After shlepping around for a whole week and because my kids had been really well behaved I decided to give them a treat and end our trip with a bang by treating them to a day at Sea World. I am not usually a fan of these big overpriced theme parks with their gift shops at the exit to every ride beckoning you to empty your wallet and lots of overpriced and over processed food around every corner but I must admit we all had a great time. We were able to use some discount coupons which definitely helped and we set limits on snacks and souvenirs. The kids had a fun time going on the rides while I waited in the sweltering heat(I just can't do the rides anymore unless they are super mellow-my brains feels like it gets turned into scrambled eggs). We watched a few animal themed shows-one with sea lions and one with Shamu. I just love how Sea World goes out of it's way to tell you that these are not "tricks"-they are "behaviors" that they do naturally in the wild- Uh, swimming with a trainer on your back water ski style doesn't seem like a natural behavior to me, but hey, I 'm not a marine biologist. My kids and I spent some time talking about the animals and their natural home in the sea. I just can't imagine the dolphins or whales are too happy in a small swimming pool as opposed to the vastness of the ocean. I wouldn't classify myself as a huge animal rights activist or anything but something about it all just doesn't feel right to me. I think it all started with an episode of the Twilight Zone (the old black and white version hosted by Rod Serling) I watched as a kid. There were these space travelers who landed on another planet inhabited by aliens. The creatures they met were very friendly and welcoming and even built them a home to live in-a home that looked exactly like one you might find on earth. When they entered the home the doors shut and up came the walls to reveal a cage with bars. To their horror the space travelers had been turned into an exhibit at the zoo for the alien population too see and learn about. When I see animals in zoos and shows like this kept in pens that are much smaller than their natural habitat it just rubs me the wrong way.
One of the highlights for sure was the lorikeet exhibit. There is a huge open air enclosure that has a ton of lorikeets, adorable and very colorful birds that fly around. For a dollar you buy a cup of nectar (I am sure it's some kind of sugar water), walk into the enclosure and the friendly birds will land on your arm and sip the nectar. I loved that the birds could fly around in a pretty big space and the kids were giggling and enjoying having the birds land on them. It was too cute for words and the best part is no one, not even me, got pooped on. At the end of the day a good time was had by all.