When I was in 6th grade, I started at a new Christian school in Santa Barbara, CA. At the end of the school year our class was scheduled to go on a Disneyland field trip. Didn’t go…haven’t forgotten…held a grudge. In January of that school year, our family moved to Sioux Falls, SD. I’ve often elaborated the sob story about abrupt change moving from CA where I had horses, a pool, and could walk to Henry’s beach, to SD in January where there was cold, wind, snow and no Disneyland.
That sob story may have recently been redeemed.
My college girl Lauren came to foreign Florida for a few weeks this summer. One of those weeks I was gone so when I returned we made up for lost time with beach time, shopping time, game time, walking time, exploring new places time and…Sea World. We left early one morning with JR and headed to Orlando. The camera went into action even as we drove up. I’d acquired my first ever smart phone for the sake of the camera function and had 24 hours of practice using it. 18 pictures later I learned the importance of charging its battery ahead of time.
First up was Shamu’s show. I did not make it through dry-eyed and had full body goose-bumps at the end. The whales jumped in unison, flipped upside down in groups, swam sideways along the edge of the tank splashing gallons of water on the audience. The whole show was mesmerizing so we saw it twice.
Next we saw the dolphin show. Those dolphins launched themselves out of the water with both power and grace and you’d swear, with a smile on their face. Trainers still get in the water with the dolphins, riding on their noses, getting thrown in the air, spinning around side by side. Who doesn’t want to be a Dolphin trainer when you grow up after watching that? I think I missed my true calling.
It is magical to get up so close to these creatures of the sea. After each show they would hang out in a tank you could stand next to – even put your face on the glass if you wanted. Lots of little kids did! If you dared, you could put your hands in a another tank and touch sting rays. Did it.
There were also tropical birds all over and Flamingos flocks were close enough to pet – didn’t do that.
Surprisingly Sea World has several roller-coasters. I love them. But I don’t ride alone. (Right Adie!!!!!) I didn’t have much luck recruiting a seatmate for the Kracken until the very end of the day. JR insisted the line would be short and he was right – no line at all. (JR ALSO insisted he will never get on a roller-coaster – period). Lauren got on moaning about how scared she was – even though she had jumped out of an airplane once…really – This is worse than That? Gotta say – I was pretty chill but Lauren was freaked on the slow uphill climb. After that – she kept her eyes closed and I held my breath. When I did breathe – I laughed really hard – then bit my lip and held my breath again. I’m not positive how many times we went upside down and sideways, I couldn’t keep track. It took a while for our hearts to regain sinus rhythm once our feet touched solid ground. What a Blast! We would both do it again…on the next visit.
We were there on a Friday – “Field Trip Friday” one teacher explained to us later. Groups of giggling energy all dressed in matching bright t-shirts were everywhere. I found myself watching them and imagining being on the field trip I’d missed at that age. However, I realized how incredible it was to be there on Field Trip Friday with my husband and daughter. So I’ve decided, the memory of what I missed has been redeemed. I shall replace it with a Family (minus Lyndsay) Field Trip to Sea World.
Dad – I’ll stop with the sob story now, 35 years later.
So – Fun Time in Florida on Field Trip Fridays. One more reason to come for a visit. It’s a must!