Monday, March 25, 2013

Sea Lions and See Lines

This past week we took some vacation time as a family. We packed our bags and moved minutes away to The Captain's parent's house to house sit, while they took a real vacation to the Dominican Republic. (It looks gorgeous and I'm officially jealous). House sitting in it's self would be a great vacation because we've been cooped up with my parents for the past 6 months. However, we also too some time off work and had a few days of family fun.

Dominican Republic photo credit Joel Zwink

On the first day of my vacation (The Captain took more time off than I did) we went to Sea World. When The First Mate was younger he loved the aquarium and fish. Now he is fascinated with water (Wa Wa as he calls it). 

We started off with the Shamu show and got to see the new baby that was born on Valentine's Day. They even showed a video of the birth, it was really amazing to watch. I couldn't help but think "she is so lucky to have a water birth!" The First Mate wasn't too impressed with the show and actually seemed a little scared of the enormous masses bursting out of the water.

Sea World photo with Elmo and Abby

We continued through the park and received mostly less than amused reactions from The First Mate until we found the sea lions. Wow! This kid thought they were hilarious! Then The Captain fed them some fish and it was officially the best thing he had ever seen. The sea lions barked and begged for the fish and The First Mate joined right in. He continued to howl like a sea lion the rest of the day, actually he's still doing it.

Aside from the sunburn The Captain and I got, Sea World was fun and we got season passes to go again in the next year. It still isn't Disneyland though. I often to refer to Disneyland as our home away from home. We go there any chance we get. I think The First Mate has been over 10 times and he isn't even 18 months old yet.

The daytime view from our room.

In the middle of our vacation week we made the drive to Disney and checked in to Disney's Paradise Pier hotel. It's the most affordable of the Disney hotels and their are some great views into California Adventure. We even got an early check in which is great for toddler nap time! The room was probably one of my favorite rooms we've had, except the time we got a free upgrade to a Presidential suite. We only stayed on night so we could enjoy two whole days at the park.

The night time view from our room during World of Color.

On day one of Disney we met some friends at the park (Jennie and Nick) and they stayed for a bit. It actually allowed The Captain and I to go on a grown up ride! For day two at the parks my sister in law Tiffany and my two nieces came to join in the fun. My youngest niece got her first pair or Mickey Ears too. We very rarely go to Disneyland without guests since The Captain is an employee of The Walt Disney company. We get a number of  complimentary guests in, so those extra openings fill up fast.

Trying to pull the sword from the stone.

Inside the parks, however, were a ton of people. It's Spring Break for a lot of schools and that means long lines. Everywhere we looked their seemed to be a line. I know you're thinking, 
"you're at a theme park, lines are a part of it." Well, we go so often and in off peak times that we usually don't experience lines. It's also tough to keep a toddler entertained and in your possession for an hour long line. Have you seen how they can bob and weave through a crowd?

I think on our two day trip we managed to go on the train that broke down and five rides. One of the rides probably traumatized my poor child too. It was a teacup style ride for smaller kids that The Captain thought would be tame. It was not. The First Mate cried and we did our best to secure him with our body weight until the ride ended. Next time my objections will be heard.

Goofing around with Pluto.

On our last day at the hotel we had breakfast with the characters and The First Mate loved them all. He even joined in on the dance party. It was still a great trip to Disneyland and it gets more fun each time we take The First Mate. He really has blast and I love seeing him take it all in. 

That was it for the adventure portion of our vacation, but not all for the excitement. More on that in a post to come.

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