Monday, August 29, 2016

Sea World Day 1 Part 2

So after the amazing penguins we had some lunch and headed over to the water ride. Remember that Ally got soaked earlier in the day by the dolphin, but Becky and I remained dry then, but not much longer. 

On our walk over we spotted an orca whale in its tank! 

They were a bit nervous, and Becky changed into my flip flops to ride with Ally. I declined to ride, so Ally cheerfully declared I could keep the stuff with me dry. That would be the backpack, water bottles and penguin souvenirs! 

They look dry now.
But not for long! There was a great look out to watch for family and friends as they rode the ride.

See them waving at me?

And again at the end.
But boy were they soaked. So wet, that Becky suggested riding it a 2nd time. She said, since we're already wet, why not 
Little did she know she would get drenched on the 2nd time thru. 
So wet, we tried the dryer to help dry them off. 
It was a full body hand dryer
It didn't work. We had brought clothes for Ally to change into. But not Becky. She tried to hold off, but couldn't do it. So we outfitted her in some Sea World clothes. She looks great! Then it was off to see the Orca/Killer Whale show.

Selfie with Mommy.
Ally decided she didn't  want to get wet again so she covered up with her swimsuit.
The show was fantastic but we were all pretty tired walking back to the car. 

Later that night Ally got her second wind and made a gymnastics video in her new leotard in our hotel room!
She kept repeating over and over "I can't believe I touched an Emporer a Penguin! And 2 dolphins and the cleaner fish" 

What an amazing day!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sea World Day 1

Our first full day in San Diego was spent at Sea World. Becky and I did not plan to stay the whole day, but in the end we were there at 10am for the opening and left at 5:30pm. What an amazing day.

The plants look like sea plants.
Our first stop was Dolphin Point. There was an animal presentation about to begin.







Ally was so good and let other kids have a chance to touch it after she had.
Yes Ally touched a dolphin!!! 2 actually, a mommy and a baby dolphin about 1 year old. It was an incredible start to our day.

Ally literally reached out and touched the dolphin.

At the end of the program the dolphins splashed people and Ally got drenched (which is a recurring Sea World theme).

Then it was off to the Dolphin Show




After the amazing show we had a snack and checked out the sea turtle and shark exhibits and then the touch pools. 

Checking out the Sharks from above.
In the glass enclosure completely surrounded by sharks. Ally doesn't like sharks, can you tell?

We saw some really neat fish called Cleaner Fish and they eat stuff off coral and other other surfaces in the ocean. In the touch tank the fish nibble your hand.
Ally thought it was so cool.
But finally it was time for a very special event. We bought tickets to:

It was absolutely amazing. It was an hour long behind the scenes tour of the Penguin exhibit. There are several kinds of penguins at Sea World: Adelie, Gentoo, Macaroni, King and Emperor. Emperor Penguins are Ally's very favorite animal. Our tour guide told us that Emperors are only in 4 locations in the whole world, a zoo in Japan, a zoo in China, Antarctica and Sea World San Diego!!! He said that we wouldn't get to meet an Emperor because they are too big to bring into the room for us to touch and see. But that we would get to meet one of the other kinds and would visit inside the Penguin enclosure which is cold to simulate the Antarctic. 
And there they were, Emperor penguins!  After walking thru the public exhibit we were brought behind the scene.
Various penguin eggs on display. We got to touch some real eggshells and feathers too.
Quite quickly Thad the marine biologist brought in our friend:

The penguin just walked right in the room.

So he scooped up the Gentoo penguin and there it was.

It was possibly one of my favorite moments of being a mom. Sharing this experience with Ally. It's hard to capture how much great fullness I felt and still feel at being able to have give this experience to Ally. 
I just couldn't stop smiling. 


After everyone touched the Gentoo penguin it stayed in the room for a while while we were able to ask some questions. That is our great tour guide photo bombing the picture Ally took. She loved it!
Then half of the group, 6 people went up to the enclosure and the rest of us waited. After about 15 minutes it was our turn to go up.


It was cold, 27 degrees and we were dressed for summer! But it was incredible.

400 penguins. And no glass separating us. It was so cool. In all the ways cool is!
This Emperor penguin, #82 walked over to us.

Right over to us and Ally got to touch him.
This is her face after she touched the Emperor penguin. So much excitement.
Ally kept hugging me and squeezing my hand afterwards. She was amazed and grateful it was fantastic. The whole experience.


The day didn't end here! More to come in Part 2