Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sea World, here we come!

I have been wanting to go to Sea World Orlando since September when I found out that they had a Christmas "thing" that was included with the price of a regular ticket. My dad bought me a platinum pass for my bday, which includes all the Busch Gardens family theme parks back in October when we visted him in San Diego. We went to Sea World San Diego - it was a semi disaster. I'll blog about it when I've recovered from that traumatic experience. lol

We decided on Tuesday to look into going to see the Christmas Celebration, spend the night in Orlando and ask Lola to join us! We decided to leave right around lunch time, have the kids nap in the car so that they will wake up refreshed and ready to go since we would be there from about 1:30 til around 9 pm. Umm, yeah, I should have learned by now that kids don't always do what you want them to do. I gave the kids peanut butter sandwiches when we got on the road, Parker passed out 5 minutes after he finished eating, but Miss Sassy just kept right on talking and crying and throwing her binkie on the floor so I'd have to search for it (I'm a firm believer in the cry it out method and normally I'd take the binkie away, but I didn't want her to wake Parker who needed to nap). Did I mention I get car sick?!? Umm...yeah! So I have a theory as to why she wouldn't couldn't fall asleep...

she's forward facing in her car seat!!! Kevin surprised me with this (I wasn't thrilled since I wanted her rear facing til 24 mos as suggested by the AAP), but he also made a good point that her car seat wobbles a bit when rear facing, a little more than what is considered ok, b/c it's not tethered. So he wanted to flip her around. Anyway, I think she was over-stimulated facing forward b/c now she can see EVERYTHING and just couldn't settle down to nap. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!

kids were excited to go! I had started prepping them on Thursday when everything was finalized. I went on Sea World's website and we watched Shamu (well 3 of them) swim around their tank. Parker kept asking to "see Shamu on Mommy computer" and soon after Avery also started asking for "moo moo" (Shamu). lol All hell broke loose when one of the whales was swimming right past the camera and the video feed died right in the middle of it and I couldn't get it back on.  

for some reason I almost always stand on the right side and my mom almost always cuts me off. lol

the kids loved the dolphin nursery - Avery kept yelling "a-fin" (dolphin) to get them to come back. They stayed away...prob hurt their ears...wait dolphins don't have ears! But you know what I mean!

Parker and Lola eating turkey legs. No Parker didn't eat that whole turkey leg. Kevin ate one by himself and mom and I each got one and shared it with the kids. They LOVED it! I could barely take a bite before Avery would start signing and yelling "moh" (more) - we're working on saying "please", which she says ("peas") when prompted. She does say "thank you" every time you give her something - even mid tantrum, she will thank you. lol 

Funny enough, Kevin's brother and his family planned to go to Sea World for Day 8 of their Advent so we decided to meet up. We ate our turkey legs while waiting for them. 

Avery is in slight awe of her older cousin, Mason. My train obsessed son already found the Polar Express Train on the map and was already asking to "go Po-war E-press twain".

We decided to go see a dolphin show first. Audrey LOVES dolphins! As you can see Parker is still looking at the map and the train.

waiting for the show to start

We saw the sharks next...this was Parker's reaction. lol

It was actually pretty cool - you step on a horizontal escalator and travel through a tunnel with the sharks and fish swimming above and around you.

so cute...all the cousins holding hands. ok so really it's b/c Parker tends to run ahead. Mason and Audrey were holding his hands to prevent him from running off! lol

My best friend, Lauren, and her family also met up with us. They had just arrived at the park when we were going in to see the sharks. Owen wanted to go see the sharks too so all the boys plus the Dads and Audrey went for round 2. 

next up was Parker's choice: Polar Express Train. Only you have to be 42" to ride it and he's only 40.5". They had an option to walk it and it would be a 30 min wait as opposed to 60 min to ride, which we wouldn't have done! Sorry, bud! Nobody else wanted to wait with us, but I felt really bad - this was something he really wanted to do so we waited. But I Parker was extremely let down. 

After waiting for more than 30 minutes with Lola (Avery threw a fit so Kevin got out of the line with her), we went into a room with a bunch of benches and a TV screen and they showed a 10-15 min version of the Polar Express movie. The most exciting part was a little "wall heater" type blowing some steam into the air in time with the train letting some steam out. Parker is very familiar with the movie (we have watched it many a million times) and very loudly told me (in a fairly quiet room): "I no want to see movie, I ride Po-war E-press twain". I had explained while we were in line that he was too little to ride the train, but that means nothing to a 3 year with a slight HUGE train obsession. Afterwards, we walked through the "Arctic".

 I at least thought that we would walk through something that would resemble the train. Nope! Nada! Nothing! I felt so bad. So we took a pic right in front of the train that was outside - it was roped off so he couldn't even get near it. 

when we came out, Lauren and family were with Kevin and Avery...who was snoring away! She snoozed for a about 45 min.

thank you Uncle Brian for taking Parker on this ride b/c Kevin and I could not have dealt with all that spinning.

Brian really spun that thing around like crazy...we did give him fair warning that Parker gets motion sickness, but has never thrown up in teacup type of rides before just when I'm driving apparently

Parker was getting thrown around quite a bit...and LOVING every moment! He wanted to go again, but Brian was looking a little green. lol

it's hard to see, but we are in between the two teal colored poles, towards the left. Shamu Express was Parker's first "real" roller coaster ride. He's been on a few "baby" coasters, but this was for "big kids"! The height minimum is 38" and he was 39.5" at his 3 year appointment back in Sept so I knew he would be able to ride it and I was excited! He saw pics of the ride on my computer and said he wanted to ride it. He was so excited...and when the coaster really got going and went down the first mini drop and went through it's turns, he screamed like a girl and I laughed at his reaction. I knew he would either LOVE it or scream in fright and cry. I'm glad he loved it! Parker wanted to go again so I had Kevin go with him while I checked on my mom and Avery (who was still asleep when we left to ride the coaster). Unfortunately I forgot check out the pics that are automatically taken when I rode with Parker - would have loved to have seen his reaction! 

Kevin's arm blocked Parker's face in their picture - I mean, really, Kevin, you had to raise both arms in a kiddie roller coaster? lol  He cracks me up too!

since we couldn't ride the Polar Express we decided to ride this little train to try and pacify Parker. His first reaction: "I no ride this train! I ride Po-war E-press twain". We again had to have a talk about why he couldn't ride it. Both kids loved it and wanted to go again, but Mommy and Daddy's brain felt a little rattled going around the bumpy tracks.

we looked at the lights for a bit then had dinner at Mango Joe's. It was ok - I got chicken fingers to share with Avery, but she only ate half a "finger", but she ate a lot of grapes that I brought from home. We bought Parker a chicken nugget meal with carrots plus the grapes from home, but I probably could have split the chicken fingers with the kids and then shared my mom's turkey and avocado croissant. We were all stuffed, but I hated to waste that expensive food! Sadly, we couldn't finish it all!

It's crazy long...but I'm not finished yet...Part Two coming soon!

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