Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Vacation, Part Three

In which we conclude our Florida adventure and I load you up with far too many pictures....

Thursday was a pretty quiet day. We did a fair bit of swimming - all our fingers were wrinkly before the day was out - and we managed to get in a round of putt-putt before the four o'clock thunderstorm came through. It turns out, Beanie is a WICKED putt-putter. Who knew?

On Friday - our only "scheduled" day - we headed out early and got to Sea World JUST as it was opening. We met up with my Girlfriend and her older son and made a dash right for the sea lion and otter show. It was a lot of fun. I am particularly fond of sea lions and seals and once, when I was a little girl, I had fantasies of working with them at the New England Aquarium. My suckiness in science and my seafood allergy pretty much put the kibosh on that plan, so I get to shows whenever I can. Anyway, it was a good show and I got some decent pictures.

We continued on through the park, watching shows and taking in exhibits. The Shamu show was, I have to say, pretty disappointing, but the dolphin show was spectacular.

Daddy took Punkin Pie on the flume ride - Journey to Atlantis - and she came off crying.

The ride itself wasn't that hair-raising, but the story creeped her out. You see, my eldest is enamored of mermaids, and I gather there's one in the story that starts out all lovely and swishy, just like a mermaid should be, but reveals herself to be a spiteful sea witch when "someone" in the "crew" you're on tries to take something out of Atlantis as a keepsake or something. She "chases" you out of her home, spits you out and then sucks you back in for a scary part at the end. I didn't go on - Beanie was BARELY tall enough and the ride warned that "riders must have three functioning limbs to ride," which kind of scared me off - but I was there when it was all over to hold my quivering and crying nine-year-old. Yay! Let's go get some ice cream.

The girls had a fantastic time on the Shamu Express, which is a roller coaster designed for the little people in the crowd. By the time the evening was almost over, the lines had thinned and we got to ride on the thing six or seven times. The last trip around, I stayed on the ground while the girls waited in line for the first car. I got some pretty good pictures.

When we were done there, we realized that we'd spent ALL DAY at the park. Neither Husband nor I had expected we'd last that long, but we did, so we figured we'd stay the extra 45 minutes and see the park closing fireworks. While we waited, Husband went on the stupid, scary, twisty floorless roller coaster called Kraken. Punkin Pie was scared for Daddy, but Daddy was PSYCHED.

I'm here to tell you, that thing looked SCARY! The haul you up this ridiculously long hill, drop you a little bit, then throw you down towards a lake, whip you around a loop, twist you around for a couple of turns, flip you upside down again, throw you UNDERGROUND and twist you around a few more times. And it's FAST. See that picture? That's Husband going by. The car was too fast for my camera to focus.

And this? This is husband coming off the ride. Can you tell which one is him?

He’s SO sad that his twin brother wasn’t there with us. Usually, Bruder comes on vacation in Florida with us, and accompanies my husband on all those stupid, nausea-inducing rides. This time, Husband had to go on his own. I’m not sure that was such a hardship, though; do you?

If you go to Sea World, don’t bother staying in the park for the final show. They made the mistake of putting a story with it, which they project onto fans of water spit up from the center lagoon. The problem is, unless one is directly in front of the water curtain, one can’t tell what’s going on. You’d do just as well to sit in your car in the parking lot and watch the fireworks, which were pretty good. That way, you avoid the STAMPEDE of people leaving all at the same time and miss the crush of tired, cranky, disoriented people who don’t know which way to turn to get back to their hotel. Tired, cranky disoriented people in rental cars are just dangerous.

Saturday was a “stay at home” day for us. We spent most of it in the pool - again - and had a wonderful time. We broke for a late lunch at Macaroni Grill - our nearest one at home is an hour away - then came home and did another round of putt-putt. After that, we went swimming once more then came home and tossed the girls in the big tubby in the master bathroom (I can’t wait until MY big tubby is installed!) while we started the leaving process. We got a lot packed up ahead of time, which meant we were able to check out right on schedule.

After a quick stop to pick up a present for my sister, we were on our way to the airport. Unfortunately, we arrived JUST as the ugly weather did, and it took us far longer to get out than we’d hoped. Still, we made it home safely and are glad to be back.


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