We had decided to do one big day trip to Orlando (about 1.5 hrs away) while on our vacation. Sea World was the vote as we thought it would be the easiest park to go to with this many people (18) and kids with such a WIDE range of ages (2 years - 14 years). It turned out GREAT! With it being SO hot, the shows gave us a nice break from the heat and everyone enjoyed them. We split off in a few directions a couple of times (big kids went to ride on the two big coasters - even Josiah!!!) while the younger (and shorter) ones played in a splash park area. It worked out great!
We had a car full of boys on the ride down! Luke & John came with us, and Callie rode with Matthew in Kim's van.
Once we got into the park (after waiting for Kelli, Kristen, Chris and Mom -who again decided NOT to follow us and it took them an extra 30 minutes to get there!!), we headed straight to the Whale and Dolphin show. Kim & her family have season tickets, so they were GREAT tour guides getting us around!! Caleb tried Joe's hat on and thought it was hysterical!
It's quite a set!
Some of our crew! We always took up a WHOLE row at any show we went to!
Am I cool or what?!?
These dolphins are just amazing. I loved it.
He was riding on the backs of the two of them..
All of the dolphins waving to us
Caleb was totally fascinated. HE loves animals and didn't take his eyes off of the show!
Callie was sitting on Mary's lap (she L.O.V.E.S Mary!) and I don't think she ever even blinked!
They had these water sprayers while some acrobat guys were doing some tricks.
Surfing on the back of a whale
It was a great way to start off our day!
I had to rent a stroller because we left ours in the garage at the beach house! Duh! It worked out nicely though because it had 2 seats so it helped give the other kids a break at times.
Caleb enjoyed watching the birds while we ate lunch.
We LOVED the Shamu show later that afternoon. They are just such huge, massive creatures - and the idea that they can train them this well is mind boggling! And Caleb learned a new word - "shamu!"
The baby swimming with its mother (Caleb kept saying "Uh Baby Go?" for where'd the baby go?)
Shamu splashing!! Kelli, Chris, and David Oates sat down in the splash zone with the kids (not Callie and Caleb). They were SOOO excited to get wet!
We saw a few more shows in the afternoon that were great - the Pets Ahoy show (with all of the animals rescued from shelters that did AMAZING tricks) and the Clyde and Seamore show (with the sealions and otter) - were hilarious. One group of people left around 4 or 5 pm, then the Oates left at 7 pm. We decided we had a few more things we wanted to see and do.
David rode with the boys on a Journey to Atlantis ride (that boat one that goes up and then down a big hill, creating a HUGE splash) while I took the younger 2 over to the splash park and the kiddie rides. They LOVED the rides - both of them had their hands up and were squealing! There was one ride that was hot air balloons and we raised up and then could spin our little balloon around. Both of them loved it. There was a boat ride that they both just squealed and squealed on. There was even a Drop Down Zone ride that Callie was tall enough for and she LOVED it. Not an ounce of fear in her. She got to ride her very first roller coaster too - the Shamu Express - and she LOVED it. Wanted to do it again and again. Had her hands up and everything! They are going to be REALLY fun in a few years at an amusement park! :)
Here's David O. in the middle of the shark encounter - very cool!
We ended the night by watching the Shamu Rocks show - a special nighttime show with lights and fun rock music. Callie fell asleep while we were waiting and the boys were pretty glazed over. Caleb however LOVED it! When they started playing "We Will Rock You", he started jumping up and down and patting his chest saying "me!" and then would sing it! It was so cute - lots of those fun, arena rock songs like "I Love Rock and Roll", "We Will Rock You", etc. Got to see a bunch more Shamu tricks and I just loved it. Felt like we had the full days' experience! Left the park at 9 pm, stopped by a Chick-fil-A for dinner (Caleb was already asleep) and then headed back home! It was a GREAT day!