Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fish are Friends Not Food....all about Sea World San Antonio

We had a great time....really.  Minimal fighting between the parents and all 5 kids, which really, with 7, that's pretty good......7 very different personalities.  The kids are tired, but they said it was worth our money.  :)   Good thing Grandma let us use her condo trade to stay here or it would be a vacation a lot closer to home and less expensive.  They're very fortunate, so are we.

We got there a little before 9:30 and the gates opened at 10.  We immediately went to feed the dolphins again.  Jaemin LOVED the dolphins.  Then we road a couple of rides and watched Shamu.  We did stop for the sea lion show for a minute, but Jaemin was confused and kept asking where the lions were.  He was expecting these big ferocious beasts....ya know.  Jaemin was pretty impressed with Shamu too. We didn't get wet, but he did like waving to him.  At one point the whale stuck his tongue out at us and Jaemin stuck his out, back at Shamu.  It was pretty cute.  Jaemin liked spending time in the kiddie ride section.  Apparently he loves roller coasters!  One of his all time favorite places in the park was standing in the splash zone of Journey to Atlantis.  He could wait there all day since every 5 minutes you get drenched by the ride.  I mean sopping wet, but he loved that.  Another day with nothing but a 20 minute nap.  I must say he did pretty well overall with only a couple minor melt downs.  We didn't watch anymore shows.....just road rides all day.  While it wasn't a packed park, the Quick Queue tickets still got us in a little quicker than plain ole' waiting.  You could tell when a show let out because the water ride lines would get much, much longer.  They probably bought us about 5 more rides each.  Which made it worth it.  I will say that the rides are WAY too far away from each other.  Moreso than the Orlando park, which meant these passes were worth even more because we could just turn around and go back through the exit and reride that much quicker before moving onto the next ride.    The boys made the most of the day and rode the heck out of the roller coasters and from time-to-time would meet up with us to ride some water rides together.

We also bought 2 refill drinks for $8 and $7.  This allows us to fill up for $.99 as much as we want as opposed to $2.69/drink and split it between all 7 of us.  They don't really let you bring things in, so we managed to get in 2 waters, but they quickly turned warm and the drinking fountains weren't very cold.  Even buying water was expensive and we can use our refillables when we go back to Aquatica on Friday.  In all it was $550 for the 2 days for 7 people.  No one got in free, we came out with a tshirt for Jaemin and a bracelet for Cole.  We did take advantage of the bracelets you can get where you give them your credit card and the rest of the day you don't need to find it back.  They just scan your bracelet.  This will come in even more handy at Aquatica.  Who wants to carry that stuff around a waterpark?  We can lock everything else up (the keys and wallets) for the day.

Great time.....5 minute drive from our condo.  Came back to salami sandwiches and we're off to swim again tonight.  Jaemin, however, it WORN slick and will be staying in for a movie with Brian.  :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today's Adventure.....downtown San Antonio

It was a very long day.  We spent about 6 hours in downtown San Antonio, but it's so nice and interesting.  In the middle of this city is so much history and so many different types of architecture to look at.  The girls and I perused the mall while the big boys went to Ripleys Believe it or Not.  A lady at the mall told us that yesterday Shaq was at Ripleys.  We probably couldn't have gotten in then.  Today they had Hard Rock closed for a private event.  We wondered what that meant.  The girls had never been in a mall with so many escalators and Jaemin learned that he LOVES escalators.  He had a great time on them.  Jaemin also learned, while walking around San Antonio, that he likes his stroller a lot more than he thought.  He walked a couple of blocks and couldn't wait to get back in it.  No problems with him after that.

After the mall and Ripleys, we strolled on over to the Alamo.  It was pretty interesting.  There wasn't as much left of it as I expected.  The bigger kids and Brian went into  a different area that I really couldn't get the stroller into easily and said there was some of Davey Crockett's belongings, etc.  We saw a bunk area....I did with Jaemin and it was really small.  As in these people must have been really short!  There were only some canons left that we saw, but the little models of what it did look like were pretty interesting.

After that we walked all the way down to the Market Square.  I was expecting a Namdaemun of sorts....nothing like.  It was okay, but could have done without the 20 minute walk (slow walking) each way.   I did find something to get the grandparents for Christmas though and Kaelin found a bracelet, Chelsi found a ring that's actually sterling silver and small enough for her and Chase found a bird call of some sort that he just had to have.

We walked back to the mall and took a riverwalk boat tour.  The tour guide was pretty interesting explaining how all of the cultures made up San Antonio, including a strong German culture and how the San Antonio river was not always called that.  It's now a maze of places to go around because there are man made arms off of it for the businesses.  But it is really pretty!  After the relaxing boat ride we ate along the river at Casa Rio.  They definitely had homemade salsa and it was every bit as good as what the family makes.  I don't usually drink, but a beer sure did go down smooth with my Mexican food after a scorching hot day.

Onto Sea World tomorrow.  Tickets are printed and ready to go.  And since the hotel gave us 2 adult 2 day passes and saved us a bunch, we bought the kids quick queue passes.  We'll see if that's worth it tomorrow, but it's set to be 98 degrees tomorrow and I'm thinking we're going to want to run through those water rides OFTEN.

This was Ripleys.  Brian said it was some tunnel that was dark and it felt like you were tilted, so the boys had to hang onto the rail.

And then there's the aligator that ate so many dogs that there were dog tags and dog collars in the 18 footer.
And the mask made out of human skin....ick!

And the mastadon.
And the boys in front of a chunk of the Berlin Wall.
The Alamo

At Alamo Square, outside the Alamo.
Just walking around....we didn't go, but it's the Tower of the Americas.
Then, the Riverwalk boat tour.
This is gargoyles on a building.  Brian couldn't see it, so he asked me to take a picture.  The guide said the people who built it were very superstitious and put gargoyles and protectors into the architecture.  But, less than a few days after it was built the Great Depression hit and they lost it to bankruptcy.
Beautiful view along the way.

Water was a commodity on this hot day.
 This is where some of the Germans used to live when they settled in.  It's not longer residences.

Then, we finally ate....and yes we chose inside after a long hot day, though sitting on the riverwalk would have been relaxing too.

Happy Gotcha Day Jaemin!

We don't really celebrate Gotcha Days.  We always do the kids' first, but that's it.  Today was Jaemin's 3rd Gotcha Day!  Hard to believe it's been 3 years, but yet it's been a crazy 3 years, in ways, because of him.  I can't imagine him not in our lives.  He's here to remind me everyday, that we're done having kids and that I love this kid so intensely, it's crazy!!

Many more Gotcha Days little bubsy.  I love you!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Swimming Extravaganza!

We swam and swam some more today.  We did the tour/sales thing and then came back and got ready for the pool this morning.  I think we were out there by 10 am.  We finally got the kids to break to go make some ham sandwiches and then Jaemin, thankfully, took a did Brian I think.  We got them back out tonight so the girls and I could get them some new swim suits since they're pretty much ruined after the OK hotel.  We swam for HOURS!  The kids LOVE the lazy river and the waterslides.  We're thinking tomorrow we'll take in some history after lunch.  The big kids were never in the same place for more than a second, so no pictures.  Cole even called the front desk to have them light up the grill so we could make some brats tonight.  He was tired early.