» The Bug is back! We went to Seaworld this week .. the one down in San Diego. (First time there for both of us.) First thing we did upon arrival » follow the screams to the park's gnarliest ride » Journey to Atlantis, where the Bug rode his first roller coaster.
The ride's height-requirement is a minimum of 42 inches. He passed easily, which means he can ride if accompanied by an adult. (Kids over 48-inches need no adult.)
The Bug and the 9-year old girl who accompanied him both wanted to sit up front. (Each car has 4-rows of 2-seats per.) I sat directly behind them. (The girl's mom & her older brother both chickened out.)
The first plunge is the most dramatic drop, where you become weightless for a few seconds (.. tho it somehow seems much longer at the time).
It reminds me of Splash Mountain at Disneyland, at least the plunge part .. tho the wait (15 or 20 mins) wasnt nearly so long.
We took in as much as we could before closing time, sometimes running from place to place. This included both the Shamu and the dolphin shows (.. where the loudest ooh's & ahh's were coming from). These are impressive shows, especially Shamu, being such a huge animal.
Maybe I'm just projecting .. but Shamu actually seems to have personality. Charisma, even. And it is clear from the tricks they do .. that they are remarkably intelligent creatures (.. smarter than some humans, you might argue).
I'm curious .. as to how much they have Shamu in$ured for. I mean, if you think about it (the math is not difficult), he bring$ in more than any professional athlete.
» The Soak Zone
The first dozen rows are located in the aptly-named "Soak Zone". They do not mean 'splash,' no. They mean » soak.
I saw a guy with nary a dry spot on his entire body. "Shamu got me *three* times," he said, holding out a number of dripping fingers. His Nike's made a squishing sound as he walked away. (His girlfriend was dry.)
So it surprised me when the Bug asked (after the show had already started), "Can I go down there, dad?"
"You mean down there? In the soak zone?"
"Yeah!" he said, with a gleam in his eye.
••• today's entry continues here below •••
» Change of Heart
At first I said, 'No.'
The water was cold, the sun was hiding behind clouds, and those people down there were getting seriously drenched.
But something about that didnt sit well. He looked so disappointed. (Kills me.) So I said, "Okay, come on. Let's go."
[ Hard to say No when you only have them for a limited time. Plus I have always tried to convey the notion that his desires are important to me. ]
I brought along an extra pair of shorts and sweatshirt for him, in case he needed dry clothes. Not much brings me more joy than seeing that look of wide-eyed enchantment. Nirvana. A timeless feeling.
[ Tho every time Shamu headed our way, I made for the stairs. =) ]
Later we stood on a conveyor that carried us thru a clear tube .. with sharks swimming all around. Big ones. You could see their teeth. That was short, but cool while it lasted. Very.
I see why they installed a conveyor belt. Otherwise folks would congregate. Almost hypnotizing in there. Sharks have been around for millions of years. They know how to survive. And they're none-too-altruistic about it. Instincts with teeth. Lots of 'em.
I also enjoyed seeing the tank of piranhas. Hundreds of them. Each with flecks-of-sparkle on their sides. Funny how they all seemed to be starring at me, licking their lips. "Mmm. Doesnt he look tasty." =)
» Torrey Pines
On the way down, we stopped for lunch at Torrey Pines. Beautiful place. Gorgeous. There we watched a few golfers tee off and the kids got their feet wet in the giant salt-water pool. Warm.
Torrey Pines has the nicest croquet field I've ever seen .. the only croquet-only field I've ever seen.
One of the kids who works there told me these Torrey pine trees grow only there and one-other place on the planet .. an island off the coast of Santa Barbara.
They need a specific climate with lots of moisture in the air in order to grow. The moisture collects on the needles and drips into the ground, where it's absorbed by the roots.
We came away with the idea that the Lodge was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but that's not true. A follow-up call to the concierge informed us that the Lodge was designed by two brothers » Greene & Greene (Charles & Henry).
The roller coaster was too much for him. "That was *not* fun, dad," he said on the way out. (Kids smaller than the Bug rode.)
The girl sitting beside did a surprisingly good job of comforting him.
He also badly wanted to do the Dolphin Encounter, where kids can actually get in the water with the animals and pet them. We simply ran out of time.
As night fell, he wanted a light-saber from one of the street vendors hawking them.
There again, I first said, 'No.' ■