The Chilis spent today at Sea World! We got a gorgeous day for it; clear and bright and not too hot. In fact, we couldn’t have ordered better weather for our week here; we’ve been really lucky.
Our adventures at Sea World started with the dolphin show, pretty much as soon as we got there.
I love dolphin shows. In fact, I love pretty much all the shows at aquariums. When I was in second or third grade (probably third), I was taken on a field trip to the New England Aquarium. While I was there, I saw a seal and sea lion show, and I decided then and there that I was going to be a seal trainer when I grew up. Of course, I don’t have an aptitude for biology (and I have a wicked shellfish allergy), so it never panned out, but there’s still a special place in my heart for those critter-human bonds that I see in those shows.
After that, we met up with the Lady TwoBlueDays (Gerry had rotten sleep last night, and decided to sit this trip out), we made our way to Journey to Atlantis. The last time we were at Sea World, Punkin was about 8, and this ride scared the shit out of her then. She was enamored of mermaids, and the ride has a mermaid-turned-sea witch in the story line, and that didn’t go over so well with my baby. This time, though, she was ready (and Bean was finally tall enough to ride), so I held everyone’s bags and hats and off they went!
We had gotten ourselves passes to the new Turtle Trek (which opened today, in fact), so we headed out of Atlantis and got in line for that. It’s a 360°, 3D movie that follows a turtle hatch-ling from the beach, through a bunch of different adventures (including a close encounter with a shark) and back to the beach where she returns to lay her own eggs.
We decided, at that point, that we were hungry, so we headed off to find some lunch. Our tickets came with a meal, and the girls decided they wanted to try the pizza/pasta buffet, so that’s where we aimed. The line to buy tickets for the place was too long for the Lady Days, though, so we split up for a little bit at that point. We reconvened at the kid play area (the girls remembered fondly the multi-level play place in that spot), and the girls, Babycakes, and Mr. Chili rode the Shamu Coaster, just for nostalgia’s sake.
The next stop was a Cirque-like show that told the story of a fisherman who finds himself under the sea, where he falls in love with a beautiful… something… and witnesses a power struggle between this beautiful thing and a jealous sea witch. After a lot of flying, contorting, and tumbling, true love prevails in the end. It was a wholly satisfying way to spend 20 minutes.
By then, lunch had settled sufficiently that the more adventurous in our party (Mr. Chili, Bluemoon and Babycakes, specifically) headed for the Manta roller coaster.
This thing is terrifying, even from the ground. Riders are suspended face-down, and shot through a series of twists and loops and… well, see for yourself.
I know you can’t tell, but that’s Mr. Chili in the front row, screaming his fool head off. They came off the ride with enormous grins on their faces and, since there was no line, we sent them on to ride a second time.
I’m glad we did, because our next stop was the Kraken coaster. Bluemoon and Babycakes managed to get a ride in, but Mr. Chili was in line for the front car and, in the time he waited, the ride ended up experiencing technical difficulties sufficient to shut it down. No Kraken for my mister this trip.
Once that was done, the TwoBlue ladies were pretty fried, so we parted ways one last time. They headed for home and we headed for the Arctic Adventure. We knew (from unpleasant experience) that the motion-movie ride was, well, unpleasant, so we skipped that part and did the walk-through instead. We saw a couple of beluga whales, a polar bear, and a couple of (ginormous!) walrus. It was fun.
We wandered a bit, making our way to the killer whale show to end up our day, when Bean asked if she could get an airbrush tattoo. We weren’t opposed to the idea, so Bean, Punk, and I were painted; Bean got an airbrush ying-yang symbol on her ankle, and Punk and I got henna tattoos on our inner forearms (Punk got a rose, I got a dragonfly). I’m using it as practice; I’m thinking of getting a white-ink tattoo in that spot, so I’m seeing how I like this first.
Our last stop was the killer whale show, which was very exciting – and VERY wet for the people in the first 11 or so rows. There were a number of animals in the show – I didn’t realize how many killer whales they had – and they bring out one particularly big one to soak the crowd; the thing just goes around the perimeter of the tank, scooping water with its huge tail and flinging it into the stands. When they tell you you’re going to get wet, they aren’t kidding; this isn’t just incidental splashing from the animals’ jumps; this is intentional soaking. We were in the first set of dry rows, though, so we were safe.
It was a wholly lovely day, and I’m glad we did it.