a lot of fun playing at Shamu's Happy Harbor. There was a huge rope net for climbing, all sorts of tunnels and bridges and slides, a ship, some sandboxes, and several scaled-down versions of adult rides. The boys rode their first roller coaster - Shamu Express - and Caleb was hooked. He also liked riding the Paint Mixer with my dad. He loves anything that spins really fast! Jacob's favorite ride was one that went up and down really fast. They spent a long time playing at the harbor with my parents in tow.
9. While the boys played at the harbor, my sisters and I went to ride The Great White: "Texas' first inverted steel roller coaster! You'll dangle your legs from ski-lift-style seats and go heels-over-head five times during more than 2,500 feet of breathtaking loops, corkscrews and other thrilling maneuvers at speeds of almost 50 mph!" I was nervous at first because I can't remember the last time I rode a coaster. But it was so much fun, we ended up riding three times in a row. After our last time, we thought we knew what "shaken baby syndrome" feels like.
10. Melissa went back to Shamu's Happy Harbor while Lindsay and I went through the penguin exhibit. It was really cool and colorful inside, but the smell wasn't that great.
11. We were running out of time, so after the boys finished riding a few more rides and climbing the nets, we headed back toward the entrance/exit to visit the shark aquarium and the coral reef. It was really relaxing being inside the coolness again, and we got to see all sorts of fish. One of the medium-sized fish had a large chunk bitten out of its back. We saw another one with a similar-looking scar. Guess they don't feed their sharks enough... :o)
12. Almost as an afterthought, we realized we needed to find a souvenir shop. The boys had seen stuffed Shamus and each wanted one. I wanted to find some T-shirts for us. Then I remembered I wanted to get some playing cards. We had to go to three different shops before we found those! (My mom and sisters and I collect playing cards. Comes in really handy for playing Nerts, where everyone needs a different-looking deck. It also makes it easy to sort out the cards after a game of Nines.)
We left just as the park was closing at 6:00 p.m. The next day, it was going to start staying open until 8:00 p.m. We could've really used those extra two hours, but we were exhausted. Our clothes had dried out and the boys were getting a little grumpy. And we were getting really hot.
After we got back to the hotel, we went for a dip in the pool, then went out to Chick-Fil-A for supper. (We found it this time.) After we got back from there, we all got together for a short game of Nines before heading to bed.
Enjoy these pictures of our Sea World adventure.