We drove there on Thursday night (only takes about three hours) and ordered room service at the hotel for dinner. That was a good call -- there are times it's worth the extra expense for the convenience to avoid the hassle of eating out in a city we're not familiar with. Then it was a quick dip in the pool and off to bed.
Friday morning we got to Sea World right at opening time. Our hotel was only 2 miles away and ran a free shuttle every hour, which was very nice. We had a great morning of aquarium visits and the Shamu show, then Jack took a nap on Jamie's shoulder while we ate lunch. Then we played at the kids' area (basically a jungle gym on steroids, plus a huge sandbox) and went to a sea lion show.
Pretty much we were burning time until our scheduled dinner with Shamu at 5pm. It was amazing, and may have been the highlight of our whole trip. The pictures below are actually the view from our table. The food was a delicious buffet, but the scenery was unbeatable.
On Saturday we were scheduled to take the behind-the-scenes tour of Sea World. This meant we got to enter the park two hours before opening time, get breakfast, and see all the animals up close and personal. It was a lot of fun, but ended up being nearly a 6-hour tour. Too long for two little kids. Still, I'm glad we did it.
What I learned on vacation:
- Manatees can do crunches to burn the blubber (this was a trick they did in one of the shows)
- Jack has no known fears. None. Killer whales, sharks, and stingrays seemed to have little effect on him.
- While not afraid, when Jack actually got to touch a stingray, it gave him the booboo jeebies. He did a hilarious little shake after feeling it.
- Samantha is not nearly as afraid as we thought she was. Our tour passes from Saturday enabled us to skip the lines for any ride (yes, we were those people you hate). Samantha and Jamie went together on a pretty fast ride, and they both loved it. Picture below.
- As fun as Sea World is, sometimes the best moments are cooking smores with the kids out by the pool at the hotel.
- Portable DVD players are the greatest invention in the history of parenting, just ahead of Benadryl and swaddling blankets.
- Being a father gives me a great excuse to go on fun kiddie vacations. This was my first trip to Sea World, and I loved it as much as anybody.
Note: To explain the title of this post, Jack just couldn't pronounce "Sea World", so he began to call it the "Fishy Zoo". Before long that's what we all called it.