Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 17: In which we close Sea World and survive on funnel cakes

Our last day at Sea World started with a stressful morning packing up all of our stuff so that we could check out of the guest house.  (One of the moments when I question my frequent decision to travel.)


As we left the little neighborhood we’d been staying in I had Cindy Lynn hop out of the car and take a picture of one of the roads.  I didn’t realize before we arrived that San Diego is really built on hills, and I was unprepared to see a street like this one. 


These pictures really don’t do justice to this hill—once I turned onto it I was actually afraid to drive up it.  I mean I would have if I’d had to, but I didn’t have to and Rachel was begging me not to.  So I made an illegal u turn and went back to Cindy Lynn.

Then we were off to what definitely is for us one of the happiest spots on the earth.


I started the day resolved to do five things:

  • watch the dolphin show twice
  • watch the Shamu show twice
  • get a picture on Atlantis with Rachel looking towards the camera
  • get a picture taken with all of us riding Shamu (green screen Shamu, that is.)
  • eat funnel  cake

As it turned out, my day was pretty successful.

Cindy Lynn and I watched the dolphin show twice and were deliriously happy.  When we found out that there was a sountrack and a dvd available to buy we were even happier.  (And were singing the songs in our sleep for days after!) 


It might not make sense, but every time I watched the dolphin show (and in other moments throughout our Sea World time) I felt as if my soul was being healed by the beauty and wonder of it all.


My head was so sunburned by Tuesday (and I forgot to bring my hat) that I resorted to putting my shirt over my head during the shows.  It was kind of embarrassing but the pain otherwise was more than the embarrassment.  And I figured it was not like anyone there knew me…


The kids didn’t want to see the dolphin show the second time, so we gave them one of the cell phones and left them on the other side of the park to see some different things.  I think they did a great job of being on their own, and Cindy Lynn and I enjoyed seeing the show without them complaining about having to be there.

We also saw the Shamu show twice, loved it almost as much, and bought the soundtrack and dvd for it too.  (And you just can’t imagine how unlike me that is…)


We also went to see the Sea Lion show again, and the little girls and I went to see the Pet Show which thrilled them.  (I’ve told several people that all the kids really needed on this trip was to visit an animal shelter, as it seems that the best part of every day was seeing stray dogs.)

We decided not to ride Shipwreck Rapids on our last day because we didn’t want to get so absolutely wet again.  Unfortunately Cindy Lynn got even wetter while riding Atlantis.  And we never quite succeeded in getting Rachel to look at the camera, even when we tried coercive measures.


We got a great picture of the five of us riding Shamu.


We never could bring ourselves to stop all of the fun and go to the parking lot to get our sandwiches, so we did the next best thing.  We subsisted the entire day on string cheese and funnel cakes.  Another brownie funnel cake, an apple pie funnel cake, and a strawberries and cream funnel cake.  All I can say is that each one was yummier than the last and we are probably all now on the short list for diabetes.

When the last Shamu show was over and the last funnel cake eaten we tried to dash over to the shark exhibit but it was already closed.  So we watched the seals and sea lions (and the birds who apparently live to eat their regurgitated food) until a very friendly but firm park employee told us we had to leave.


We left Sea World and headed north, determined to see the Pacific Ocean before leaving California.  First we found a bay. 


Even though it wasn’t the ocean that we were after, we still took a few pictures.


(In case you’re wondering what is going on with my hair I can explain.  That is my “I left my hair down until we took the Shamu picture and then my sunburned scalp was hurting so bad that I pulled some of it up without the help of either comb or mirror and yes then I went around the rest of the day looking like that” hairstyle.  You’re welcome.)

We were going to leave and go to dinner after that, but on our way to dinner we happened to glimpse the ocean in the west and that was all it took.  We were on a treasure hunt to see the actual Pacific and our hunt culminated in a fierce moment of parallel parking and then a beautiful sunset watching surfers from the beach.  Aside from being cold, it couldn’t have been better.



Then we got back in the car, drove around and saw some neat houses and the corner of “Starlight” and “Moonlight” (I kid you not) and finally called Russ to help us get back on the right street so that we could go eat dinner.  After dinner we drove to Barstow where we stayed in the nicest hotel I’ve ever been in—cookies 24/7, free chilled bottled water for all, pool open 24/7, and no checkout till noon.  We were absolutely exhausted by the time we got there and just collapsed and didn’t wake till late the next morning.


miles travelled: 234                                                                                         total: 3570


  1. Into the bluuuuuuuuuuuue........


    I'd like to live that day over and over again!

  2. Okay, that Atlantis picture made me laugh & laugh! SO much better for memory's sake than if you'd been successful at getting Rachel to look up! =D Glad you're sharing your record of this epic journey. =)

  3. I have a feeling there is a Journey to Atlantis photo hall of fame somewhere in the back rooms of the park and I have a feeling your picture is on it! All these post about Sea World have me smiling, because we're between you and it:). Hope you have fun at Powell's and Ikea...after I hung up with you Eric looked at me and said- Do you know for sure that Portland has an Ikea? Which gave me a heart attack, bc I just assumed it did. I was so worried about it that I actually grabbed his phone and looked it up (I HATE typing on iphones and avoid them like the plague)- phew! Of course they do! Anyway, all that to say- we're thinking of you:).