First stop was the Dolphin feeding area (also known as the Seagull feeding area). The kids liked that one. Then we hurried to catch the first Shamu show “Believe” which consisted of 20 minutes of inspirational music and video accompanied by Shamu and his trainers demonstrating the love that exists between a man and a whale. As you might expect, this wasn’t the usual Shamu show where the big fella performs stunts and tricks while the audience looks on in awe. Instead, this performance was designed to hit us at a more emotional level and I’m more than just a little embarrassed to admit that I did have to choke back a tear once. They showed a montage of images of a young boy reading about killer whales and carving a fluke from a piece of wood to wear around his neck. Later in the show, the camera zooms in on the face of the chief trainer and places that image and the one of the boy side by side. You then realize that it’s the same person and the trainer wears his own carved fluke.
Hands down, the best part of the show for the girls was the unadvertised Popcorn Throwing Contest that both of our kids invented midway through Shamu's performance. You really wouldn't think that fluffy white puffs of popped corn could travel so far! Oh yeah, and they also liked the last 5 minutes when Shamu swam around and splashed any remaining disbelievers in the first 16 rows.
Next was the sea lion and otter show: “Clyde and Seamore’s Risky Rescue” Cute.
After lunch (which was good but lengthy), we spent the rest of our time at the ginormous play area near the entrance. The kids had so much fun there that we put aside any thoughts of “getting our money’s worth” by seeing anything else. After all, creating a fun day for our little girls was the main objective of this vacation and there’s only so much two 3 year old girls can appreciate about sitting in the hot sun watching sea creatures perform tricks. Just before leaving, we cooled down by devouring a huge chocolate syrup covered chocolate funnel cake heaped with chocolate ice cream. Yumm!
The kids slept all the way back to the hotel and then we went swimming while Daddy jogged on the Carlsbad beach (he joined us at the pool later).
All in all, a pretty darn good day!