Tuesday, May 14, 2013


   In the chaos of packing and cleaning, it appears I packed away my camera cords, which means I will have to wait until I arrive home in Buffalo to post about my last few  days here. I may have some photos on my phone, but the majority are on my camera...oops!! There isn't too much to post about, though; just Universal with Kaitlyn, my friends' visit, and then Mom and Dad's visit this coming week. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sea World

   Again I'm falling behind on my posting! Last week Tuesday, Kaitlyn and I went to Sea World before I had to be at work. I have never been to a Sea World (that I can remember), so this was very exciting for me; who doesn't love dolphins and beluga whales? We ordered our tickets online to save time and money, and ended up getting a great deal called "play and dine", which included not only our park admission, but also all we could eat/drink throughout the day there. Since we arrived at park open, we had breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner there....can't beat that!
   The first animal we saw was a baby dolphin; in fact, there were several in the nursery being adorable as they put on a little show for their guests! For some reason, I always thought they would be bigger than they actually were, though. On our way deeper into the park, we grabbed breakfast, then rode our first attraction: Sky Tower; it's like an observation tower that slowly rises up as it rotates, giving passengers a birds eye view of the park and surrounding area. A nice tame ride for after eating! Next, we came to the stingray touch pool, which I had done at the aquarium in CT when Matt lived out there. The texture of a stingray throws me off; you think it'd be rough, but it is actually smooth and slightly slimy.....almost velvety. They were quite active in the tank, splashing up against the side and getting us wet! In the corner of the main tank, there was a little area walled off that had baby stingray...they were so little! Following the park map, we came to a dolphin attraction; you could feed them, but it cost money and we didn't have the desire to smell like fish for the rest of the day, so we watching from a distance and were quite content with it!
   Sea World, as you might expect has several aquariums of varying sizes, each containing different sea life; some incredibly exotic seeming! For instance, in the queue for Manta, there was a tank that held Sea Dragons (leafy and weedy), which appear similar to Sea Horses, but, in my opinion, are way cooler! Speaking of Manta, it was probably the best roller-coaster I have ever been on in my life! As we sat down in our row and pulled the restraints over our heads, I figured it would be just a feet dangling ride like the dragon one at Universal, but then I was confused why our legs were somewhat restrained also; it was because the ride is done on the stomach as if the riders are manta rays gliding through the sea! Unbelievable!
   Other sea life we saw included manatees, rescued sea turtles, beluga whales, walrus, sharks, and a lot of fish. Of course, we can't forget the Orcas in the Shamu show, One Ocean. We arrived to the show just in time, and somehow were able to snag two spots right near the front of the amphitheater! Sure, we were in the Splash Zone, but how wet could we get? Apparently, very! The first minutes were the whales doing cool flips and sliding on the stages, which was tame and splashed just a little, but not enough to reach our row. Not bad, we thought. Next thing we know, though, the screen lit up flashing "Splash Time"; Kaitlyn ran from our row up to the top of the section out of the splash zone, but I decided I would see how bad it was (can't be too wet, right?). TIDAL WAVE. I quickly followed right after her! It was a great show though!
   In addition to Manta, there are 2 other rides: Kraken and Journey to Atlantis. Kraken is another roller-coaster, while Atlantis is a flume-ish ride. Both were very good, but not quite as themed as Disney World rides are; Atlantis was a very confused attraction as it included under sea elements, but also a mime, and weird Mardi Gras-ish elements. Oh well, not everyone can be Disney!
   Once we finished all we wanted to do (which was pretty much everything in the park) we had about an hour before we had to leave, so we just did some shopping. It was definitely a day I won't forget! I can't wait to have a chance to go back someday!