By Memorial day summer had officially begun for our preschooler's and Bracken had just four days left of school so we decided to do something fun to mark our beginning to summer. Goodness knows that after the crummy weeks we'd been having it was time for some family togetherness and a lot of fun! We decided that our best option was Sea World San Antonio because it is only about two hours away and totally doable for a three day weekend. Plus, I think that Justin knew I would have at least as much fun as the kids because I had never been to Sea World and I absolutely love whales. I'm not exactly sure when or why I developed the fascination but I woke up early every morning of our honeymoon in Maui to sit on the balcony and whale watch (February is prime whale season after all). Sea World is much cheaper than Maui and the whales are much more accessible. Score.
The trip was fabulous. The only frustrating part was getting our kids up and ready for breakfast before church (of course we were trying to make it to a mid-morning meeting) then sitting at Denny's for a full hour before deciding to bail and rush to make sacrament meeting. The kids were not happy to have waited in a booth for that long and to have not gotten so much as a pancake. Who knows what was going on back in that kitchen but we finally just left. The waitress was apologetic and didn't make us pay for our drinks but still it was unbelievably lame. It's Denny's people, how hard can it be to whip up a few Grand Slam's??? Anyway, we made it to sacrament meeting on time and then headed for a different Denny's. We finally all had our pancakes and in the end it was funny, in the beginning not so much.
We checked out on Monday morning but headed back to Sea World to see just how much our kids could take. Everyone had a great time and we will definitely be back to Sea World this summer!
The Allen family does Sea World!
Made it by the skin of her teeth, or her hair bow...she was actually tall enough when she stood straight with her feet up against the sign.
Only the beginning of a long, hot day in the backseat
The little red dot in the seat next to Justin (in the first visible Shamu car) is Ruby's bow, my little thrill seeker!
At first glance it looks like Justin is taking one for the team and letting Lexie teethe on his finger...
...but then you see he has hidden a tootsie pop in his hand and is treating her to her first dessert!
Belly flop! Totally worth the price of admission just to see this great Shamu show, the kids LOVED it! Next time we may even be brave enough to sit in the "splash zone" where you definitely get soaked.
Ruby must have requested the same soft filter that Barbara Wa-Wa uses on The View. She stood for the entire Shamu show and kept saying, "my dolphin, my dolphin!"
After the show I took the older three kids on a ride while Justin took the little girls to a play area. He said that Ruby played happily here in the sand for over an hour. I guess I should consider a sandbox because whenever we are at a park with sand she sits calmly and plays, which is a rarity for that busy bee.
I took this picture in the pitch black darkness and had no idea what I was aiming at until the flash would go off. I just couldn't resist the shot of them all in the bed of the fold out couch. This is how they have slept---three deep---all year in Bracken's bunk beds on the bottom bunk. I have finally kicked Bracken out and made him go to the top bunk but they all insist on still being together, even though that means that no one sleeps in either twin bed in Abbie's room.
We recently have begun playing Go Fish with the kids. It's an alphabet version where you match the upper case and lower case letters, the upper case have an adult animal beginning with that letter and the lower case a baby animal to match its' parent. The kids love it and it's been a great tool for letter recognition. Plus, you can't beat them being happy while waiting for their food at Denny's.
Ruby had some crazy allergic reaction to who knows what and when she woke up from her nap she looked like this. It wasn't a sunburn because she had not been in the sun at all that day and it was only like this on her face. I think she was allergic to the detergent the hotel used. We covered the pillow case that night with a shirt and she woke up rash-free.
The best thing about a Residence Inn is that we can make our own popcorn for movie night, thank you Marriott
What the? When did he start doing the peace sign for pictures? Thanks Jess. I have seen you do this move.
Bracken was chosen out of the audience to be the child to converse with the scuba guy through the glass. Uh, when asked where he's from he answered Texas, should I have corrected him? Have we been here long enough for him to claim it as home??
I'm sure we're totally allowed to lift our kids up to stand on the ledge and press their faces against the glass.
what's that you say Flipper? You'd like my parents to fork over $10 so I can feed you? Wait here, I'll ask...
I looked down when we got to the water park area and saw that Ruby was asleep, hamburger and lollipop in hand, with her face in the stroller bar. Comfy.
Cozy even goes to the water park. Oh, and he refused to put clothes back on. He decided he'd ride out to the car naked. I was grateful he had cozy.