Monday, May 24, 2010

Make A Wish Trip Day 3 - SeaWorld

Make a Wish Trip Day 3 – Sea World

After such a long and tiring day on Monday, we decided that Tuesday morning we would take it easy and just let the kids (and us) sleep until they woke up.  The plan actually worked pretty well.  We all slept until about 8:30am.  We heard the girls up and Brianna came in our room to see if they could take a bath.  The villa we were staying in was actually pretty nice.  It had a kitchen a front room, and kids bedroom with attached bathroom.  Their bathroom was huge, with a walk in shower and a jetted tub.  Our room was down the hall and we did not have an attached bathroom.  There was a normal bathroom with shower/tub in the hall.

A funny thing Natalie and I noticed about the water in Florida – it had a sulfurous smell.  I guess this is normal for that area, but we were not used to it.

So back to the question about the girls wanting to take a bath…..they thought it would be fun to take a bubble bath in the jetted tub.  We of course told them it was ok, and then went back to sleep.  We heard the water running and everything seemed to be fine.  We then heard some screaming and then this conversation (remember the sulfur smell)

Bri: “ oh man what is that smell?”

Cassi:  “I don’t know”

Bri:  “ I think this tub is filling up with lake water”

Cassi:  “ What is that?”

Bri: “I think there is poop in the tub.  This is so gross and stinky – poopy lake water is in our bath”

At this point we walk in to see what in the world is going on.  Natalie found the girls out of the water straddling the top the tub.    Of course the water was normal and clear.  We thought it was so funny once we realized it was just the smell of the Florida water.  We explained this to the kids, but by that time there was no way they were going to get wet in that stinky water….”we would stink all day”.

After the bath, we got ready and headed to our first day of breakfast at the Gingerbread house at the GKTW village.  This is the cafeteria building that is open for breakfast and dinner, but since we left early on Monday it wasn’t open yet that day.  The breakfast was not great but pretty good, but if you asked Cassi, she thought it was the best thing on earth.  She wanted to eat everything she could see.  I would definitely say her eyes were bigger than her stomach.  Her favorite thing of all was the hash browns.  They weren’t the typical breakfast hash browns of shredded potatoes, but rather small chunks of potatoes.  I am not sure how they fried them, but they were actually pretty good.

We headed a back to our villa to get ready and then left for Sea World.

Luckily GKTW is pretty close to all the parks, so it only took us about 20 minutes to drive there.  We were excited to see some dolphins and seals and killer whales.  On the way in, we of course had to stop at a gift shop and we go the kids and Natalie sunglasses.  Cassi wanted a stuffed dolphin, but we convinced the kids to wait and we would get them each something later in the day.  We didn’t want to have to carry it around all day.

 Already we were down $50 and we hadn’t even entered the park.  Once we got inside we went to get stroller rental.  We had learned our lesson from the day before.  Luckily once again, parking and the stroller rental was free (made up for the $50 and then some) – not to mention the park entrance fee.  Make A Wish is great..

We got a map and saw that we were just in time for the dolphin show, so we headed for a seat at the dolphin stadium.

The show was fun.  Of course there were dolphins swimming with the trainers, but there were also some pretty cool birds – some even flying over our heads in the stands.

I had the video camera with me, but halfway through the show, it ran out of batteries.  I thought I had charged it all night, but something must have happened.  Luckily I still had our normal camera.

We learned something interesting from the day before at Disney World….the kids love riding roller coasters.  Sea World was a combination of animals and coasters, but unfortunately, the kids were too small to ride most of the rides at SeaWorld.  One that they did fit was the Journey to Atlantis water ride.

This ride is basically a log ride with a big hill and splash at the end, but it also had some fun little dips and turns after the big drop as well, so it was a really fun ride.  Of course the kids loved it and we didn’t get too wet, so that was good too.  Once again we got to go to the front of the line.  Actually we don’t even go to the front, we go up through the exit and get on the ride from the exit, so we don’t have to cut in front while people are staring at us giving us dirty looks.  Not that I would have cared, but it makes it better – we don’t have to wait in line, and also we don’t tick people off who have waited an hour, while we only waited as long as it took us to walk to the ride and have a worker undo the chains for us to get in.

Once we got off the ride, we walked through the gift shop and only had the fight the kids for a bit that we wouldn’t buy anything.

One cool thing in the gift shop was that they had some fishtanks, and one of them was in the floor.  You could walk over it and see it through the floor.  They also had some jellyfish and medusas.

After the ride we wanted to feed the dolphins, but we just missed the time, so we headed to the penguin house.  It was pretty underwhelming.  If you have been to the St. Louis zoo, the zoo is way better.  You can see in the picture that Zach was not impressed.

We still had some time to kill, and the kids were getting hungry, so we headed to get something to eat.  The kids wanted chicken strips…of course….why would we ever NOT want chicken strips.  Luckily most places know that kids love chicken strips, and parents usually don’t.  We found a pizza place that sold chicken strips as well.  One funny thing about this place was we ordered our drinks and when I asked for lids, they said they did not have lids because it was bad for the wildlife…..ok.  Well while we were eating, we saw a bird with a gimp leg…he must have had a bad experience with a cup lid.  I thought I took a picture of it, but I can’t find it anywhere.  Too bad - I thought it was funny.

When we were done eating, we went to feed the dolphins.  Also part of MakeAWish was we got to feed the dolphins for free.  Normally this was like $20 per person.  Great deal and a lot of fun.  The dolphins were in a big pool and we all lined up along the wall and they brought us each a tray of 5 fish.  The trainers told us that we should hold the fish far out and low to the water and not tease the dolphins by taking the fish away because the dolphins would follow the fish and come up too far out of the water.

The dolphins had been fed enough like this, that as soon as we got out there and up to the wall, they came right up to us.  Brianna thought it seemed easy.  As soon as she got up enough courage to actually touch the fish, she held it out over wall and a dolphin came up to eat it.  All Brianna saw was the big mouth with teeth, and she freaked out and pulled her arm up and away.  The dolphin of course followed it and came up pretty far out of the water.  It was pretty funny.

Each of the parks are great with the MakeA Wish kids, so as soon as they saw Zach the trainers came over and got some dolphins to stay so we could touch and pet them.  It was really cool and the kids all loved it.

On our way out, we bought a nice picture of us feeding the dolphins they took from across the pool.

Outside of the dolphin feeding pool was the stingray pool.  For only $10 you could get a tray of 5 shrimp to feed the sting rays.  This wasn’t free, but we bought some shrimp and got some up close time with the stingrays.  The way to feed them was you held the shrimp up between your index and middle finger and then put your hand flat on the bottom of the pool.  The stingray would swim up and over your hand and then suck it out of your hand.  They were pretty slimy to touch, but very interesting to see them “fly” through the water.  This was actually really cool and Zach absolutely loved it.  We probably spent an hour with the stingray.  There was one that kept coming back and splashing us and Zach would laugh and smile every time.  Funny enough, our animal lover Cassi was not into the stingrays at all.  She touched  them once and that was it.  She sat in the stroller the rest of the time.

After the stingrays, the kids wanted to go back to the Journey to Atlantis ride, so we headed back there and rode the ride 2 times in a row (another perk of getting to the front is they usually will just let you stay on and ride again).

By this time it was starting to get late in the afternoon, and we wanted to make sure to get a good seat at the closing Shamu show which started at 6:30 and then the park closed at 7.  We made our way across the park the stadium and decided we had enough time to walk through the shark house.

The shark tanks were pretty cool.  You walked in and then you were underneath the tanks, and walked through a big long tunnel and were surrounded by all types of sharks.  The saw shark was the coolest.

When we got out of the shark tank we stopped and got some dippin dots and then headed over to the Shamu Stadium to close out our day.

Of course the kids hadn’t forgotten about the fact they wanted some stuffed animals, but we assumed that there would be a gift shop by the stadium, so we decided not to back track and risk not getting a good seat.

It was about a 10 minute walk, but we got there in plenty of time.

The Shamu show was pretty good, but I think they had changed it up, as there was rarely any time where the trainers and the whales were in the pool at the same time….I guess they didn’t want another trainer to get eaten…..

They were selling towels for the front rows, but were were high enough up where we were not in any real danger of getting wet.  The front rows needed the towels, as they got soaked multiple times.

After the show we followed the masses towards the gate, hoping a few shops would still be open.  Luckily we found a shop that was closing up, but let us in a quickly get some things.  We got Cassi and Zach each a dolphin, and Brianna got a polar bear she had had her eye on all day.  They were happy and we were ready to get back to the village and eat some dinner and get the kids ready for their bed-time surprise.

Once we got home, we ordered room service (free again) and then headed to get a quick icecream before bed time.

GKTW has a few Disney-like characters of their own, and one thing they offer is to have the Mayor or his wife Miss Mary (both big bunny rabbits) surprise the kids with tuck-ins one night during our stay.  We scheduled them for tonight.  We had just gotten dinner, but we told the kids they had to go to bed for a surprise, and then they could get out and eat.  They still had no idea what was going on, but they were excited for something.

When the heard the doorbell ring, they all gave out a squeal and then got real excited when they saw a big bunny walk in their room.  She was really fun and had fun with each the kids jumping on their bed and giving them all kisses and such.  It didn’t help the kids get ready for sleeping, but that was ok, they still had to eat dinner.

We ate dinner and got to bed at about 10:30.  We needed a good sleep to get ready for an early and full day at Universal Studios.


em said...

What a fun and exciting day! Cool that you got to see so many animals and feed them! I loved seeing the video of Miss Mary. So funny! I love to hear the kids laughing. It makes me smile and laugh. Love them!

Tami said...

I laughed out loud at Brianna and Cassi's bath water conversation. Hilarious! And the story of Brianna feeding the dolphin for the first time-so funny! Again, I laughed out loud. I love the pictures of Zach feeding the stingrays. And I absolutely LOVE the videos of the kids getting tucked into bed. Their laughs made me laugh, and Miss Mary is such fun with the kids. I love your posts and wish so much that I could have been there to watch the kids experience it all.