Sea World {Family Vacation - Journal Entry}

{Another one of my journaling entries written for my family.....of a fun filled week.}

Last week we surprised the kids and took them down to LA for a week.

We woke them up early on Sunday and got them eating breakfast at the table. Kids are very intuitive, and at least a couple were wondering why we had gotten them up so early, or why dad kept looking at mom, or why I kept fiddling with my camera (Trying to get it to record.)

My Sweetie then picked up a magazine that had a Disney ad in it, and asked if they wanted to go.

We must mess around with our kids a lot, because it took us a full ten minutes to convince them that we were quite serious about leaving as soon as they had packed. (One child said she did not believe us until halfway down I-5, and thought we were having her pack up her clothes so their room was clean.)

We heard:

"The real Disneyland?"

"You mean right now, in my pajamas?"

"On a Sunday?"

and, "Are you kidding with us?", about fifteen times.

{I do have a video, but there wasn't an Aha moment for them and it is about 7 minutes long so too boring to show.)

{Somewhere in the vast, boring expansiveness of I-5}

We drove all the way to San Diego,  dumped our stuff at our hotel, and made our way to Mission Beach, and to a taco stand we found on Yelp.

I really liked San Diego. The weather difference between LA and SD was amazing; there were so many more palm trees in San Diego and a bit more humidity. And if you know me, you know I love that kind of weather.

My Sweetie liked SD for a different reason....his beloved Chargers were playing on MNF that week, so we saw this everywhere.

As he told me, he was among his own people.

Next we hit Mission Beach and saw the most amazing sunset.

And yes, my Northern California friends, the water here is way warmer.

The colors were breathtaking.

We were smart and stayed in hotels that had breakfasts included...the hotel in San Diego had this nice patio among ferns and palm trees.

Monday morning was Sea World.

One of our first moments there was a neat one; as we waited for the park to completely open at 10 am, they played the Star Spangled Banner, which they do every single morning. It was neat standing there, with all the other guests with our hats off, remembering our freedom.

The rides at Sea World were good ones.

This was our first one, Journey to Atlantis.

 I don't want to give anything away, but this is truly a combination ride, with both roller coaster and water flume parts.

We headed over to the Manta; none of the girls had really been on roller coasters before so we didn't really prep them, just told them they could handle it.

They loved this one; Dasher told me later that if she had really stopped and watched it before riding on it, she wouldn't have gone.

The park was very uncrowded; at one point on Manta, they told us we could ride again and just switch seats.

We went on this thing at least 6 times.

{You can see Mr. Lego and Bookworm in the front row}

The Bayside Skyride was cool and went out over the Bay.

Shipwreck Rapids was a water run ride and yes, we got wet.

The Shamu show was the best one there, and I was pretty impressed with what they could get the killer whales to do.

Another neat thing they do every day at the Shamu show is to ask all active and retired military to stand; they show some of their faces on the gigantic video tron while we all applaud and show them our thanks.

These whales were huge.

We sat in the Splash Zone, since it was 85 degrees out, and thought it would be nice to get "splashed".

And then we saw this coming towards us....

Um, .....we got SOAKED. The trainer sent that massive beast over to our section 3 times, and we all looked like we had buckets of sea water poured over our heads.

The other show we watched were the dolphins. Aside from the corny storyline, the dolphins themselves were beautiful.

And it wasn't just dolphins but trained birds flew around (too quick for my point and shoot camera) and some high diving too.

This was cool; she put a ring on one dolphins nose and rode them around the pool.

The dolphin synchronization was amazing, and fun to watch.

Other things we saw:

Shark Encounter - very cool tube you walk through with sharks swimming all around

Fish Aquarium - where we saw piranhas being fed

 And Wild Arctic - you take a ride in a helicopter (motion simulator) to the Arctic, which opens into a replica of a research station. You wind through the station, seeing polar bears, beluga whales, and penguins. (Real animals, in case you were wondering.)

The only problem with this place was that they really want you to feel like you are in the Arctic so they kept the temperature pretty cold. (There is even an ice tunnel!) We had just done Shamu and were all very wet and so walked through this exhibit pretty quickly.

After we rode all the rides one more time, it was time for the park to close.

Looking back......Sea World has some great shows. There are only 3 major rides there; plus 3 others, one of which was closed. (Plus a younger kids area too.) But we did fill the day and weren't bored. It is basically an amusement park wrapped into an aquarium/zoo and has stuff for both the older and younger crowd. The food was not that great and seemed overpriced for what you got.

After Sea World we headed to another hole-in-the-wall place we had heard about, Mr. Ruriberto's Taco Shop.

This place had the. best. tacos. ever.

Then back to Mission Beach for a short visit to the beach to jump in the waves before we headed up to Anaheim.

{I plan on writing more in the coming weeks about the other places we visited....thanks for putting up with my journaling}


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