Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dolphins and Whales and Sea Lions, Oh My!

So the weekend after Fourth of July (and after Taylor had worked VBS at two churches AND attended late night youth VBS), we decided to head south to Sea World. Knowing vacation was still over a month away and that the girl would be gone for two straight weeks, we just needed to get away for a bit. {And it certainly didn't hurt that one of the hospitals Tonto works for was basically giving away tickets.}

So we loaded up really early on Friday morning and made it inside before the gates were technically even open. After snapping the obligatory "hey, we're here and don't look absolutely terrible yet" pics...

...we headed to the new show (after feeding the sea lions, which Tiny thought was great as long as they didn't make ANY noise), which features rescued dogs, cats, pot belly pigs, etc. and Tiny (and everyone else) absolutely LOVED it. The only downside is that she really wanted to play with and pet all of the animals. And, well, that wasn't possible. Obviously.

Once the first show wrapped up, we made a beeline to Taylor's favorite - the sea lions. The babe was interested for a very short while (see below) and then she was ready to run around. :)

This was a new sea lion show and it was super cute. The otters have a more prominent role now (yes!) but, unfortunately, the walrus did not make an appearance. I'm afraid that means he's no longer with us but I didn't confirm that because denial is sometimes a nice place to live.

We saw some penguins, rode the roller coasters...

...and Tiny began her quest for the absolute perfect stuffed animal. She tried out every option available at the park throughout the day.

After catching half of the ski show...

...and doing some acrobatics and tumbling of our own...

...we made the trek to the temporary dolphin area and then decided it was time for a break. And lunch. We were able to check into the hotel early, take Tiny swimming (this hotel is where she swam for the first time EVER a little over a year ago) and get some rest before heading back for some evening fun.

We caught the beluga whale show, had some ice cream and purchased some stuffed animals. Shamu for Tiny and beluga whales for the older girls. The teens and I then hit some water rides while the babe hung out with Daddy. And the girls got SOAKED.

It was about this time I decided to walk double time to find the others back at Shamu Stadium so we could get seats for the night show. Unfortunately, we had a bit of miscommunication and it ended up with the teens sitting in the splash zone in a completely different part of the stadium while we wondered where they were and if they made it.

But they did. And they were even more soaked by the time we found them. And all of us were exhausted, to say the least. It was such a fun day and capping it off with Whataburger was like the cherry on top for my peeps. They do love a good cheeseburger. :)