We arrived at SeaWorld pretty early — it was very near our camping area and we had the get their early, pay for premium parking, and remember that the tickets we pre-bought get us in without waiting in line thing down after LegoLand. So, we were ready. We knew we wanted to do the first Shamu show but it wasn’t for an hour so we decided to go over and see the Arctic exhibit. It was cool in San Diego so my short sleeved kids were chilly. Sweatshirts were the first order of business. We went to their Arctic exhibit and ride — it’s a simulation ride where you are taking a helicopter ride to an arctic ice station. It was really fun — Gage loved it. When you get off the ride, you get to see their arctic animal exhibits.
The polar bear was playing in a pile of ice they had put in there — eating it, rolling in it.
This walrus had an itchy back and was rubbing against the glass wall in front of Gage — he had a circuit he was going on — it was really cool to see his walrussy face so close up.
This Beluga whale was so beautiful. We saw him from above first and then below.
The Shamu show was incredible. Very moving. And, we got wet. I lost the battle over where we would sit so we were in the soak zone and it was a little early in the day to get soaked, in my opinion. However, we ended up having a blast — we did get wet, no doubt, but the show was wonderful and we were really close to the tank so we could really see it well.
We walked over to see a Sea Lion interaction area. This was during a time when they let people feed the sea lions — you can’t see it in this pic but there were also a LOT of seagulls and several snowy egrets in the area vieing for the fish as well. Ruthie was feeding the sea lions and a seagull flew through and snatched the fish right out of her fingers. Amazing. This guy was just making a lot of noise.
The dolphin show was also wonderful and a great way for us to get ready for the big event of the day. We arranged for Ruthie to swim — well, interact — with the dolphins. They have a program where for a fee, you can go in the pool with dolphins and interact with them. They put you in wetsuits, do a training session in a classroom and then you get to go in. Ruth was beyond excited.
She was in a group of 4 — this is her trainer talking to her.
Ruth meets Maggie the Dolphin. I love the way you can see how cautious and respectful Ruth is being — and how protective the trainer is of Maggie as well.
They learned some of the signals that the dolphins know and they all had chances to have the dolphins do behaviors. I don’t remember what Ruthie was telling Maggie to do but I love the look on each of their faces.
At the end, they got to ask Maggie to do a high-flying leap. I only shared a few of the 43 billion pictures I took of this. It was amazing. The really cool thing — to me — was that the dolphins seemed excited about it. When Ruth was doing the training and getting in her wetsuit, we were over at the edge waiting. There were three dolphins who could come into the pool where this program happens from one of the other pools you can see in the background. One of them, in particular, was over there a lot — especially if she saw one of the trainers. She was like an eager kid — come on, can we play now? Please? It was very endearing.
By this time, we had a bunch of tired Millers on our hands. We decided to go watch the Sea Lion/Otter show. It was the perfect choice. This bit that they did with the sea lions where the sea lions were following the trainers was one of highlights of our trip — we have had several episodes of following like sea lions on the rest of the trip. They had two sea lions in the show and they were wonderful. The show was very funny in a slap-stick kind of way. We needed that goofiness and it worked.
The sea otter was also delightful although really only had a bit part.
We finished up and left Sea World after that — a long and tiring day. We went out and had dinner and finally found a Target so we got that underwear thing taken care of! And then we all collapsed into sleep. Days of fun are hard on us — too much fun.