Sea World sent over four tickets for my family to enjoy their park and share our experience. This post is all about our mad love for Sea World and our time their learning about their programs, marine life, and bonding as a stepfamily; and is not a paid sponsorship. #SeaWorldSmile
My sister and her family live in San Diego, so when we get the opportunity to utilize her home during a quick family getaway, Hotel de Aunt Cort welcomes us with open arms, a free continental breakfast, and lots of cousin lovin’s. Growing up, my cousins and I were thick as thieves and seeing my kids interact with their cousins makes me heart feel full.
In a blended family, we cannot always vacation with the entire crew, especially with the kids having opposing school calendars and only having our car for transportation (minivan coming in December!). For this trip, we were able to bring along Aiden, Collin, and of course Evelyn. All three filled with excitement and when we saw the Sea World tower, the car jolted with squeals and screams. Once we wrangled everyone of the car, covered each other in sunblock, and armed ourselves with bottles of water for each child, we marched up to the Sea World entrance gates (Collin and Aiden mostly skip-danced), grabbed a map, took our obligatory entrance souvenir photo (because let’s be honest, it’s the only photo you’ll get during the entire day with the whole family in it, hear me Mamas?).
Our first stop was the sea lion show, which failed to impress my kids. Until the end, when the sea lion jumps up at the audience and makes a garbled noise that’s meant to be a laugh. I believe the shows are geared more towards kids ages 7-13 rather than my little ones who have zero attention span. We nixed future plans for the other shows and instead opted to just enjoy the exhibits and feeding workshops, which were the best way for my kids to learn and experience marine life firsthand.
The most requested stop of the day was the shark exhibit where the boys couldn’t wait to see real live sharks and shark teeth. Evelyn was not thrilled about this portion of the day and became a little frightened upon seeing those razor sharp teeth extruding from their mouths. The boys, however, thought this was the coolest thing ever.
One of my favorite parts about the day was seeing the boys discover animals they never knew existed. Collin was completely taken with the electric eel and just captivated by the fact that it stuns it’s prey. The flamingos were a shock to both of the boys when they saw the bright pink birds. “I never seen a flamingo in real life before! What?! They sleep on one foot! Look! THEY SLEEP ON ONE FOOT!” exclaimed Aiden before tossing the provided food their way. Can we also note just how close homeboy was able to get to the flamingo? This guy was the bravest of the brave.
Feeding the animals was an incredible experience for the kids as well as the adults. The sea lions wanted to get up close and personal with those of us with food and several of them showed off their tricks to earn their treats. The river fish were also a great way for us all to interact first hand with the animals since they swim right up to you and suck off dead skin cells. Jacob rather enjoyed his manicure. Aiden impressed me to no end with his willingness to get close and experience touching and feeding the animals. The manta rays were his favorite and he fed them with zero fear, which is more than I can say for his larger and older stepbrother who was grossed out by the feeder fish.
We explored the park in it’s entirety from face painting (Aiden rocked the hell out of Spiderman face) to photos with Shamu, to pizza at Mama Stella’s Pizza Kitchen.
We ended the day with suits in the Sesame Street Splash Pad where the kids were free to roam and get wet while we all enjoyed some cold Dippin Dots and water in our souvenir Shamu cups because I’m always a sucker for souvenir cups.
Once the ready to leave signals started (you know the whining about nothing, lap sitting, general fit throwing), we gathered our tribe up and concluded the day by asking each kid what their favorite animal of the day was and took them to one of the many souvenir shops to buy a plush version. Collin chose the electric eel, Aiden chose a Shamu, and Evelyn chose a dolphin. We drove back to Hotel de Aunt Cort with plushies in hand and Spiderman face paint melted off. In true mini getaway fashion, the kids were asleep before we even left the parking lot.
Let’s just admire this before and after photo of the day.