It was Sunday night and I sat on the floor of the guest room with my laptop, burning a CD pf pictures taken this past weekend for my mom to take with her. She was packing her suitcase, trying to fit the explosion that had somehow occurred in that room into a 2.5′ x 1.5′ case. There were too few hours left of her visit here and most of them would be consumed with sleeping. My mom kept telling me to “go on to bed, you’ve gotta work in the morning…” But I wanted her to have those pictures and I wanted to spend a few extra minutes with her, even if we were both focused on our individual projects.
Two nights earlier, Friday evening, we had driven down to San Diego county. In the past, I’ve used Priceline with great results, staying in hotels that charge $200+ per night for a whopping bargain price of $75 per night. This time, however, I struck out. Priceline put us in an Extended Stay America hotel, and upon check-in, ESA put us in a smoking room with a queen bed and no extra cots were available. To further the travesty, I forgot to ask the desk clerk for the Internet password upon check-in and they closed the lobby at 11 PM. Three people, two of whom are very tall, one queen bed and none of us smoke. And No Internet. To say that the room didn’t fit our needs was a gross understatement.
Saturday morning found us finishing the drive to Sea World where our adventure for the day began with Breakfast with Shamu. We were seated at an awesome table, right beside the pool. The food was served buffet style, with everything my stomach could have possibly desired. Even my mom was temporarily full — long-time readers will remember that my mom is a non-stop eater, and it’s nearly impossible to fill her up! Thankfully, the “interaction” part — where the trainers send the whales off to do their tricks — didn’t start until after we finished eating. I say thankfully, because being that close to the pool and slide-out, also meant being that close to the whale reward buckets which were, of course, filled with loads of dead fish. *pinches nose*
After breakfast, we had scheduled the dolphin interaction. First, we underwent a classroom orientation with a question and answer session, and then we donned wet suits and headed out into the water. We had to stay on a ledge that was about 4 feet deep, where we were instructed on hand signals, which we in turned gave to the dolphins. We were able to touch, kiss and play with the dolphins. They are such beautiful animals and each one had such different personalities and talents. It was a learning experience, but it was also incredibly fun & memorable.
Following that, we wandered around the park, eventually heading over to Shamu stadium where we had our Showtime Picnic. For $14, we each got a picnic lunch and reserved seats for the show. I’ve always been impressed with that price, because $14 per person, when considering theme park food prices, is quite a bargain. Later that afternoon, we were able to also see the Dolphin Show, Sea Lion & Otter show, and Pets Rule show. We also took a swing on the sky ride, fed the sting rays, fed the Sea Lions, visited the Manitee exhibit and the Arctic exhibit. If you’re exhausted from reading that, just imagine actually doing it!
Sunday’s summary will be forthcoming soon. Don’t worry… it’ll be worth it!