Finny has been on dozens and dozens of rides since we left Vancouver, but the one that she has been eagerly anticipating was only at Sea World: Elmo's Flying Fish. It is a simple ride, waaaay lamer than the others, but it has Elmo. Enough said. There were many questions of the "how many days till the flying fish" variety over the course of the trip down.
The arrival in the parking lot of Sea World resulted in a all-body Finny dance that I would make fun of, if it weren't so familiar. Eric reminded me of my near melt-down in the parking lot of Six Flags in 1994. I was so excited to get in to the roller coasters that I sort of lost it while waiting for Eric to sort out some stuff in the car. Plus, in the interests of full disclosure, I had to make a second "cool down" trip to the parking lot to recover from a hastily ingested taco salad, overlapped with too many rides. Let's just say, the kids didn't have any such problems. They are way too mature for that.
So really, I should lay off Finny and her excitement, right? Done.
Here's our girl, all jazzed up on the fish (and Molly behind us, in the Angel Fish):
Next stop, Abby's Sea Star Spin:
Then, a quick sprint to catch the 4-D Seasame Street movie (note the crazed expression):
We learned of a photo opportunity with ELMO! and Zoe. THAT wasn't to be missed. Look at the happiness on the girls' faces:
At the furry photo shoot, I caught the next picture, which might be my favourite so far. Elmo was giving Lukey a ginormous hug, but it looks like he's eaten him. It could be captioned "Cute Red Furry Monsters Gone Wild":
It almost looks like Zoe is moving to pull Elmo off. I hope Lukey's had all his shots.
Hold on, this isn't Sea-same World? What? Whales and stuff? Here at Elmo Park? We pried Finny away from the Jim Henson love-in and steered her towards the Shamu pool. We ended up watching a dolphin show and the Shamu show. Both were impressive. They have made a big effort to make the shows more education than "trick pony" oriented. The only real exception is the Shamu soak, which starts with chants of "Shamu, Shamu" and the ominous opening of a water gate to a rear pool. Then "Shamu" (I just checked and it's a trademarked name, after the original Shamu who died in 1971), circles the pool and douses the lower 14 rows of the stadium. Yes, we were in the bottom 14 rows. I had to explain to Lukey, who HATES being wet, that splashes are whale love and Shamu was giving him a cold water hug. He bought it! And in case you are wondering, we sat in the bottom rows for both shows. Suckers for punishment, I guess. Either that, or there is a part of me that also sort of believes that the splashes are whale love, too.
It occurred to me as I consoled wet Lukey that the Shamu soak is probably a true highlight in the captive whale's life. There was a saucy curve in "Shamu's" tail as she/he pushed hundreds of litres out of the pool into the faces of camera toting tourists. Even though I was one of those annoying bipeds, I enjoyed the thought of the whale's revenge.
Molly, who is a newly minted ride addict, had to do the only grown up ride at Sea World before we left. And bonus, Finny was tall enough too. The ride, Journey to Atlantis, was sort of weird, sort of good. And on the upside, the girls mostly stayed dry. Me, not so much. You can see my face of protest in the next picture. I am complaining to Eric, who stayed on dry land with Luacs.
Mt brother was in San Diego for business. We had met up with him at his pimping La Jolla hotel for an evening, but then he had to work for a couple of days. We planned to hook up again once he was done. Somehow, he managed to find us in the Sea World parking lot. We looked online to find hotel rooms for him and us, then headed to dinner. It was night two in a row of In-N-Out burger. It's good. Dangerously good. Only, bizarrely, you can't get anything good on their regular menu (except the milkshakes, where are stellar and only $1.85). You have to use their "secret" menu, which means ordering burgers "animal style". I know, it weird. But it's worth it.
We had an awesome time seeing my brother. The next day, he joined us at the San Diego Zoo. It was a nice treat to have him with us for a couple days.