Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mama! Camu! Camu!

"Shamu! Shamu!"

The chant echoes through the stadium as an enormous orca speeds through the water. You can see the water dip behind him as he builds speed for his next leap in the air, and then there is a wall of water rushing toward you. My son, Brandon reaches out to try to touch it.

"I want to sit in the splash zone next time, mama, can we?" I laugh, thinking that next time better be during a hot summer day.

We got to Sea World early, after a somewhat extended misadventure attempting to find a breakfast place. Jack in the Box has never been my idea of the ideal breakfast place, but beggars cannot be choosers. Still, we were there before the park opened, and happily wandered in to look at Shamu in the underwater viewing tank. My daughter was entranced. She kept repeating "Camu? Mama, mama, camu?" She would wait for him to swim past, face pressed to the glass. We had to bribe her to leave the tank so that we could see some of the other animals there.

Luckily she wasn't disappointed. Next was feeding bat rays at the Forbidden reef. We stayed there for quite a while.

I have to say, feeding bat rays is a truly unique experience. It feels like a wet and slimy vacuum cleaner sucking little fish out of your fingers. If you have never tried it, I definitely recommend it as a truly unique experience.

Maia comes nose to nose with a bat ray looking for love....

Liam was the bravest. He would pet them on the nose, and then stick his fingers under the mouth and giggle as they slurped up the little frozen fish.

It was amazing watching these animals climb half way out of the water to get to the hands that had the fish.

As it lifted it's head out of the water you could hear these incredibly loud sucking noises against the side of the pool.

Amazing how this didn't get old.

We even had one try to climb into one lady's lap! Watch him come right up out of the water.

Just look at how fast Brandon and Liam (and everyone else too...) get out of the way.

Quite the excitement.

Our Liam was quite the photographer for the day too. Here he is getting a shot of a Moray Eel.

Lovely, isn't it?

And of course there were the Penguins. Notice how bright it is in there? If you have ever been to see the penguin exibit in San Diego, you will know that they mimic the natural light of the Antarctic there - which means that it has been dark every other time that I have seen them, as our summer is the antarctic winter, and thus no light.

In fact, the prospect of actually seeing the penguins in the light was a large motivation for planning this trip at this time of year. I think it was worth it. Look at these proud Emperors up on their ice slab. Very cool.

There were Walrus
(The polar bears were sleeping....)

And Maia communed with the great white whale....Gotta love the Beluga.

Things we didn't get pictures of were feeding the dolphins (I had the best time with this. There was one female that kept coming up to me to have her nose rubbed - whether or not I had fish.) and the Shark Encounter. Maia is constantly asking when she can go back to see "Camu in the water." And Brandon is planning on a special encounter with the penguins next time. Liam is looking forward to finding more sharks. We had the best time at Sea World. Definitely an experience to repeat.

As to other news, things are moving along with my parents house. There is a whole team of people from the ServiceMasters Clean Team packing up everything in the house so that floors, walls, and ceilings can be replaced. It is quite something to see dazed looks on a professional packers face as they attempt to size up the vast quantity of art, literature, books, and instruments that my father has collected over the years. It can be intimidating to the uninitiated, and downright overwhelming to those who have to figure out what to do with it all. I am projecting positive, can do vibes in their direction tonight.

Ooohhhhmmmm. Ooohhhhmmm. (Boot to the Head) Ooooohhhhhmm.

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