Monday, July 16, 2012
Orlando Vacation: SeaWorld
After a relaxing day at the pool, Damian and I woke up early the next morning and made our way to SeaWorld, where Shamu stole the show. (By the way, Shamu is the name of every killer whale who has ever lived at SeaWorld ever. There is no one famous whale named Shamu. You're not fooling me, SeaWorld!) I'm kidding. Shamu is just a stage name. (I think.) I honestly have no idea what the whales are actually named.Shamu's questionable identity aside, the One Ocean show was a thrilling, breathtaking display of orca whales. You can't help but gasp with awe as the orcas leap high into the air then dive into the water and splash the audience, who exclaim, in near perfect unison, "Ooo! Ahhh! Ooo! Ahhh!"
All of SeaWorld filled me with wonder and amazement. As Damian and I ran around the park and saw ocean creature after ocean creature (sharks, dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions and even more) there were many moments when I grabbed Damian's arm and said to him over and over, "They're so beautiful. They're so beautiful. They're so beautiful." I never expected to be so emotional, but what can I say, God's creation is well worth beholding, and without SeaWorld, I'd probably never see any kind of whale, much less get splashed by one.
And now, all about dolphins: when I was at the dolphin tank, one swam right to me, and I couldn't help but press my hand against the (enormously thick) glass, look into the dolphin's eyes, and start talking to it. (I spoke to the dolphin in the same voice I use to talk to little kids. Weird!) This was seriously strange behavior for me. I don't generally like animals: I'm not a dog or cat person, and a goldfish seems like way, way too much responsibility, but my goodness, I don't think I'd mind a pet dolphin.
Here are some fun facts I learned: dolphins play by tossing small objects back and forth (kind of like catch) or chasing each another (kind of like tag). They even use their teeth to scratch the itchy spots on each other's backs. They are ridiculously friendly creatures, and it's incredible to watch them play. They seem so joyful!
We also saw the dolphin show, and the most memorable moment for me was this: when a man rode two dolphins like a pair of jet skis, then shot into the air like a canon ball.
There was also a place called the dolphin cove where you stood by the water and when dolphins came to the surface, you were free to interact with them, so long as you didn't touch their faces or blowholes. I was able to touch the tip of one dolphin's tail and stroke another's side, which was soft and slippery. (I also touched a sting ray, but frankly that was just scary. I'm still not sure why that's a thing to do at SeaWorld.) I think petting a dolphin was my favorite part of the day.
Have you ever been to SeaWorld? If so, what did you think? If not, would you like to go someday?