Thursday, October 25, 2012

Disneyland 2012: Wait, Shamu doesn't work for the Mouse! (recap pt 4)

Haille takes coloring seriously. Everything must be just so.
Seaworld in San Diego meant getting up early, getting ready and getting out the door. Thankfully - due to my getting sick the day before and leaving the park early - we had a lot of time to sleep before our day began (yay earlyish bedtimes). Haille slept in her own bed all that night and I got a decent night sleep. Not long after breakfast we loaded up the cars - the girls weren't happy that they didn't get to ride together, but neither car could hold everyone. So, for safety's sake, we split up like we did for our day at the beach.

The girls packed up blankets, pillows, coloring books and crayons and off we went. Judy and I got to have a great deal of catch up chit chat and then we realized that we hadn't fixed our adrs for our revised plans - so I spent the better part of our trip on the phone. The call kept getting dropped so I ended up with four or five different Cast Members before I could get it changed!

We fielded lots of questions about what we would be doing from the back seat. Having never been to Sea World, Haille was unsure as to why we wouldn't be going to Disneyland again that day. After assuring her there were lots of rides and she'd get to see whales and dolphins up close, she was satisfied that her grandma knew what she was doing. It's always nice to have the official okay from the six year old! LOL Haille then said she wanted to do all the tall rides and the water rides, we promised we'd do our very best to get her on them, but just like Disney it was going to be crowded and we couldn't do fastpass. She said that would be fine. I'm telling you I have got her trained!

Sweet dreams, sweet princess!
Haille did great in the car, even though it was a long car ride and she was tired. She eventually decided to nap for most of the way down, so she missed out on the smoggy views, but I think it was the best thing for her as it was going to turn out to be an incredibly long day. If there's one thing this trip taught me - other than never go to SoCal in August - is that the girls can handle far more disappointment and frustration than adults can! LOL

The car ride was uneventful but long - nearly two hours that went on for eternity (I told you, the girls did better than I did) - and we finally made it to the gates of Sea World. Haille woke just in time to see the park come into view and she began to talk a mile a minute about all of the rides we were going to have to go on. She really wanted to do the water rides to get her gramma and aunt Toni wet. We felt the love... maybe...

After lathering up with the sunscreen (I was bright red all week) and going through the turnstiles, we grabbed some maps and tried to make a game plan. We headed off in the direction of the dolphins first to see if we could get the girls close enough to pet them. We got there and found a decent sized crowd, but the girls quickly found themselves close to the edge of the pool. After watching the trainers interact and explain some of the dolphin tricks/training/life they brought them up to the sides to begin petting.

Haille was jazzed to pet the Dolphin and get splashed by him!

This is where it got hysterical - at least for me. One of the tricks of the dolphin trade is, of course, splashing. So on command, the dolphin the girls were petting took his tail, scooped up a bunch of water and SPLASH! Direct hit in the face of both girls. Now Haille LOVED it, but Haille Elizabeth you may recall does not like getting her face wet. Her reaction was priceless - and a little sad. She wouldn't go back towards the pool for anything, even when the trainer brought the dolphin up to say sorry. Haille, of course, was right back up and checking out the dolphins.

With that traumatic event behind us, we grabbed a bite to eat befove we headed to watch Shamu rock it out in his arena in One Ocean. This show was so much better when the trainers were allowed in the water with the animals. I get that Shamu eating a trainer does not make for a great entertainment, but it's such a shame as you can tell just how much the show relied on that interaction.

Because of the girls' encounter with the dolphins they decided they did not want to be in the soak zone, so we headed way up the bleachers. One thing that the Orlando location has over San Diego is they cover their arenas so you are out of the sun. No such luck here. It was hot and just blah, but once Shamu and family came out you forgot how yucky it felt - and it was definitely cooler in SD than in Anaheim! Both girls were in awe of everything, and when Shamu came out to splash the crowd their jaws dropped! I wish I'd thought to get a picture of them because it was hysterical. Hailee looked on horrified and Haille was wishing she'd sat in the soak zone. The two couldn't be more different, but it's their differences that bring them together into a dynamic duo!

Had to use the long lens to get decent shots from our seats.
Once the show was over we split up to allow Haille to ride the water ride. It was a shorter version of Grizzly river rapids at Disneyland... and the wait was over an hour long, but little miss Haille didn't mind. She just kept reminding us that the lines moved faster than what the sign said they would. The little bugger was pretty spot on with that. Though, again, there was not enough covering and as such it was very hot in teh sun. We spent a lot of time taking turns putting my frozen water bottles on teh back of our necks and talking about anything other than the wait and the heat.

At one point a breeze blew by and we caught a horrible smell. Haille was very loud in voicing her concern over what could make such a disgusting smell and we pointed out a flock of flamingoes. She decided they were not good birds to have around because they stunk. This got a laugh from most of the people around us. We got about 5 minutes from the boats when the ride stopped for about twenty minutes. Our "luck" had followed us, but we decided to stick it out and made it down eventually.

Haille knew the ride would be worth the wait!
The ride is maybe 90 seconds, so that was disappointing, but Haille enjoyed it. She loved the idea that I would get soaked - and oh, did I get soaked. We all three did. Haille squealed in delight and laughed like a lunatic every time water came over the boat. The child is crazy! We got off the ride and went looking for a towel. Couldn't find one, but the heat dried us quickly enough.

We texted the other half of the group and planned to meet up with them at the tidal pool. Haille was all about touching and holding the different sea creatures. I went and got something cool to drink as we'd long ago run out of my water bottles waiting in line.

Judy went to find a bathroom so I was in charge of keeping Haille occupied. There was no need to worry, she was talking with the tide pool keepers and asking questions... and petting sea anenomeas. It's so funny to see such a girly girl be as into slimey animals as she is, but she never had a problem. She loved the tickling feeling of the star fish on her hand. And she was very interested to find out what each animal did and how it lived. She is such a learner and I hope she always keeps that interest in life and education - because she's brilliant (yes I am biased).

Haille was all about the tidal pools and their animals.
After we met up with the other half of the group I took off for a while by myself. I needed a break. I was hot, tired, and just... yeah. I wasn't interested in what the rest wanted to do and I was hoping to get to see some other parts of the park. So off I wandered. It was boring without the kid, but I needed the space. I finally found my way to the seals and sea lions, and realized the Clyde and Seymore show - so I texted Judy and held down some seats close to the action. It was considered a soak zone, so we split up. It was all a lie, though, we didn't even get near anyone getting wet. Such a bummer.

Haille, again, loved the show. Especially when Seymore was break dancing. Haille couldn't get over how silly the animals were. It was a short show - and it was cheesey - but it was nice to just sit with the sun going down. After that show we went to one last show - the Cirque de la Mer. This would become the highlight of the trip for most of us - especially Haille. She wanted to see it again, unfortunately we saw the last show (ever). It was humorous as well as impressive. You couldn't watch everything that was happening at once.

One thing the girls have in common - they love to SHOP!
After the show it was time for shopping. The girls were all about getting a lot of Sea World swag and gramma and grampa were all in for the shopping spree. We ended up in one of the bigger Shamu Shops. Gaylord and I went over to find out about this really cool picture op while the girls spent money.

We were all spent by then and so we got pizza in the park and then headed to the car. We had a two hour drive ahead of us, and another day at Disney the next day, and we needed to get back to the hotel. So no Shamu rocks for us or fireworks, but over all I think the girls had fun.

I can now cross going to the original Sea World off my list. I am still not sold on it - though San Diego is better than Orlando for some things. I'm just not into animal attractions like this. Disney's Animal Kingdom park fulfills my animal love far more, but I'm not anti Sea World. It's just not how I want to spend a day or two. Especially not in August (or June). But overall it was a great memory for the girls and that's what counts.

Next up - Day two at Disney which means neice and aunt time!

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