We started our trip last week Monday with an uneventful drive to Chicago. We made it to our gate in plenty of time and the three kids had an absolute blast watching planes come and go. I have to say that in getting ready for this trip, driving as a family in the car, and sitting at the airport I had many of those moments when I remembered family trips from when I was a kid. There were those shocking moments when I realized I was the parent now - ahhh the responsibility! I felt a bit freaked out that I was the one responsible for all the details of the trip. Then it occurred to me that maybe my parents felt the same way. As a little kid I always saw them as all knowing and the most capable, but maybe the responsibility overwhelmed them at times. Maybe there were trips they couldn't believe they were in the parent role. :)
Our first day in Orlando was spent enjoying the resort and getting Tim's parents settled in, but then on Wednesday we headed off to Sea World. The first stop inside the gates is the rays. Michael was the only kid to actually reach in to pet one. I finally got Becca up to the edge to lean over and look, when one of the rays went wild and splashed her right in the face. I didn't get pictures, but I can tell you it was really funny except that it seemed to traumatize her for the next half hour or so. I still don't think it is safe to mention petting rays around her.
We saw the dolphin and sea lion shows. We were hoping to see Shamu too, but the wait to even get into the stadium was an hour and we decided we'd have more fun elsewhere.
We got to go up in the tower and see all around. Michael saw the water park next door and decided that that is where he wants to go next time we come to Orlando.
And here are some more pictures of the day. We had so much fun, but got tired in the sun/heat early. I still think Sea World is the best place for young kids in the area at least at busy times. With the exception of the Shamu whale show, there were very little waits for things.