Our second day in San Diego was spent at Sea World. Of course, this quickly became the highlight for the week. It was informative and interesting – but more importantly it was fun (mostly because of the rides and we rode them over and over again). You know what was not so fun – trying to keep track of 9 girls with different interests at Sea World! But we didn’t lose anyone or even misplace anyone for that matter.
The kids had a book they were required to fill out while they were at Sea World. They could ride one ride upon arrival, but then they needed to complete their packet before riding other rides. The girls were so excited, they wanted to ride the biggest and scariest ride. At least some of them did. Hallie did not. She is not a thrill seeker, she likes to feel safe. But I love roller coasters and I figured she would love it once she tried it (space mountain was her favorite ride at Disneyland when she was 7).
She sat in line watching others ride the ride, paralyzed with fear. A friend next to her in line bailed and Hallie was ready to walk out with her. I did my best sales pitch. She was convinced she would fall out of the ride when it went upside down. Yet, the whole time she watched, miraculously no one fell out!
I decided to sit next to her and hold her hand throughout the ride and I will be the first to admit – it was more intense than I was expecting and even more intense for Hallie. She swore she would not ride the ride again. A couple hours later after our books were complete, her friends were all jumping back on the ride and she was timid as could be – and they convinced her to ride. Something clicked in her and her fear was suddenly gone – she went three more times after that because it was just that fun. I was happy to see her face her fear and really enjoy it. At that point – she was ready to ride every ride in the park.
One ride – the Manta – had no lines and we would get off the ride and get right back on. I think we ended up riding it 11 times total for the day. 6 times were one right after the other. After the 6th time, my head started feeling a little light and we made that the last run of that ride for the day.
Our final destination on the last day was to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. This was my least favorite stop. It probably didn’t help that we had to drive over two hours to get to it (add that to our 8 hour drive home and it made for a long day). Once we arrived, we had two hours to see everything. Unfortunately, it was packed with other school groups and it made it a mediocre experience.
They’re adding on to the aquarium so perhaps one day it will be amazing, but it was just a basic aquarium. I think we could’ve had the same experience at the aquarium 30 minutes from where we live. I think the kids liked it – but most were just asking to go to the gift shop so they could buy souvenirs. I’m suggesting they find another oceanography experience or perhaps a closer aquarium!
After the aquarium it was back on the bus for the long ride home. The company that manages this field trip did a great job at entertaining the kids on the bus – I was impressed with their bag of tricks. And all was well…until several kids started throwing up when we were a half hour from home and then I was done and ready to get off the bus and wash away all the germs!
I am so happy it worked for me to go with Hallie. I’m grateful she still wants me around and was really excited to have me with her. I loved spending time with the kids and the other parents. I enjoyed learning right alongside the kids – there is always so much to learn. I’m grateful to teachers who organize this trip every year. I’m grateful we were riding on charter buses and not school buses. 🙂 I look forward to going again with my boys!