Monday, August 25, 2008

SHAMU - I Believe!!!

Of course, the highlight of any trip to Sea World is the show featuring Shamu, called Believe. Rachel and I actually saw it twice, once each day, because we enjoyed it so much. There are actually four killer whales who perform tricks and jumps, splash the crowd, and wow the audience with their beauty and gentleness. The name "killer whale" seems such a misnomer for these amazing creatures. At one point in the show, a lady dives into the water and almost seems to dance with Shamu, swimming with him, having him mimic her movements, etc. I left the show the first day saying I no longer want my PhD in New Testament. I want to be the lady who swims with Shamu! =) Of course, that's not feasible, but I was so in awe of the whales, I couldn't get enough (as evidenced by the 70+ photos I took in the two performances of Believe!). I'll only post a handful here, but enough that you too can share in the wonder that is Shamu.

And my favorite shot (taken through the glass):

The Happy Dolphins

One of my favorite spots at Sea World was the dolphin tank, because you can actually interact with the animals. I'm not sure how many dolphins were swimming around in that pool, but there were quite a few, including at least one baby. Something about dolphins just makes me smile. They are always so happy-looking, so friendly. They would swim around the tank and then just pop up at the edge right by whoever was peering over. It was funny to see people jump when a dolphin was almost looking them in the eyeball! They also seemed to enjoy talking in their clicking language and splashing the people with their tails as they dipped under the water. The best part is when you feed them, though. You can buy 4 little fish for $5, and hold them over the water so the dolphins come and take them from your hand. Sometimes you can actually pet the dolphins on the nose when they come up for the fish. I could have stayed there and watched the dolphins all day. After swimming with them a couple of years ago in Mexico, I SO wanted to jump in the tank with them (especially since it was so hot and humid out).

(blurry, but the only shot I got of the baby)

The Cannery Row Caper, starring the sea lions

Sea World's "Cannery Row Caper" is a hilarious show starring several sea lions, an otter, and a gigantic walrus. It is a half-hour long skit where the sea lions and their human trainers/actors try to discover who is behind all the half-eaten fish at the local cannery. Those actors and sea lions did some crazy antics, and had the audience in stitches most of the time. It is definitely a must-see if you ever go to Sea World San Antonio.After we watched the show, we headed over to the sea lions tank where it was feeding time. We didn't actually buy fish to feed them, but watched the other people do so. The sea lions were so greedy, and would bang on the walls or the water to get people to drop a fish to them, and jump over each other for the food. They were quite playful and humorous.

Sea World and San Antonio

This weekend my friend Rachel and I took a trip to San Antonio for a couple of days of exploring Sea World. It was a lot of fun, and I took a TON of pictures (surprise, surprise). I'm going to post them in several posts because there are so many.

We left at 6:30 saturday morning for the 4.5 hour drive, and got to Sea World just after 11. We fed the dolphins, saw the sharks and penguins, went to the sea lions show which was hilarious, and watched as others fed the sea lions after the show. I tried to ride the Steel Eel roller coaster, but they shut it down when I was next in line to ride - BUMMER!!! There was a big storm rolling in, so we headed for the nearest shelter we could find, which turned out to be the Budweiser store, so we spent about 45 minutes in there with a bunch of other people as it POURED, thundered, and lighteninged (is that a verb?). When it finally let up to a drissle, we took of our shoes and walked through the sidewalk rivers to the Believe show with Shamu, which was incredible! After that we were going to ride the rapids ride, but we could see another storm coming in and decided we would be miserable if we were wet and cold. So we left Sea World, checked into our hotel, and headed to the Alamo and Riverwalk for dinner, since Rachel had never been there.

Sunday started out nice and sunny, and hot! We were sweating before we ever got through the gates! We started out at the dolphin tank again. They were so cool! I bought some fish to feed them, and could actually touch their noses as they were eagerly begging for the fish. I was finally able to ride the Steel Eel (lots of fun), and later the Great White (even better!), and we braved the rapids for a soaking good time. We also saw Believe again, because we both loved it. After getting soaked by the rapids and then the rain that hit as we were eating lunch, we decided we might as well hit the Lost Lagoon and get all the way wet. We enjoyed the lazy river, but just as we were getting to the top of the line for the water slide, they shut it down because they saw lightening in the distance. Bummer again! We thought about waiting out the storm, but decided to just hit the road for home, since it looked like the rain was going to settle in for a while. We quickly dressed and headed for the car, and the rain hit right when we got to the parking lot, so our drive home was wet and chilly. But we stopped off at IKEA to change and shop, and finally made it home around 10 last night. It was a long but really fun weekend of friendship and enjoying God's magnificent living creation.

Here are a few random pics. I'll post dolphin, sea lion, and Believe pics separately.

(kids playing in Saturday's downpour)

(waiting out the rain in the Budweiser shop)(if you look closely, I'm in the first seat of the second car) (Remember the Alamo!)
(the Riverwalk)