Sunday, September 7, 2008

Touristy in San Diego

Having arrived in San Diego on Friday night, we had Saturday during the day to spend seeing the sights. Did we opt for important art museums, historical markers, or beautiful nature vistas? Heck no - I wanted to see Shamu!!

(Yes, I know the killer whale performing at Sea World San Diego is not the original Shamu that I saw as a five-year old, but that is neither here nor there. If the Sea World trainers still refer to him as Shamu, then so can I.)

NavyGuy and I met up with his friend who had been caravanning with us, as well as his roommate from OCS (Officer Candidate School - aka, "boot camp" for officers). The four of us discovered a useful military perk; free admission to Sea World for anyone with a military id! (Thank you Anheuser-Busch for saluting the heroes). First on our list was, of course, the Shamu show. We tangoed with danger and sat in the "soak zone," but Shamu spared us (and NavyGuy's fancy camera) and we walked away dry. Shamu and his friends were as impressive as I remembered, and I was super jealous of the little kid who got to stand down by the pool and shake Shamu's fin.

Next up was NavyGuy's highlight of the day - feeding the sting rays and bat rays. You can purchase a small dish of sardines and feed them to the animals, who suck them out between your fingers. I tried twice, but dropped the sardines as soon as the rays got their mushy mouths near my fingers (I'm sorry - all I could think of was the Crocodile Hunter and how I did not want to be on the evening news for some unfortunate incident at the ray pool). NavyGuy loved it (given, he's about 400 times braver than I), but eventually we headed to see some other exhibits.

The shark encounter, manatee rescue facility, and penguin enclosure were each nice. Sadly, the most interesting part of the penguin exhibit was the woman in the scuba suit (inside the tank) cleaning the windows. What does it say about a bunch of tourists who paid 60 bucks to see the animals, that they will stand in front of a giant glass case filled with exotic mammals, and stare intently at the animal trainer squeeging the windows? The polar bears were a bit underwelming, as were the beluga whales (show of hands - who else remembers the Raffi Baby Beluga song? Feel free to sing a few bars here). The last show we saw was a dolphin show, and the best part was the dolphin trainer (dressed in tourist clothes and pretending to be a mom called up on stage) who fell in the pool and then was "rescued" by Dolly the Dolphin! Yeah - totally believed she was a real tourist who accidentally fell in the pool. Very convincining acting; was she hired for her animal training abilities or her thespian skills?

By 4:00, we were all wiped. Three days spent sitting in cars, followed by a day walking around in the sun had stolen our last ounces of energy. NavyGuy and I headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner with his uncle, who lives in San Diego and was a career Navy man (now retired).


Beer Widow September 8, 2008 at 11:41 AM  

Boring birds, orca, etc. What I want to know is, did you go to In-and-Out Burger?! Mmmm...

Also, I had a very nice roomy moment last night when I heard the following quote. "Oh my god! I'm my father! I was trying so hard not to be my mother I did not see this coming!"

Welcome to PST. We will be in Phoenix from Thursday night until Sunday night so we'll be thisclose.

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