Since we moved to Florida, I've been wanting to take full advantage of our resident discounts for the theme parks before we had to start paying for the kids. The boys love animals of all kinds, and they really love nature shows that focus on sea life (maybe it's a little bit of parental influence as I love them as well). Anyway, I'd been bugging Bob about going to SeaWorld with the kids, and in March we decided it would be a good time to go. Luckily, our Florida residential deal is pay for a day at the park and get the rest of the year thrown in for free. They also have a preschool program where if you bring your kids birth certificates, they get free admission until they are five, so now all five of us plus Jim and Kathy have season passes to SeaWorld. We drove down early in the morning, put the boys in their strollers, gave them a map, and got our Shamu on.
The boys are getting better at posing for pictures, but they do have a limited shelf life as this pseudo family photo Kathy took for us shows.
I can't say that I blame the boys. Who wants to sit around waiting for pictures when there are animals to be seen. Our first stop was the manta ray pool. The kids LOVED it. They've been to the sting ray bay at the zoo, but this was a pool teeming with mantas who would float by and splash you with their wings. The boys didn't want to leave. They were so excited to be able to reach in the pool and get close to the rays.
Perhaps the biggest challenge of our time at SeaWorld was keeping the kids out of the water. Everywhere we went, they just wanted to jump right into the middle of things and check it out. Perhaps it's too much Kratt's Creatures with their theme song to "get outside, get into nature."
Ryan wanted to get a little closer to the action. He was pretty sure that if he got close enough, the dolphins would come give him a personal greeting.
We had some lunch, let the kids splash around in the water area. In the above picture, Michael is in the middle, James is directly behind him and Ryan is running off to the right. The kids loved playing in the water. I brought a change of clothes, so after lunch, we changed outfits and went to see the seals.
I can not over emphasize how much James loved the pirate show the seals Clyde & Seymour put on. He was enthralled. He kept shouting about the map every time the otter ran across the stage with it. Of course, we were so high in the stands, he'd yell "the mouse, the mouse" every time he saw it.
By 3 p.m., the park was crazy crowded, the shows were all packed, and the kids were tired, so we decided to head back home to Jacksonville with a quick stop to watch the pearl divers. We had such a great time, and the kids keep asking to go back. I'm sure we will once Florida is not hovering between completely submersion by rain and extreme heat. I can't wait to see the new sea turtle exhibit, so we must return. October, here we come.