We arrived at Sea World yesterday morning, and the kids were extremely excited to see all the great shows and ride all the rides. Due to my horrible case of vertigo (yeah, just like Jimmy Stewart in the movie) I could not ride any of the rides that went very high. This was a bummer to my son until he rode the "Steel Eel" and discovered that he may have inherited it.
All in all, we had an amazing time.
I tried to spend as much individual time with each of my children as I could, taking Meagan, my youngest out first. We went to see the dolphins up close (the line to buy food for them was oppressively long) but she actually got to touch the nose of one of them, so she was giddy anyway. She had her picture taken with her favorite muppet, The Cookie Monster. However, just as we were at the front of the line to see him, his handler said that there would be no more pictures until later today. Cookie monster was much more accommodating, motioning Meagan to come up so that I could snap the precious shot you see here. I went to the nature displays with my oldest daughter Kaylee, who informed me about the traits and name of every species we encountered. I held hands with my middle daughter, who is quiet, reserved, and doesn't really care about all the fluff of the rides and attractions, who just likes to spend time with me. I rode weird rides with my son, who is adventurous and is always willing to take a risk even if it scares him to death...and scares his dad, too. Kristie, my beautiful wife, took these awesome pictures.
My mother had probably the hardest time. She is 71 years young, had mitral valve replacement surgery 7 years ago, and lives a pretty active lifestyle, but the heat (a humid 92 degrees) really got to her. She was fine, saying she was a little light headed now and again, but we made sure she drank plenty of water and she did fine. We all went to ride the Rio Loco, a giant tire with six seats facing each other in a ring. We were told by every sign that we were destined to get completely soaked, and that is exactly what happened. My mom's usually perfect hair was absolutely plastered to her head and we indeed became entirely drenched once we passed under the final water fall.
The shows were by far the best part of the trip for all of us. My teen age nephew and niece wanted to ride every coaster in the park (and did) but we thoroughly enjoyed the interactive nature of the shows, and made sure we sat deep within the splash zones of every stadium. The killer whale show was our favorite, as Shamu made sure to float by us with his tail just above the surface, blasting salty cold water onto all of us like a fire hose.
We finally left Sea World San Antonio long after 7pm, exhausted, feet hurting, but full of joy and wonder at the great time we had experienced with our family. I have always said that I could have a great time with my family even if there were not any distractions or rides or things to see. They are a joy to be around, and our relationships are solid. We are building a memories.
When I finally arrived at the hotel, I waited until everyone went to bed, and then churned out a chapter of my novel. It may not be the best writing I have ever done, but it is progress. Today we will venture down to the famous river walk and then on to the Alamo...even though rain is in the forecast. Like I said, building memories.