We spent this weekend in San Antonio, where we met the Photogs, Red Hot Mamma, and her underling for breakfast at IHOP followed by a day at Sea World. Fun was had by all. The Boy and the Princess were both tall enough to ride multiple rides, and Photog was like a kid in a candy store amongst the magic and wonder of the park. Our day started less than gloriously, as we had to spend about 30 minutes in line waiting for the 4 families in front of us to buy their tickets. What struck us as odd was that the Photogs and ourselves were able to get through in about a combined 3 minutes.
After this, we hightailed it over to watch the Cannery Row Caper. The Sea Lions are perhaps my favorite part of the park. Next up was the Log Flume. The best thing about the log flume, in my opinion, is that it's a ride that everyone in the family can enjoy. There are a couple drops, but more importantly, the Apple can go on as well. And he did. And we rode. And the Apple had a Kool-Aid grin as wide as the Guadalupe River. His enjoyment (along with the Boy and the Princess's) made the line completely worth it.
Following the log flume, we took a quick break for the children and spouses to catch their breath while the big boys went on the Great White. This is quite possibly my favorite roller coaster in Texas. Photog and I went on it, expecting Underling to show up while we were in line. Except there was no line. So we got on and went through it on the front row, which was great for me, and possibly even more fun for Photog. We get done and get out to where the families are and hear that Underling has gone to get on the ride, so Photog and I run off to catch him. We get a second ride (completely worth it), and then it's time to cool off. The Penguin encounter is perfect for a fourth stop because it's nice and cool. It was around this time that I realized that I was a bit tired, and possibly a little dizzy from the roller coaster. So I sat for a few minutes while everyone else enjoyed.
This year was the first year that The Boy was big enough to go on any roller coasters. He was just tall enough to ride the Steel Eel. This roller coaster is about 1.25 miles long (I'm completely making up a number here) and goes up and down and up and down. There are no inversions. Yet this thing scares the snot out of me. I'll do any ride in the park - except this one. But the Boy was undaunted. He had not been on a grown-up roller coaster before and he wasn't going to let anything like the actual possibility of the coaster crashing into the earth and 75 miles an hour stop him. So Mrs. Photog and I opted to take the Princess and the Apple over to the kid's area while everyone else had their ride. The kids had fun, particularly after they found the sandbox. This was great for me, because I got to sit while they played.
Long story less long, the kids played some more, we saw the Shamu show (pretty good, especially the part where they had all the active duty and former military members stand up to be recognized - thank you Sea World, it's schmaltzy, but welcome), and then we ate supper. Supper passed, and the team opted to take in the ski demonstration, which was fun for all, and gave the Apple the chance to fall asleep. I kept an eye on him while the rest of team BabyLawyers went on the Rio Loco. Rio Loco resulted in a splitting of the teams, as Red Hot Mamma and Underling went to the Lost Lagoon for some swimming-type fun and the rest of us went back on the log flume, then over to the dolphins. The Boy, Underling, Red Hot Mamma, Photog (I believe) and I all got to pet one of the dolphins that came up. This was an amazing thing for me - I'd never touched swimming sea life that I wasn't preparing to eat before, and The Boy has an experience he'll be able to talk about for years.
We then walked through the shark tank; which we all loved, and finally, it was off to the Journey to Atlantis. Here's the deal. You get on a car that seats 16 people. You go up about 3000 feet (or 100 feet, as the case may be), turn around backwards, go down a nice little backwards slide, then turn around forwards for a blind drop 100 feet into a giant splash pool. This was the best ride of the day, not just because it was a nice twist on a good ride, but because there was literally no line the whole time, so Photog, The Boy, the Princess, and I were able to ride 4 times in less time than it took to ride any other ride in the park once. We were all giddy. And tired, as by this time it was about 9 p.m.
So we packed up and went back to the hotel, where the kids bathed and fell pretty much immediately to sleep.
The morning saw us getting breakfast and preparing for the drive home. We took the opportunity to have breakfast at a non-chain restaurant - namely the Guenther House Restaurant in the King William section of San Antonio. This was nice. This was (is?) the home of the Pioneer flour company, and there's a nice restaurant there with the museum. The food was outstanding, including the best biscuits and gravy I've had in Texas. I'd go back to San Antonio just to eat breakfast there again - it was outstanding.
Then a nice drive home, with a stop at Buc-ee's for some fudge and beaver nuggets, and now it's time to recuperate before work (and jury duty) tomorrow.
I think next year we will consider a season pass, as there's just enough stuff to be able to do over again to make it worth the extra 12 bucks.