Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wedding Week Recap - SeaWorld to Stone

Once we finally got our luggage squared away, we headed off to enjoy a day at SeaWorld! SeaWorld was running a wonderful promotion allowing active military families 1 free day in the park. It made for the perfect San Deigo get-a-way. For the price of parking, we got the day.

We didn't arrive at Sea World until almost noon, and we had some other plans for the evening, so we really just hit a few highlights. We sprayed ourselves down with sunscreen and headed in!

But no one can tour on an empty stomach and we are no exception to that rule. So we started out with grabbing lunch just inside the gates. Splitting a veggie wrap and a turkey wrap, we kept things fairly healthy. We washed it all down with a sampler of local beers and lots and lots of water. (It was pretty hot, but a breeze kept things enjoyable.) These little guys were tempting, but we opted for the calorie free way to enjoy them - via photo.
Dessert? Nah... It might bite back!

During lunch,we looked over a schedule and decided on a few "must see" shows that fell during our time frame to visit. We decided on the Shamu Show and Cirque De La Mer. The other things we had to hit up were the dolphins, the Shark Encounter, and Wild Artic. If Manta (the newest roller coast) was open, we'd take that one on too.

So off we went to find Shamu! There wasn't really a discussion about "Should we sit in the Splash Zone?" It was pretty much unanimous. What trip to SeaWorld would be complete without salty whale water all over you?

In the Splash Zone!

We got pretty prime seats, right in the middle of all the action - and the kids. The show is a short 20 minute show that focuses on the beauty of these animals, rather than focusing on educating people on them. While conservation is still an over-riding theme, I guess they've given up on trying to educate an audience that just wants to see 10 ton jumping mammals under controlled circumstances. But that said, the animals themselves did not disappoint! They were powerful, graceful, and, as always, inspiring.

And yes, we did get pretty wet. It was a warm day though and we dried almost by the time we'd exited Shamu stadium.

We explored the parks a bit more, taking in the wildlife....

like the Dolphins....

And, of course, Shark Encounter...

And some of my personal favorites of the Artic...
Before we sat down to get a little taste of Cirque via Cirque De La Mer! It was a great show (as always) including spectacular aerial stunts by seasoned performing artists. Unlike other Cirque shows, this has the added challenge of being outdoors. Open to the elements, the off-shore breeze and glare from the sun added a new set of variables to the well rehearsed act, which left us 'ooo'ing and 'ahhh'ing with the rest of the crowd.

Cirque De La Mer's Set

Atlantis, exterior
We capped off the day with a couple of fruit smoothies and a ride on Atlantis and Manta. Atlantis wasn't really worth the 15 minute wait (though it had so much potential to be truly amazing), but Manta (a roller coaster with a 45 minute wait) was well worth every second!

Dinner with Self-Righteous Brew

We got back from our excursion just in time to clean up and hook back up with my family for dinner at the local landmark, Stone Ale Brewery in Escondido.

Good beer. Good Food. Good Company. Beautiful Evening....

My Brother, Dad, Mom, Me and My Sailor

A Good time was had by all.

Next up - Massive shopping, a wild fire, and Checking-in to the Disneyland Hotel.

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