Today we met up with The Girl’s friend from school and her family, the Reeds, in Sea World. We had talked the day before and would meet around 10 near the dolphin feeding area. So we waited there and got a call that they were stuck in line to feed the dolphins, so how about meeting up at lunch. Fine. We put sunscreen on the kids as we had all week but since it was cloudy and the weather forecast called for rain throughout the day, I didn’t bother putting it on myself.

We looked at the dolphins being fed by all the stupid humans that couldn’t figure out how to listen to the people telling them what to do (note: our friends were stuck in line – they are not included in my characterization of everyone else as “stupid people”), then we looked at the stingrays at the Stingray Lagoon. Next, we went back to the Manatee Rescue area and watched them for a little. Today the underwater area was open so we wandered down to it. It smelled moldy down there, probably due to the flooding the previous days, or perhaps someone spilled a crate of bleu cheese, and there was largely nothing going on. In the last little area we could see the manatees were being fed, entire heads of lettuce, and we watched them try to devour the things whole with their tiny mouths. It was neat to see the ones who had front fins/flippers/hand-like things as they attempted to hold the lettuce while also swimming with it and eating it.

I was once again struck by the intelligence of people as they stood next to the big signs that said not to use flash photography, and continued to blind us with their picture taking.  I am 100% serious about this next sentence:  One dork actually took a flash photo of the sign that said not to use flash photography. 

I hate people.  Really.  I do.

Back out into the fresher air, we headed to the Whale and Dolphin Theater, for the “Blue Horizons” show. They recommended being there at least 45 minutes early and we were 40 minutes early. Close enough. We finally started to get into the place and it was packed! We got seats in the splash zone again (the kids and me) and we waited. 
Finally the show started. It was a show about a girl who dreamed of the sea, of swimming with the dolphins and flying with the birds. She woke up wearing her pink nighty, stretched and looked out her window to see a dolphin there. Then, she ripped off her nighty to reveal…
… that she was also wearing a pink wetsuit and the show really started.
There were trained birds (parrots) and lots of dolphins. There were whales. There were acrobats who did all kinds of stuff while suspended in the air. Dives from high platforms. Some folks wore feathers and were flying around doing suspended ballet while others were doing the diving and swimming and such. There was a scene where it was like a thunderstorm and everyone was wearing black. A huge bird flew down from the back of the audience and felt like it was right on our heads as it glided over us. That was very weird and surprising! All in all, the show was a little cheesy with its whole premise of being a little girl’s dream, but it was focused on the dolphins and whales and the action of everyone involved was well choreographed. I liked it a lot better than the Shamu show.
When it ended, it was time for lunch at a place called Mama’s Kitchen. We found the Reeds and a table to support the eight of us, then went up for food. It was surprising to find that they had some vegetarian options, including vegetable chili and a vegetable sandwich. Not too bad, but it was expensive, of course.
After lunch, we all went to feed the dolphins, since apparently the Reeds didn’t fully do it as there was some fear involved. So, we stood in line for a while again and eventually paid the $7 for each tray of 3 little dead fishies and wandered over to find a hungry dolphin. Something felt wrong about it as we did it. I mean, here we were, asking the dolphins to let us pet them in exchange for a dead fish. But, the dolphins seemed happy enough and we did it. The dolphin’s skin felt smooth and, oddly, dry. I mean, the dolphin was completely immersed in the water and popped out to beg for its fish and in that instant the skin seemed to be completely dry. Weird. We finished the job of feeding $14 worth of fish and waited for the Reeds to finish their $28 worth, all the while trying to get the kids to actually touch the dolphins. Rosa fed them willingly, but didn’t really try to touch them. Nick wouldn’t feed them or touch them. Eventually both of the kids allowed the Reeds to help them reach in and touch the dolphins and all was well.
Next we headed to the Stingray exhibit and watched the baby stingrays and some of the big ones. We got pictures of a dragonfly that landed on our companion’s back. We visited a restroom. Exciting times, really.
From there we headed to the Sea Lion and Otter Stadium for “Clyde and Seamore’s Pirate Adventure.” This stadium was VERY packed. There was a mime making fun of the people walking into the arena and he was pretty funny. Some dork went up to him and was asking questions. He finally pointed out that he was, in fact, a mime and pointed out the person she should talk to. Then he made fun of her, as he should have.
The show was funny. It was about a pirate looking for a treasure chest on some island and his crew was a Sea Lion. On the island already were a stranded woman and her Sea Lion partner. The shenanigans that ensued were hilarious. The Sea Lions were really, really funny and they stole the show for the most part. It was interesting to watch as the Sea Lions showed that they have minds of their own, too, in that sometimes they didn’t follow their cues properly and left the stage or did something else, leaving the human to ad lib. It was funny. There was a weasel, or maybe it was an otter (since the arena is called the Sea Lion and Otter Stadium) involved, too. And a giant walrus. It was great.
From here we went to the Pacific Point Preserve and looked at sea lions and seals and other animals sitting in the hot sun and waiting for fish to be flung at them by more stupid people. Wild birds were always there waiting to see if they could steal the fish as it flung down toward the intended animals. We wandered next to the shark encounter and looked at the sharks above and below the water, which would have been nicer without all of the stupid people around us taking flash pictures in the highly reflective and dark plastic tubes we were in.
After a brief stop for ice cream, we headed across the park to go to the Wild Arctic pavilion to see the polar bears. We got there to find a 45 minute wait. Nope, not gonna wait for that. Everyone was hot and tired and the expected rain hadn’t come, so we headed out and parted with the Reeds as they waited for their bus and we headed back to the hotel and a quick dip in the pool.

The pool was the same temperature as the air, so it wasn’t all that refreshing but there is something about floating around in the water that is nice even if the water is too warm. After the swim it was “Pirates of the Caribbean 3” and then bed. As with all the other nights, we fell asleep to the sounds of the hooligans or friendly children out in the pool. I’m no longer sure that I’ll be able to fall asleep without them when we get home.