Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sea World (Warning....this is way too long!)

Does anyone remember the part of the movie, Vacation, where everyone is griping and whining and wanting to go home and Clark yells "We're going to have so much f-ing fun on this vacation, we'll have to have plastic surgery to remove the f-ing smiles from our faces!"? I always thought that line was hilarious, but after our day at Sea World, I think I can safely say that I know exactly what Clark was feeling at that exact moment. The day was a disaster and yet, for some odd reason, I kept acting as though the fun was going to begin at any moment and kept telling the kids to chill out and be patient. I was an idiot.

We should have turned around and gone back to the hotel after we got on the service road and saw the line to the entrance. There were at least 100 cars in line, just waiting to turn onto the road that leads to the entrance. But after you've told your kids they are going to Sea World and you've already driven around San Antonio looking for discount tickets (found them at McDonald's after 30 minutes and three different stores), you kind of feel like you have to go. So we waited. The kids were troopers in the car.

We ate breakfast in the car while we waited and, all in all, I was proud of them. They were more patient than I would have thought. Of course, they thought all kinds of excitement was waiting for them. So did I. We were all wrong. All that waited for us behind the gates was, well, more waiting.

Here we are, waiting for Dad to purchase the tickets.

Of course, the tickets we purchased weren't discountable, so the 30 minute search for discount tickets turned out to be more wasted time.

It only took him about 45 minutes in this line. We all had to go potty anyway and the bathroom line was about 20 minutes, so it wasn't like we had anything else to do. Can you see the writing on Avery and Reese's legs? I put their dad's cell phone number just in case they got lost. Don't laugh. I was trying to think of ways to kill time.

After getting in, we headed to the middle of the park. Avery was dying to ride a ride, but we thought it was only fair that Rhett and Reese got to stop at the kiddie area before we got in yet another line.
As you can see, Reese is not a climber. She's really just not that adventurous and was pretty adamant that her dad not force her to climb. But dammit, we were there to have fun and climbing is fun, dammit! So climb that net, dammit! She did and requested that she not have to do it again.
Avery, on the other hand, loved it. She scrambled up and down nets, up in towers, and all over the place. I waited for her while Aaron took the little ones to get in line for one of the kiddie rides. After about 10 minutes, I met up with him. Still waiting in line. I took the girls to the concession stand for some popcorn and Cokes. 20 minutes and $12 later, we had one popcorn and one Coke for the family to share. Aaron was still in line. We realize that Rhett can't ride. He's too little. And he's poopy. So poor Aaron takes him to the bathroom while the girls and I ride. He's still bitter over it. He waited in the long line, only to end up NOT getting to ride the stupid cracked eggs. I keep telling him that he didn't miss anything and that he wouldn't have even fit in the stupid egg, but he's still mad.
In all fairness, we really do seem to be having a good time here, don't we?
Honestly, we were just hamming it up, pretending that this was what we had been waiting on for the last 3 hours.
Five minutes later, we're on the ground again, looking for the next ride, I mean, line. Avery and I head toward the Steel Eel. She's too short. (Thank God, because the wait was over 2 hours.) We head to the Texas Splashdown, a log ride. We all waited for a bit and then Aaron offered to take the little ones to do something else. Avery and I stood in line for about 20 minutes before she said 'How much longer will we have to wait?" I looked up at the sign that said The wait is about 1 1/2 hours from this point, and said "A long time." She said "I don't really want to ride it, Mom. Can we do something else?" Bless her little heart. She was dying to ride. But who wants to wait 2 hours for a log ride? Not me. Luckily, not her either. We found Aaron and the little ones at an Arcade. Which costs more money. But they each won a stuffed animal, so it was definitely worth it. Reese won a penguin the size of Rhett and it was the biggest pain in the ass ever, but she loves it. Here she is, loving it.
This was the look on her face almost the whole time. The rest of the time, it was a full blown cry. The penguin tripped her twice, so she was bleeding before we left the park,but she screamed any time someone else tried to carry it.
Did you notice that her stroller is not the same stroller that Rhett was in earlier? What happened to the other stroller? Funny you should ask....apparently, while Avery and I were in the log ride line, the wheel to our Graco stroller fell off (To be fair to Graco, it's lasted through 3 kids). Aaron kept putting it back on, but it would only stay on for a few rolls before it would come off again. When I met up with him, he was beyond irritated. I thought he was going to lose it. Every time the wheel fell off, and everyone around us would go "Awwwww," as if it was breaking for the first time, his face would get redder and more sweat would start pouring down his face. Finally, after about the 6th wheel-loss, he just stopped. He told everyone to just "SIT DOWN. We are just going to sit here. I need a break." I really was worried. Usually, if someone is going to freak out, it's going to be me. So to see him losing it really alarmed me. I told him "I'm going to the front. Just sit here. They have strollers to rent."
I had a $20 in my pocket and I left him there with the bags, the kids and the busted stroller.
I ran up to the front and saw a "SOLD OUT" sticker on each picture of stroller, double stroller, and wagon. Holy shit. There are no strollers left. I'm a bit panicked. I can't go back to Aaron with nothing.
Then I see a man standing with some little red strollers. I ask him how much to rent one and he says they are $30 to buy. They aren't available to rent. I tell him I have $20 and he responds with, "These cost thirty dollars." I try to explain our situation and he doesn't seem to care. He does, however, point me to the manager. I go over and wait for the manager. He comes over and I immediately start my sob story. "Sir, I only have twenty dollars, but my husband has more and I can bring the rest back to you but our stroller broke and he's freaking out and I can't go back with nothing and we've been here like 4 hours and have done one thing and we're miserable and I need a stroller and I'll bring you the rest and I have three little kids and he's way in the back with them and I just can't go back with nothing can you please help me please please???"

This wonderful, beautiful man then looks at me and says "Ma'am, I'm sorry you're having a bad day. I think I can help you."
He rings up a stroller for half price. $16.74 with tax, to be precise. I seriously grab his hand and tell him I love him. He seems uncomfortable, but I do not care. I won! I got a stroller! I have saved the day!!!

Ok, so I take Aaron the stroller. He is happy. He says "We are back in the game. This is our turning point!" I have saved the day!!! (Did I already say that?)

We leave the Graco stroller by the trash. Aaron had put the wheel back on to keep people from pitying him, but kicked it off again before we left it.

This still makes me laugh. It was all so ridiculous.

And you know what? I didn't save the day. I don't have that kind of power. We went to see the sharks and then the dolphins, which the kids loved. But when I went up to get dolphin food so the girls could feed them, they were out and it was going to be at least 30 more minutes before they got anymore. There was 30 minutes until the next Shamu show and we just decided not to press our luck. We knew there would be an hour line, and only half of the poeple would get in. We felt sure we weren't going to be in that lucky half. So we left. Pissed, hot, tired and hungry.

Never again, we said. But we will. Our tickets are good for a year, so we plan on going back in September and getting our money's worth....and then some.

The best part of this day? Bo and April drove all the way from Kingsville (2.5 hours) to have dinner with us and then drove back.

The second best part of this day? The huge margaritas they have on the Riverwalk.
There should be a Survivor show about amusement parks on Spring Break. If you can make it out with your sanity and any money at all left in your pocket, you win. (We would have been voted off 4 hours in.)

1 comment:

twholley said...

I love the great family vacations with kids...that are going to be so fun and end up like this! The kids have more fun at the park! Vacations are for grown-ups....