Thursday, February 27, 2014


After Will's birthday party, Dad, Laura, James, Will, and I all loaded up and drove down to Orlando, Florida. Dad had a conference that week so we tagged along  to spend a day at SeaWorld and a day at Legoland.

SeaWorld was just two miles from our hotel. I convinced Dad and Laura that we needed to drive {since the shuttle only ran at 9, 10, and 11 and 4, 5, and 6} and we arrived right as the gates opened.

First stop? To meet Shamu! James was thrilled about this. We brought his Disney autograph book {yes, I need to get Will one, too...} but I told him I wasn't sure Shamu would sign. He was so excited that she did. Those characters are his favorite things! Look how proud he is in these pictures!

We went to the dolphin nursery next. There were three mamas and three babies swimming in this pool. The boys were mesmerized by how close we could get. We could have watched all day long!

Our plan was to go to the kiddie rides area first thing when we got there. James was SO excited about the rides and we figured we'd wear him out and then watch some shows. Unfortunately, the rides weren't open until 10AM so we had to change our plans. We headed to Antarctica instead to see the penguins. We waited a few minutes on this ride. We had to choose the "mild" version of the ride because James and Will weren't tall enough {but even the "wild" version wasn't rough...just lots of bumping and spinning}. The ride followed a baby penguin throughout his life and then we were taken into the penguin exhibit to see the REAL penguins. It was fun but it was CROWDED already {they dumped you out into a small room to look} and COLD.

Next stop? Shamu! The Shamu show was closed {I was SO disappointed} but we were able to see the Killer Whales interacting with their trainers in one of the pools off to the side of Shamu Stadium. I assume this is always open, but it may only be open because the show itself wasn't running. Seeing the trainers working with a mama and baby was so interesting. The baby was being trained for shows. They'd let mama do the trick and then baby would do it. They're such smart animals!

Finally the rides were open so we headed over there.

Not pictured is the Playground of Doom. James decided he wanted to go on this three-story playground. I thought it was a bad idea, but we went anyway. There's a story from my childhood about my dad being trapped in a house of mirrors with us. We were screaming and crying and Laura could see in and watch us, but we couldn't figure out how to get out. This was exactly the same. We could see where we wanted to go out but couldn't figure out how to get there and James was terrified. Add in his fear of heights and this was just bad all around.

More rides!

After lunch we did what was my second favorite thing of the day - after watching the killer whales - the Arctic building. We saw Beluga Whales, a walrus, and a polar bear here and they were all AMAZING. 

{This picture doesn't accurately portray how BIG this walrus was. We were amazed.}

{Funny story about Mr. Will here. He picked this seal stuffed animal up on his way out of the Arctic building. It was HUGE - like 3 feet. We took it away and put it back and because he was PITCHING A FIT, YaYa picked him up and carried him. I wished I'd taken a picture because unbeknownst to her, he'd grabbed it again and she had him over her shoulder and he had the seal by the tail carrying it out. Hysterical! He didn't think it was when we took it away again, though. He took a nap about five minutes after this. :)}

While Dad and Will had naptime {well, Dad just watched nap time!}, James, Laura, and I went to the sea lion show! It was funny!

{Another huge - and not very pretty! - walrus!}

Next up was the dolphin pool where we could pet the dolphins. They came right up to the side as they swam by. It was fun to watch! James has terribly dry skin on his hands right now and the salt water irritated them badly enough that it made him cry. It was pretty pitiful. We didn't stay here too long after that.

Last on our list was the dolphin show. This was entertaining but VERY artsy. I wanted more dolphins! They had ladies swinging from cables and men flipping, etc., etc. It was just okay to me. I just love the old-school dolphin shows where they talk about their animals. 

James wanted a picture with the performers as we left so he hopped up there and I snapped a picture. We walked off and Will started yelling, "ME!" so we had to go back for him to get a picture, too. Funny boy!

We LOVED SeaWorld! {I'd been in 7th grade but it was a lot different then!} The weather was perfect, the crowds weren't bad, and it was SUCH a fun park. We'd definitely go back again!

1 comment:

Anna Catherine said...

Excuse me! When did James turn 10?!? He's so tall all of the sudden!!!