Archive for August 16th, 2010

Sea World Camp

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Lilah and I went to Sea World with the Girl Scouts. We decided to use her cookie money to pay for the trip and it would be the big event we got out of the cookie sales. When I signed us up I thought we’d be staying in a hotel for one night. It wasn’t until I went to the mandatory meeting that I realized we’d be camping out in Sea World, in their exhibits and I would not get to shower Saturday morning before I spent all day in the park with Lilah. When I told Lilah the plans she was rather excited to sleep in the exhibit, and we knew we’d be sleeping in the Wild Arctic Exhibit, the coldest one of all. I thought there was a wall of ice in it, but there was not, but they keep it a cool 50 degrees in there, which is very cold when you’re sleeping.

We rode on bus to San Diego on Saturday morning. I knew I would let Lilah make most of the decisions on the trip. This was my time with her, and I knew that I wanted her to have fun, and since I wasn’t having to referee two girls, I would just let her make most of the decisions, with some guidance since I didn’t want to be going to one end of the park and back again. Her first decision came in Barstow, where we stopped for lunch. She decided we should have In and Out for lunch, the busiest place there. There were several tour buses in the area and apparently lots of families making the stop to eat together. The line and food went rather quickly and Lilah got to enjoy her first In and Out hamburger. She loved it and I enjoyed letting her be in charge.

After lunch we continued onto Sea World and arrived early and waited to begin camp. The girls played games, and at times hung out on the bus. At 6pm the Sea World staff came out. They did a luggage check and we got ready to put our luggage into a shed till we needed it later that night. During this process Lilah noticed my luggage was making a noise, but I decided it was just the vibrations from the tanks behind us, since I couldn’t think of anything that would make noise in the suitcase. Once our luggage was safely locked up we entered the park.

We were split into smaller groups and given bright green t-shirts to wear. The shirts were to help the staff be able to keep an easier eye on us. We did a couple things, but they fed us right away. We then did different activities with the camp staff and visited different sites. It was kinda a whirl wind so I can’t remember all we did. I do remember after we visited the penguins the girls did a little relay race, where they dressed up with big penguin feet and wings and then had to walk and pass an egg to another girl. One girl was also dressed up as a polar bear as we learned about different things that help them survive. We saw the Shamu Rocks show that night, and my camera battery decided to die while we were watching it. It was an amazing show and I think Lilah really enjoyed it. At this point she was walking and hanging out without me so she did not sit with me during the show, but was with some of the other independent girls scouts her age. Sea World had a nice fireworks show shortly after the Shamu show, so we stayed in the stadium and watched from there. (The group we were in for the night was mostly all IGM’s and just one other troop and around Lilah’s age, which was nice. )

The final thing we did that night was feed the sting rays. That was so cool. The water is rather deep, so it was hard for Lilah to get her hand in there, especially since we had our jackets on under the bright green shirts they had given us and it was hard to roll up the sleeves. Lilah was too nervous to feed them her fish, so she gave it to me. I was also a little scared so I ended up dropping it in the water when one came up to get it. They said they just go over your hand and suck up the fish, but since I was not able to get my arm down all the way I was rather scared that I might get bitten. I worked up a little more courage and was able to feed one of the rays my fish. Lilah did work up the courage to pet the sting rays, and she really loved that. The sting rays were probably my favorite part of the trip.

We got settled into the Wild Arctic exhibit after the park had closed and as I opened my luggage I realized it was making a noise. My air mattress pump had gotten turned on and had been running for at least 5 hours. It was a little hot to the touch, and though it was on, it was not doing anything but making noise. I worried we’d have to sleep on the hard ground, but luckily one of the other leaders had an electric pump and let us borrow it to pump up our mattresses. Phew. I also felt really blessed that my pump had not caught fire, because the plastic had melted off of the batteries and they were really hot to the touch. That would have sucked had a trailer of girl scout stuff been caught on fire due to my negligence. (Hint: always take one battery out of your mattress pump when traveling.)

Lights out was round 11:30 pm and I slept very badly. It seemed like I was awake for most of the night due to someone snoring, or having to ignore my urge to go to the bathroom, or my face being really cold. It was not fun and the 6:15 am wake-up call came way too quickly. Lilah slept just fine, and was right by the manatee tank. She said she was awake during the wake up call, but she sure didn’t want to move or wake up when I tried to get her out of bed 5 minutes later. It was a very early morning for these two late sleepers.

We packed up, put our luggage on the buses and then headed to breakfast. I asked Lilah if she wanted to hang out with some of the other girls and their moms or if she wanted it to be just her and me for the day. She decided she just wanted it to be her and me for the day so after our final activity of feeding the flamingos we headed off to be by ourselves in the park.

We had about an hour before any of the rides started, so we hung out at different exhibits and planned what we wanted to do first. We did see one of the other girl scouts and her mom so we hung out with them for a time and I rode a water ride with the girls. The other mom hadn’t purchased a poncho yet, so I went on the ride with them three times, since there was no one else in line and they were having fun. We then went our separate ways but met up once more for the other water ride by accident once again.

Lilah and I rode most of the rides and saw three of the shows that day. I forgot the sunscreen in another bag so we got a little toasted. I now will spend whatever amount needed to buy sunscreen at amusement park to keep from getting sunburned and to protect my children’s skin.

Some highlights of the day where: Sitting in the splash zone during the Shamu Believe show and Lilah getting drenched because she decided she did not want to wear her poncho. Feeding some ducks and Lilah wishing Eden was there since she knew Eden would love feeding the ducks. Lilah pretty much thinking about Eden the whole day and saying how she would enjoy this or that. The third time on the rapids ride getting sprayed by bystanders, but not knowing at the time that’s what was happening until later where we noticed you could pay to spray people. Petting the stingrays during the day. I was petting one, and another one came on top of the one I was petting and tried to slurp a nonexistent fish from my hand. I squealed and Lilah laughed at me while the other bystanders thought I was crazy. Eating a cream cheese stuffed pretzel and cotton candy for lunch while we watched the Sea Lion show. Getting along with Lilah the whole day.

We loaded onto the bus at 6 pm and left a little later. We stopped in Barstow for a meal break at 9 pm and got back into Vegas around midnight. Jon and Eden had to get out of bed to come get us at the girl scout office. Luckily we don’t live that far.

It was lots of fun, and Lilah now thinks Eden and Daddy should go to Sea World together. I really can’t wait to go back and maybe in two years when Eden is old enough, we can do it again.