We slept hard and took our time getting out the door in the AM. I got a reply to my Facebook message to Sea World, saying the park is full and we can try another day. But I wasn't ready to give up. (I was feeling like we were the Griswalds, though.) We stopped by Walmart for hotel room snacks and set out to see if Sea World would let us in.
The guy at the front gate was super-helpful, waived our parking fee, and directed us to Guest Services. The Guest Service rep was also extremely helpful and sent us over to Emma, who printed our tickets and wished us a fun day.
That was it. We were in!! Thank you Sea World!!! (pics below)
Kate is still a shortie, so we couldn't ride some of the rides, but we did go on Infinity Falls. It was a blast! At the very end, the ride had technical difficulties and we were stuck for a while. It was okay though because we had fun talking and laughing with Luke and Brian, our very first Friends on the Road! I don't think they are van lifers, since Luke is a chef at Disney (but how cool is that?!) Earlier in the hour, they had let us cut in line because Kate was getting a bit overheated and they saw that she should be in the shade. (Nice, right?!)
We ate at the Waterway Grill. Kate had the chicken nuggets with waffle fries and a cup of fruit. I had the Mojo Roasted Chicken with black beans and rice. Yum!
We saw dolphins, sharks, sea horses, coral, Nemo fish, starfish, jelly fish, a sting ray, whales, and a playful walrus. We were having a lot of fun.
Then the torrential downpour happened.
We waited for it to let up then we made a run for it. We didn't get very far before it started up again- only worse! We were more than drenched. When the winds increased and pelted rain into our eyes, we took cover again. A nice man who identified himself as the manager of this, plus 10 other parks, got us a new bag for our souvenirs that were falling out of our wet paper bag. He figured the fire works would still be on tonight because these storms usually clear up fast. He showed us the storm pattern on his phone then ran with us to the exit gate. I haven't played in the rain or laughed that hard in a long, long time. (He made our Friends list.)
We went back to the hotel to clean up and change, then headed back to the park because the sun was shining again as if the rain had never happened. And, the man was right, the fireworks did happen.
Later that night, Kate did some water gymnastics in the hotel pool and we even got to see some bonus fireworks!
Even though our Florida trip started out wonky, today was mostly great!