Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mother Nature vs. Shamu

Turns out it's no contest: Not even Shamu's fluke could bat the rain/wind/cold temperatures away. The highlight of our week, a day at Sea World San Antonio, was cut short due to low attendance/weather. As in, they CLOSED the park at 3pm.

We braved it out and showed up at the park opening at 10am after spending the night at my parent's place in Bandera. It was raining and 40 degrees when we got there. And I am not kidding, there were about 5 cars in the parking lot. In fact, the park was so empty, Shamu and Dolly were beckoning the kids to come over and huddle against them for warmth. I mean, pose for a picture:After going through the turnstiles, we said a quick hello to the Budweiser Clydesdale's and then went to the dolphin feeding area. Jackpot! There was only one other family there. Normally you have to stand about three deep at this pool to wait your turn to throw a $5 fish at a dolphin in return for a chance to touch it. Instead, this is what we got:
We all agreed. The dolphin experience was worth the numb, wet feet, layers of coats, and shortened park hours. It was really cool to have them basically all to ourselves.

The rest of the day revolved around the one showing of each of the three shows that were operating that day: the dolphin/beluga whale show (Viva!), the sea lion/walrus show (Cannery Row Caper) and of course, Shamu's big show (Believe). Here are some pics:Two things in that last picture: Check out how empty the stands are! Also, those crazy people actually ran down the steps to get splashed by the killer whales. Mind you, by now it was a balmy 43 degrees. Freaks.

The announcement that the park was closing was made right after the Shamu show. We were on our way to see the penguins, so alas, that did not happen as they were pretty adamant about kicking us out. Good thing I bought a Fun Card for all of us which is good for the entire 2009 season. We will definitely be back. Next time we want sunshine, 80s, low crowds and all the water rides OPEN. Bring it Shamu!

After leaving the park, we grabbed some yummy Mexican food for dinner and then headed back to my parent's house. Poor Jack. He was hoping to watch some college hoops, but when you are one guy in a house full of girls, this is what you are going to end up watching. And it was a marathon too! Lucky guy.

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