Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sea World

Warning:  I wrote about our experience on the way home from Sea World (2 hour drive) so there is a lot of words and a lot of pictures.

The 3 kids and I went to Sea World with my parents and little brother and sister, Kade and Kindra on Friday. Kip was working and my family was going so we decided to go with them because when we went before radiation, the passes we bought were good for another day sometime in 2011. We figured we should go now before chemo starts. I love Sea World and so do the kids. It was a hot and crowded day but so fun! We went to the Azul show first. It has the Balooga whales and dolphins and birds in it. Its my favorite show.  Crew loved the birds in it. He would point at them and yell. He loves to make noise and scream and yell. The girls loved it too. We went to the sea lion show next and it was really cute. Jaylie really wanted to ride the little shamu roller coaster they have for kids, so we did that and then rode several other little kid carnival type rides. Even Breklyn loved them! She just laughed and had the biggest smile during the rides which surprised me because she is usually scared of everything.  It was pretty hot so we were all ready for the water park after that. Jaylie's friend, Bradley, came up to Sea World to see her. They live in San Antonio and have season passes. She was so excited to see him and they had fun playing together and swimming together.  The wave pool was so fun. Crew loved walking around in the shallow part and Jaylie and Bradley loved swimming out and crashing into the waves. The girl has no fear and is a little fish. Breklyn wanted to be held in the water most the time or sat with Papa where the waves crashed onto their laps. They all had fun and it was nice and refreshing.   We went and did the lazy river next. Crew fell asleep in the stroller on the way there so I stayed out with him and everyone else went in the water. After a couple laps I went in and my Dad stayed with Crew. Breklyn had fallen asleep on my mom in the tube and Jaylie was just swimming and having so much fun. She could live in the water! Her energy is really amazing after going through radiation too.  When we got out of the lazy river, a man approached us and told us he works at Sea World and he could take us behind the scenes to see some of the animals if we wanted.  Steve was his name and he was so nice! He and his 5 year old daughter were hanging out in the water park on his day off. He was so nice to offer to take the time and do this for us.  We were so excited! He made some phone calls and we followed him over to see the Balooga whales and the Pacific white sided dolphins who are in the Azul show. We went behind the stage where the animals stay. It was very neat and the animals were amazing! One nice trainer, Vanessa, showed us one of the Balooga whales. These whales are amazing from the stands but are so gorgeous and even more amazing close up. Vanessa let us all touch the whale  and Jaylie got to feed her. She felt  cold and Jaylie describes it that she felt like jello, kind of squishy.  Vanessa told Jaylie to move her hands a certain way, it was a signal to make the whale talk. I guess she did the wrong signs at first because she burped. Jaylie tried again and she talked for us. It was awesome! The kids loved it and all of us adults loved it too. Everyone we met back there was so nice and friendly.  Steve then took us to the Sea Lion exhibit and we went behind the scenes there too. Steve would introduce us to the trainers and always said we were the Ferguson's (my maiden name) from the waterpark. He met us in the waterpark:) Todd and Mike were the trainers who showed us the animals. They showed us a sea lion named  L Rod and an old, huge walrus who is the Uncle in the show. It was awesome! We also saw a baby sea lion and some tiny otters. The baby sea lion was named Mandy I think. She broke her jaw and couldn't nurse so they rescued her and are bottle feeding her. She was so cute. We all got to touch L Rod and the big walrus, I don't remember her name. Jaylie, Breklyn, and Steve's little girl got to feed the sea lion by throwing fish to him. It was amazing how he could catch the fish so well. He was so cute! The walrus was so big! She did some tricks for us and then the trainer told Jaylie to make a fist and put it close to the walruses mouth. She kissed Jaylies hand! Jaylie laughed so hard. We watched her eat fish too, she was a loud slurpy sounding eater. We all got to touch her too. She was hairy, kind of course hair. All the animals felt really neat. It was such an amazing experience. It was all of our first times to see these animals up close and touch them. Not many people get to do that. Steve said they like to find special people and families and take them back stage like that sometimes and that he loves to be able to do that and to make people smile. He told us he had been an animal trainer for over 20 years but he loved the most being able to see people interact with the animals like that and seeing the joy it brings people and that's what makes his job so fun. It sure brought all of us joy, especially little Jaylie. Thank you Steve for seeing us, thinking of us and taking time out of your day to show us around. We are so grateful for you and all the people we met there. It was an experience we will never forget.

Laughing during a show
Watching a show with Papa
Posing with the penguin

 Jaylie's friend Bradley

 Waiting in line for a ride
Breklyn shying away from the camera. I have never bought my kids cotton candy before, this was a first.
Jaylie gets tired a little easier than she used to, so we brought the double stroller for the little 2 kids and then put Jaylie in this one.
Crew's head sticking out when he was sleeping :)
Steve taking us behind the scenes at the Azul show
Balooga Whale
Feeding the whale
Crew with Papa
Going behind the scenes at the Sea Lion show. You can see the red on Jaylie's spine in this picture from the radiation. This is as red as it ever got. It didn't seem to bother her too much except itch a little.
Breklyn with Nana
My brother Kade

My sister Kindra
From left to right: Me, Crew, my Dad with Steve's little girl in front of him, Kade, My Mom with Breklyn and Jaylie and then Kindra
Me and Crew
My Dad
Baby Sea Lion
Little Sea Otters
Crew looking at the Otters, he wanted so bad to climb over the wall and hop in there with them
Big huge Walrus coming up to see us
Kissing Jaylie
So happy after she got a kiss from the walrus
Doing sit ups :)
Walrus sliding down back to where he came from
Jaylie was so excited to see the Sesame Street show

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