Sea World, once again

This past weekend, I was lucky to have two days of the three day holiday off with the kids. In years past, that would have meant we ran our butts all over creation having a ball. Now, not so much.

To be fair to the kids, I got my butt off the couch and ventured over to Sea World with them. It's nice that we've got annual passes to a local theme park. We venture forth at our leisure, or in my case, as much as the leg will allow. So, off we went for a few hours of fun Monday.

For a holiday, the place wasn't as packed as I would expect. That said, I think we are starting to see the slowdown of vacationers from elsewhere. There were several encounters with 'vacation daze'*, but we were unscathed by the experience.

On the agenda was seeing on of the shows we had not seen before, Clyde and Seymour take Pirate Island. Front row seats, courtesy me using the walker to get around now. The pre show consisted of a young man in mime white face parodying people walking by, leading people to their seats (by taking them out the other exit of the theatre and generally being silly. Honestly, Tom the Pirate mime was the best part of the show.

The show contained some of the worst acting seen this side of the Atlantic. The young man who is supposed to be shipwrecked laughed his way through his lines and never was in character. The young lady playing the captain appeared to have taken lessons from the Bill Shatner school of acting. One or the other wouldn't be bad-but together, they couldn't hold anyone's interest. Only the deckhand was doing a decent job of following the script! The animals, of course, were quite endearing. I think this one will be a pass in the future, unless I go see the mime and then leave!

The stadium exit brings us out right by the Penguin house. Both boys love this exhibit, so we spend nearly an hour learning more about penguins. Afterwards, we got on the Skytower for a view of West Orlando and Sea World itself. Progress on Aquatica is quite noticeable now. Chef Jr is very excited to see this-he taught himself to swim because he saw the tubes of the water slide last time we did this! Motivation is a beautiful thing.

Sharks was the next attraction on the agenda. The kids again can spend hours looking at the fish here. The walker saved my sorry leg and foot here, as there is no seating anywhere and my boys will spend ages viewing the scorpion fish, barracudas and 'lettuce fish'. I parked myself under an AC vent. Ahhhhhhhh.

We all want to see Believe, which is starting in about a half hour. On the way, I pick up my free beer and then get in line for a soda for the kids. This was one of the few stands in the park that did not take credit and I'd only brought my id wallet. The young lady told us to take it anyway. Way cool.

Believe has changed since we last saw it, but it's still a great show. Sea World takes the pre show time to salute members of the military with Here's to the Heroes (free admission to active duty armed forces). No matter what your position is on the Iraq situation, it is hard to see nearly half the audience stand up as active or retired military and their families and not get a little misty eyed. It sets the stage for you to get caught up in the amazing things the whales do in the show.

Throughout the day, the heel and leg were 'announcing their presence with authority', and by the time Believe was over, I was done. Thankfully, the kids don't have a problem with the announcement that we were heading out. We detoured to the dolphin nursery, so I can have a sit and they can observe some more. It was feeding time, so the babies were very active.

A pointer here: go to the other side of the tank, away from the entrance. The dolphins all poked their heads up and looked at us crazy people saying hello. There was a young couple, me and the boys and we got a lot of attention from these beautiful creatures.

The ride home was uneventful and thankfully free of the jams that seem to fill I4 in the evenings. I am paying for all the walking around still, but you know what? It was worth the great day we had. Gameboy talked incessantly and Chef Jr didn't listen to me when I'd tell him to stop doing things, but that just means it was an ordinary day. In an extraordinary place.

*Vacation daze-that stupor that afflicts travelers. They walk slowly, with an alarming ability to come to a dead stop right in front of you. Driving, they change lanes and slow down in the process. Dazed people also have an alarming ability to hit my bad ankle with their strollers.

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