This was the week that was - a week spent in San Diego, most of the time hanging out at Dolphin Point at SeaWorld, but a great week none the less.
Jillian and I had been planning this trip for almost three years. Through all the ups and downs of our crazy family life we had held true to our mission. We will swim with dolphins. We will swim with Beluga Whales and we will have fun.
We did it.
Monday we arrived in San Diego and were whisked via airport shuttle to our adequate, hardly fancy, hotel. I had chosen one for safety and cost because I figured we did not need a fancy hotel. We were there for the flipper and the blow holes and the splashing....we were not there for the hotel room. We dumped our stuff and immediately headed to SeaWorld. The next four hours we ran around like crazy women, but most of the time we hung out at Dolphin Point. Jillian immediately established herself as the premiere Dolphin expert among the children draped over the low wall around the tank, trying desperately to get the dauphins to come over and 'play'. By the end of the day I knew the trainer spiel by heart myself.
The second day was our big 'swim with dolphins' day. It is actually the Interaction Experience and, while pricey, worth saving your money for and doing because it is really well done. The scariest part for me was pulling myself into that wetsuit. I am so glad I have lost the first chunk of weight - 100 pounds less of me was squeezed into that suit and booties - but once I got into it I looked GREAT. However, I do want to state right now that I have no idea how superheroes get anything done in those outfits.
About 12 of us were in the program. We all were walked across the park and over to Dolphin Point. We entered into the pool and for the next hour just hung out with Coco and Stymie - taking rides, feeding them fish, learning how to give them signals to vocalize and/or move in different directions. It was a blast.
The third day Jillian participated in a similar program by herself, this time with Beluga Whales. She told me later that the head of the Beluga Whale felt like a marshmallow and a pillow together. She had so much fun and looked so sweet.
We caught up with Uncle Ben and Aunt Charee, as well as young cousin Jackson, on the second day. Jillian got to go on the Manta, a great roller coaster ride, with her cousin. She talked me into going on it later and I was very proud of myself. I am not a roller coaster girl, but I went three times and the last time I actually put my hands in the air - though this particular part of roller coaster culture is beyond me. I also made it onto the Atlantis ride...which is pretty darn good for me.
On Thursday we spent the day at the Del Coronado Hotel with Ben and Charee and Jackson. Again, another personal triumph - I walked through the lobber of a hotel in a swimsuit (and cover up - hey, I am not crazy). It was a beautiful day. Beach, sun, good friends and company - we had a lovely dinner at Tent City and then meandered back to the hotel. The kids got their pictures taken in front of the 'haunted' room and then we all ended up at the beach for our s'mores.
The vacation was marred by one thing; about four blocks from home a young boy on a bike shot out in front of me. He was trying (he told the police) to beat me through the cross walk. I hit his bike and he flipped ass-over-tea-kettle, landing on his arm and hip. He has some wicked road rash and I am still sick to my stomach. And while the young man was wonderful in that he stepped up and told the truth (the officer is writing up the report to reflect that it was not my fault) I still feel just awful. I am grateful, very grateful, that it was not a tragedy but I do not look forward to having to have to deal with all the crap for the next few weeks.
Well, I am grateful for the wonderful week and grateful that the accident was not worse than it was and I am very grateful to be home. I came down with a lousy cold and so am laying low today. Back at work tomorrow.....