The real reason we went to San Antonio was so that we could take the girls to Sea World. To be honest, Daddy and I are not keen on the concept of Sea World (more on that later) but we were able to acknowledge that the girls would love it and at this age it can be very inspiring for them.
Let's avoid some of the background info for the time being and just cut to the chase. Sea World is not the same as I remember it being. The big show? You'd think it would be Shamu. And yes, Shamu was impressive and yes the girls loved the show. And yes they wanted to talk to the trainers afterwards. Addie even asked the trainer what kind of school she went to in order to learn what she needed to know to be a trainer (she got a degree in animal psychology, in case you're wondering). Yes they loved seeing Baby Shamu. Yes and yes.
But no. It didn't have the same WOW factor that it had up until just a few years ago. The trainers are no longer able to get into the water with the orcas. So though the girls loved the show, it wasn't a stuffed animal Shamu that they wanted to go home with. You might wonder what could be BETTER than Shamu???
The Belugas, of course. Why? Because the trainers were IN THE WATER with the belugas. In an instant Addie says "No, I change my mind! I don't want to be one of the blue girls (Orca trainers). I want to be one of the red girls (dolphin/beluga trainers) when I grow up!" The show was quite entertaining. There were Belugas, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins (so pretty), synchronized swimmers and divers and even a flock of Macaw Parrots.
After the show, the girls once again loved the opportunity to talk to the trainers. Since Ellie is taking diving class, she decided to ask the diver how long she has been practicing, but I think she was a bit surprised by the answer being 20 years! Addie didn't hesitate to go up and ask the trainer questions about what it takes to do just that (she got her degree in Marine Biology, just fyi). I personally loved the fact that they weren't anxious to just get up and leave to see what's the next source of entertainment. These girls wanted to learn MORE.
On the way back to the hotel, our own Beluga trainers were quite happy and tired. Addie made sure to add one more request, "Mommy, now that we know what school those red girls went to, can I go there too?"
We even snuck in a night time swim in the lazy river. Both girls thought this was one of the best parts of the entire trip. Who gets to swim after it's dark outside??? Crazy stuff I say!
P.S. My sincere apologies to the hotel staff for all the marks on the window.