Saturday, August 2, 2014

anniversary at sea world

Chris asked what I wanted to do for our wedding anniversary the other day, and we had the "I don't know, what do you want to do," conversation. Finally he said, "How about Sea World?" This is a nice thing for him to offer because he doesn't really care for Sea World, and he knows I love it.
 The kids were excited. Since moving to The Swamp three years ago, we've pretty much always celebrated our anniversary with our kids. Josh said, "Yay, we're going to Sea World for our anniversary!" (I loved that he said our)
Sea World has changed in the decade since I last saw it in California. The dolphin show used to have more dolphin tricks, but now it has more trainer/acrobat tricks/dancing. And lots of "save the world" propaganda everywhere. But it was still fun to watch the dolphin tricks they still performed.
 This guy kept catching birds as part of the dolphin show. He was standing right next to me.
 Chris and I took turns going on the rides with the kids. He went on the loopy roller coasters, I went on the less-crazy rides. Josh says the boat ride IS a crazy ride, but I think he secretly liked it.
 This cool aquarium had sharks and fish in the ceiling and floor, not just the walls.
 Our fancy (and expensive) anniversary lunch. Dinner was even fancier, we ate at Wendy's on the way home.
Unfortunately, we sat in the splash zone at the Shamu show, and the announcer kept saying how wet we were going to get. I put my camera in a plastic bag to be safe, so I didn't get any good pictures of Shamu, they were all blurry and foggy from inside a sandwich bag. And...we didn't even get wet at all.
The shark tunnel is one of my favorite things at Sea World. Too bad my camera takes bad indoor pictures.
We didn't actually see live penguins -- for some reason the penguin place always had a huge hour or more wait, and we came back several times to see if the line had died down, but it never did. Must have been an amazing place for that many people to stand in line all day long.
 My camera's battery died right after I took the picture of the giant matinee, so I didn't get a better shot of the matinees and giant turtles swimming underwater, or a picture of Ashley and I petting a dolphin (who looked like it was going to bite my hand), or all of us petting a sting ray. We didn't get a picture of the acrobat show we had to run watch due to a quick tropical lighting storm that passed through.
Before we left, Ashley's newly discovered passion for roller coasters made her want to ride the Manta ray coaster again. Chris said he already went on it and it was my turn (we both used to love roller coasters, but realized in the last few years that we're old -- they aren't fun anymore, and 2 coasters is about our limit). I reluctantly agreed. You can't tell in this picture, but the seats tip down so your body is horizontal, and pretty much fly face down the entire way. It wasn't as bad as I imagined, but it was still too loopy for my enjoyment.
So we left the park and ate our fancy anniversary dinner at Wendy's, and then headed home. It was a fun way to spend our anniversary with our family, and have one last big adventure before moving. Now...on to packing.

Friday, August 1, 2014

some free skating amid the packing

My kids got some free skating coupons from school at the end of the year, and have been begging for months to use them. I kept putting it off until I realized we're moving in a few weeks and time has run out. So before our packing became too serious, we decided to use those coupons.
Josh has never been skating before this, and I was surprised at how quickly he caught on. 
 Our school coupons were better than the coupons we got from the library summer reading incentives. We got to skate two hours before other people showed up. We had the place practically to ourselves.
 Before long, Josh didn't need any help, and was trying to do things the other good skaters were doing. I had to remind him he had to practice and learn how to be a better skater before he could do those tricks.
 It was pretty hot, and the drinking fountain water was warm and metallic, so we decided to cool off with a slushee. We passed it around the table in an orderly fashion until it was gone.
 We all liked skating so much I might have to think about getting some kind of membership to a skating rink after we move. It's the kind of exercise that doesn't feel like exercise, just fun.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

last morning at my sister's (aka: a day at the park)

The last morning we were at my sisters we headed to a park so the kids could get their energy out and spend a little more time with cousins. They have lots of cool parks around her city, but this one was my favorite, its ocean theme made it a happy place.
 Ashley ruled over her mer-people from her sand castle and oyster throne.
 Josh beat a shark in a wrestling match.
 The other thing I loved about this park was that it had several misting stations to cool us off on such a hot day.
It was such a nice trip, and we got to see lots of cool things around town. We'll be sad to move away from this beautiful part of the country in a few weeks. But luckily I'm pretty sure we'll be back in several years since we have family to visit, so our goodbye to southern florida is hopefully not forever.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

beach day with cousins

 "You been surfin' long?"
(Josh and this boy became BFFs in the few hours they were near each other at the beach.
But the boy didn't share his goldfish...)
 Chris forgot his hat, so he wore my old-lady sunhat that had been squished in the back of the car. Cute!
 There I am, out in the ocean with my old-lady sunhat, successfully not getting a sunburn. Look at the colors in that water!
 This beach had an area with big rocks the kids wanted to explore. Chris was nice and took them to see it.
It was a really shelly, rocky beach. Not so great on the toes. But it was a day at the beach, so nobody complained, and everyone found a treasure to bring home.