First Sea World Solo Trip

Welcome…I’m gonna start blogging here more consistently, especially this weekend as I explore San Diego by myself.

Now normally, it’s not a big deal to go somewhere by yourself, but this is a bit of a milestone for me because I’m a kinesthetic driver, which means I only really know how to go someplace if I get myself there. You drive me somewhere in a car, I’m reading a book and listening to my iPod (which a man in Amsterdam told me was bad *) so I have no idea where you’re taking me.

Day 1 of my San Diego Weekend: It’s A Sea World Afternoon (pictures here)

I got off the 5 freeway at Sea World Drive at around 2:15, having made remarkably good time (I left Irvine at 1:00 pm) and pulled up to Sea World. No one was at the parking kiosks, so I assumed they did the Disneyland thing where it’s late enough in the operating day that we don’t want to waste staff on the kiosks…just park your car. Went to the electronic ticket booth and purchase my “Fun Pass” – buy a day and play for 2007 (only 2 blackout days, May 27th and September 2nd). Walked up to the security table…I don’t have any bags, so I just stand in the ticket taking line. Couple walks up to the other side of table and the female guard mistakenly says, “May I look in your skirt please?” Ha ha! So I get up to the ticket taker and I scan my ticket and am asked to press my right index finger to the scanner. Apparently (Katy says so) the fingerprint supersedes the need for a hand stamp if you leave the park for lunch. So I walk into the park and look at my guide map…hmmm…the new Shamu show, “Believe” starts in 5 minutes…ok! I sit in the higher part of the splash zone and take some pretty cool jump shots…niiice. Decent show. After this, the schedule is telling me I’ve got some time until the next show starts (Sea Lion and Otter show at 3:30), so I head over the Shipwreck Rapids. They offer lockers for a buck fifty, where I put my camera and phone and jacket (rightfully thinking it would warm me up afterwards). Lots of fun…very wet…they freaking drive you through a waterfall…that’s right a waterfall. So now I’m very wet, but my jacket is taking some of the sting out of it. I head over to the Sea Lion and Otter stadium to catch the tail end of the preshow…it’s a mime…in a sailor outfit. He does a silly magic trick (pulls away a handkerchief to reveal three fingers on the count of 3) and I clap very loudly. He proceeds to indicate that I’ve had “too much to drink” with the international symbol, a thumb to the lip and tossing back an imaginary one. Ha! I again sit in the upper part of the splash zone and get some alright pictures. The show is a lot more slapstick-y than the other shows, mainly because sea lions and otters are more performance than acrobatic. Oh yeah, at the end of the show, the mime runs out and cheers, then realizes what he’s done and gasps. Ha! So after this, I immediately head over to the Dolphin Stadium, but I’m 15 minutes early, so I sit around instead of trying another ride (could have been a more efficient use of time, but it all worked out). I sit in the middle of the splash zone which extends for 12 rows! Apparently dolphins are better splashers than killer whales. Hmmm. I get some really cool shots of dolphin jumps (Dolly, the star, is a really good jumper). It’s now 4:30 and the park closes at 5 and I still have two “rides” to do (Journey to Atlantis and Wild Arctic). I hurry over to Atlantis and hop on board. It’s a great concept (water coaster) which is lots of fun. But now I’m even wetter (lockers again save my electronics) and I’m starting to loose feeling in my fingers and toes. My gloves save my fingers, but all I can do about my feet is run over to Wild Arctic for my last thing of the day. I vaguely remember the simulator from last time, but it’s a lot of fun and a very realistic simulation. Especially when you fly through an avalanching canyon and you hear rocks bumping the sides of the helicopter very clearly and very realistically. I take my time exploring the exhibit, taking pictures and gleaning information from the few remaining cast members. They’re setting up the area for an after hour’s party, so the guests who got in on the last “flight” are allowed to explore a little past the parks’ closing time, which is nice. After this, I move as quickly as I can to my car and start warming up my feet. Brrr. Then I drive back up the 5 to Carlsbad Village Dr, where I’ll be spending the weekend at Tamarack Beach Resort (family timeshare). Where I’m currently writing this from. Where I’ve run out of things to say. I’ll be back tomorrow night with a report from either the San Diego Zoo or the Wild Animal Park (I don’t know where I’m going yet). See ya tomorrow!

* Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell this story. So I was in Haarlem (a suburb of Amsterdam as it were) in the Netherlands at an Irish pub: eating dinner, listening to music and reading a book (Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Abraham Lincoln biography) and the guy at the next table starts up a conversation that is basically a reprimand on me. What it boils down to, in his mind, is that I’m cheapening the experience of the food by dividing my attention. You should focus your attention only on one thing and enjoy it to the utmost. … Oh yeah, and I still read, listen to music and eat food at the same time. Hooray for my generation!

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