The final day of our San Diego vacation was spent in Sea World. We got there before the park opened, so we spent some time in the front area petting some of the sharks and rays. Kate was the one child excited to do so initially, though in later exhibits, everyone put their hands in.
The very first thing we did when the park was open was to go over to the Manta roller coaster. Jared, Claire and Jacob got to ride the very first ride of the day! It was a bit of a surprise the way it started, going 0-45 without any sort of hill, but Jared reported that Claire's yells and screams turned from surprise and fright to pure joy about halfway through the ride. They took a shortcut and were able to catch the 5th train of the day as well, which both kiddos loved!
We went to the killer whale and dolphin shows not long after the Manta. Claire was particularly excited for the dolphin show since she decided sometime in the months before the trip that dolphins were her favorite animals.
After the shows, we got to see the dolphin and killer whale tanks. The killer whales seemed to be in a bit of a nasty mood, taking bites at one another and leaving one with a trail of blood from its fin. The dolphins were fortunately in a much better mood and were quite playful.
Liam didn't want to leave the dolphin exhibit to go to lunch and expressed his displeasure in silent protest.
We visited exhibits that had turtles, penguins, antarctic sea life, and we saw the sea lion show (though our seats weren't very good!). And we saw some fish and got an awesome picture of Jacob!
One of the most exciting parts of the day (especially for Kate and Liam - and especially for Kate!) was meeting Elmo and Cookie Monster. Kate wanted to just hold Elmo for a few minutes, then have a little conversation with him.
Eventually, she was willing to turn around for a few pictures. Liam, Claire and Jacob were pretty excited, too.
Then, she decided to give Cookie Monster a big hug. She would've stayed all day if she could have.
After Elmo and Cookie Monster, Kate and Liam spent some time stacking blocks in the kids play area. When they first got there, the blocks were spread throughout the area. Then, the worked as a team to round up all the blocks and stack their own tower. The power of being a twin!!!
The video was cute to watch, too.
The question for most of the day was how Claire would spend her $10. She shopped on and off all day long. Finally, at the end of the day, she had to decide and found her very own dolphin stuffed animal. We got Liam a stuffed killer whale and Kate a little dolphin. They named them Angel, Fishy, and Yoda.
The final stop of our trip was a short layover in the Salt Lake airport, which meant the obligatory trip to Cafe Rio. It was a bit chaotic managing all the kids (and their potty needs!), food orders (and eating all of it), all on a short layover, but it was definitely worth it.
It was a trip that was packed with doing things together as a family. We had lots of car time, plane time, and together time doing lots of different activities. We had a great trip!