Tuesday, March 22, 1994

1994 SeaWorld (3/22/1994)

Tuesday, March 22, 1994
Our usual rambling morning. I packed our things and we threw our suitcases in the van. Said goodbye and thank you to Debbie (we said goodbye to David last night). We hit the road in the same direction as Disney World, but exited a little earlier to go to SeaWorld. Arrived about 10:00. Paid $5 to park. Took a tram from the Manny Manatee lot to the entrance. The Ws had discounted tickets from AAA, Kent and I used complimentary passes David had received from work, and we bought Brynne’s ticket at a discount using Mike’s union card! We did not rent a little dolphin stroller. This time Kathy led and we headed straight to Shamu Stadium for the 11:15 show, but it was already full. So Kent, Mike and I went to Mission Bermuda Triangle, a Disneyesque ride with a Disneyesque line. It was a simulator and had us exploring the ocean floor, then danger! I thought we were falling into the ravine, but actually we were zooming up towards the surface. Should have figured it out because jettisoned items sped downward, rather than floating down along with us. I had an empty stomach and thought I would get queasy, but it was okay. We met Kathy and the girls at Shamu’s Happy Harbor, a playground. We had lunch at Mango Joe’s Café. A long cafeteria line, but Mike and I went to get a table with a view. We got a sneak peek at the 12:15 water ski show. Had chicken sandwiches and Brynne and Leah had chicken fingers, where Brynne did not like the breading but Leah did. Kathy shared some of her strawberries and whipped cream with Brynne. The water ski show had a Gold Rush theme and seemed a bit humdrum, although we were only seeing skiers coming and going!
Water ski show
We then hurried to get seats in the splash section of Shamu Stadium. The pool had glass sides for a marvelous view of the killer whales.
Mike, Brynne, and Leah
Orcinus orca/Killer Whales
There was a pre-show show on a huge television screen. Showed trivia questions, then zoomed in live on the audience, finding a member to indicate an answer (by nodding or showing a number of fingers). Quite entertaining! Finally the main attractions, with so many trainers! A history of all the babies, with one dad and two moms? Lots of splashing. Although we did not get splashed, this time we were just as glad because those who did get splashed got totally soaked, drenched with water! A good show, although orcas are not as talented as dolphins.
Shamu backflip
Trainer surfing on Shamu
Another Shamu leap
Next we headed to the manatees, but along the way we went into the Terrors of the Deep. A marvelous clear acrylic tunnel right through the shark tank! Lots of eels! Then over to the Penguin Encounter with lots of viewing area. The exhibit buildings would get full and a line would extend outside, but our timing was such that we would walk right in. The Monster Marsh was pretty much like Roger Williams Zoo dinosaur exhibition. We were given booklets to stamp for each dinosaur we saw. Mike made sure ours were fully stamped!
Baby Stegosaurus
More alligators
Finally the manatees. They were huge, no wonder they call them sea cows! There was a call to save them from being injured by boaters.
Trichechus manatus/West Indian Manatee from above
Manatee from below
On our way out, we reached into the stingray lagoon; slimy! At the exit, the Ws could redeem their tickets for a second free day at SeaWorld. We could not with our complimentary passes, but we were headed back to Rhode Island, anyway! The Ws drove us to the airport and dropped us off. The check-in line was long à la Disney! Then off to the gate to wait for the 16:28 flight to Raleigh-Durham, on which Brynne fell asleep. While waiting in Raleigh-Durham, there were North Providence-type guys being inconsiderate, throwing around a football. Brynne wanted to try the individual TVs, so I put in a quarter. She did not like the channel choices. On our 19:10 flight to Providence, Brynne wrote us notes. Arrived on time, but had to wait for baggage. Called Thrifty and went to catch the van to get our car. Our car was warm, running, with the lights on when we got there. Saw the Cs' car there, too (they were in San Francisco!). Home by 21:30.

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