The Weekly Peanut, Issue 178
Last week D got introduced to the Star Wars prequels (thanks again, Jeanna). Friday night (while I was at Hollywood Studios) my daughter proclaimed herself Queen Amidala. This is her Queen Amidala pose. Her words.
We were joined this weekend by some of Ian's family for a belated birthday celebration for Daphne. Daphne got to open some more presents, many of which were swimming related. Or Star Wars. Yup.
The Rey and BB8 action figures from her cousin, David, have been a constant presence on our dining room table ever since. D broke in her new Doc McStuffins suit, Nemo floatie, and tea set in the pool.
Daphne was making tea. And chicory coffee. And man-catching beignets (or in D's words, "hammin bangyays"). Yes, she was working in Tiana's restaurant.
We wound down with D's movie and outfit of choice. Amidala on Friday, Rey on Saturday. Rey doing a Tremaine pose.
Saturday morning breakfast and every breakfast since. Rey kept asking Tiana where the droid was. Not sure what that was about. We finally headed down to Sea World to exercise our annual passes at last. I was pretty excited to return to Sea World since D has been so into Finding Dory and animals lately. I'd checked height restrictions before leaving, and at 42" D would be tall enough to ride Atlantis. So that was our first destination. Only to find D didn't measure up. Literally. And by quite a bit. That's rather frustrating. So much for the growth spurt D just had, shooting up another shoe size. I feel like Sea World's height bars are pretty different from the one's at WDW. D is considerably over all the 40" height sticks there, but the 42" height stick at Sea World was a long ways off. Wish the parks would get consistent. Ok, that ends up sounding a little unreasonable. Moving on. Our nearest (blessedly air conditioned) attraction was the Antarctica exhibit. Which was shut down except for walk-through. That's fine, since D just wanted to see the penguins.
We made our way toward Key West with a stop at Dolphin Cove.
Followed by an extended stop at my favorite (and D's, as it turned out) place in the park: the stingray tank.
D would be more than happy to stay there all day. Eventually we pried her away to go do Turtle Trek.
D loved checking out the manatees on the way out, which she called "lion sharks."
She also dug the underwater viewing with the dolphins a lot more than the above ground cove. I'm sure the climate control didn't hurt.
Ian and I were always big fans of the Sea Lion and Otter show (in the past, the Pirate Island show was always campy and funny). We'd never seen this new iteration, but were hoping for more light-hearted goodness from Sea Lion High.
I'm not sure Ian and I were quite as taken with this new show, but it's still fun. D's favorite was the rambunctious otter who kept showing up. My favorite was the walrus doing crunches.
After the show, the trainers hang out to "answer questions." I asked D if she wanted to go meet a trainer. She smiled big and nodded. We made our way down, and after the trainer introduced herself, D made it clear she was coming in for a hug. It's funny, at Disney you can tell every cast member is fully prepared for spontaneous kid hugging. The trainer looked so surprised as she hastily made her way down to a lower/ more reachable step.
The trainer had spent the duration of the store working with the Sea Lions. What did Daphne want to talk to her about? The otter. Of course.
D was very keen on seeing sharks. Our friends who ship out overseas this week were having their last day at the parks and, conveniently, were currently at the shark exhibit. We met up with Amanda, Molly, and family for a too-hasty goodbye before heading underground to see the sharks. D loved the tunnel, although she kept asking where Destiny (the whale shark from Finding Dory) was. Sea World may not have been able to provide Destiny, but there was another star from the film that they could.
D was pretty obsessed with the Beluga whale. She spoke whale to him. She tried to echolocate with him. And she kept trying to go back to see his exhibit. Ian and I were very taken with the Arctic seals, who seemed to find us highly entertaining in return as well.
There was a shark touch tank as we were leaving. Daphne had just mustered up the courage and did the special "two finger" touch when an announcement that due to inclement weather, most of the attractions were shutting down. It wasn't actually raining yet. We saw this as our opportunity to make a hasty exit.
Our favorite food truck was making an appearance at Fashion Square mall, so there's dinner taken care of. D opted to try the mac and cheese truck (no one was surprised).
They even put goldfish on top for her.