Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Vacation, Day 5

Today we went back to Sea World.

I want to dispel the idea (which came up after my previous Sea World post) that I don't like this place. I do, in the way that it's a fun thing to do with the family, and having a fun vacation is part of the Summer. But any family activity, at home or here, will have its irritants.

That said, I still think the "Blue Horizons" dolphin show sucked.


Sometime today Frank stole the camera from our backpack. This always results in strange pictures, and makes me VERY glad we no longer pay to develop film. Because when I get back to the room there are always lots of strange random shots like this:

or this

or this

I think this was in the "Wild Arctic" exhibit

And this awesome one, of a cousin on a plane simulator:

We went on the Shipwreck Rapids river ride this afternoon, and got soaked. Leaving the ride we saw this gadget:

It's a dryer. A multiperson family-size dryer. For $5 it blasts as many people as you can cram into it to an arid state. We didn't use it, but Sea World must be making a fortune from people who can't stand walking around in soaked undies. Mrs. Grumpy wants one for the house, to use on the dogs.

One phenomenon I've never understood at amusement parks are people who wear ponchos to go on water rides. These rides obviously get you pretty soaked. They have warnings everywhere telling you that. And you see the drenched people getting off the ride.

But there is always a group that is absolutely horrified to learn they may get wet, and so cover up from head-to-toe. WTF is up with that? Why go on the ride at all? It's not like you're all dressed up.

I'd like to use this space to gripe about the lack of manatees. They are cool, and guess what? They're GONE! Sea World moved them to the Florida park (where they already have wild manatees) and replaced them with... Turtles. Sea turtles, which I admit are cool, but not nearly as cool as manatees. Hell, they've had turtles in an exhibit here for years, but decided to move them to a bigger one, and send the manatees to Florida. So now they have no manatees.

They also moved Commerson's dolphins to a non-viewing area and replaced them with stingrays, but this is apparently only temporary. They needed a new home for the stingrays while they're building a roller coaster. Where the moray eels that lived near the stingrays are is not mentioned.

To help the wild bunch burn off some energy we turned them loose in the "Bay of Play". This huge playground is partially sponsored by Sesame Street, and so occasionally giant costumed TV characters go by. I offered to take Craig's picture with Bert and Ernie so he could show it to his 5th grade class, and he pretended not to recognize me. It was awesome.

While the kids were tearing the Bay of Play apart, Mrs. Grumpy and I camped out at a shady table across from it at Pineapple Pete's. And there, to my surprise, we discovered an all new, and entirely unadvertised, Sea World attraction: the Spandex Parade.

You see, they have these adventure things, where for a fee you get to spend a few hours as a dolphin/whale/walrus/whatever handler. So they put you in a spandex wetsuit, and you go off to your adventure.

Then, at 5:40 in the afternoon, you get marched back to the locker room. And in doing so you (and all your dolphin-feeding friends) walk past Pineapple Pete's.

Now I do NOT claim to be a poster child for physical fitness. Quite the opposite. In spite of my perpetual battles with the Wii Fit Trainer, I seem to be losing ground. BUT I AM NOT TRYING TO CRAM MY OUT-OF-RANGE FAT ASS BMI INTO A SKIN-TIGHT SPANDEX WETSUIT AND PARADE IT AROUND SEA WORLD!

Let’s face it: how many of you want to be seen in public wearing a skin-tight, form-fitting wetsuit? I thought so. Me neither. Very few of us are in the phenomenal shape of Sea World's trainers.

So people who likely would never even consider wearing Spandex in public anywhere else on Earth walk by in it here. And, I must admit, after seeing them I changed my mind about wanting to get a funnelcake.

At this point Frank and Marie wanted to re-ride Journey to Atlantis, so we walked over, only to find it was closed again. While I was looking for info about when it would re-open, some lady wrongly assumed I worked there (Ma’am, for future reference, SeaWorld employees don't wear "Motorhead" t-shirts to work), and asked me what the ride's problem was. I told her they were looking for someone's head, and walked away.

We stayed for the evening Shamu show, Shamu Rocks!, which is whale tricks done to blasting music. At one point they played KISS's "Rock and Roll all Night". This got me thinking: In 1975, when the song came out, KISS was marketed as the anti-family, pro-rebellious, piss-off-your-parents-by-listening-to-us band. Long hair. Bizarre makeup. Strange costumes. FFS, during "God of Thunder" Gene Simmons would vomit blood onto the stage! And what are they in 2011? Perfect for family entertainment at Sea World.

Craig, your hair looks fine.


Anonymous said...

motorhead t?? fantastic.

Captain Foulenough said...

New income opportunity:

1. Start website titled "People of SeaWorld".
2. Populate site with photos of spandex wetsuits, showing fat rolls to best advantage. Throw in some elephant walruses to see if anyone's paying attention.
3. Sell sidebar ads for weight loss products.
4. Profit!

Anonymous said...

I was just talking about people wearing poncho's on water rides. It cracks me up to watch a whole family go on a water ride then whine when they get wet. I was at my local amusement park,Kennywood, on wed. They had one of those people dryers too. No way I'm paying $5 bucks to dry off,that's what the rides are for. Lol Your blog rules!!!

The Wicked Receptionist said...

These post make me miss Sea World of Ohio. Our family would go there every summer.

Beth said...

"Shamu Rocks!" is awesome. The whales get to play, in a way that the more serious shows don't allow for.

Does the San Diego park have the Budweiser Clydesdales like Orlando does?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Beth- they used to, but Anheuser-Busch has sold the parks, and took the Clydesdales away.

Unknown said...

I dunno.... as someone who is still "obese" but has lost a significant amount of weight to get there (ie no longer "morbidly obese") I have to say that I would have thought about the spandex thing were the opportunity cool enough. One of the first hurdles you have to get through is the "I'm too fat to do that" mindset. "I'm too fat" keeps a lot of folks from doing a lot of things that would be helpful to them.

Still, had it been me parading through the park, I would have appreciated maybe a cover up until we got to the area where I would actually need the wetsuit.

Anonymous said...

I love that you were wearing a Motorhead T-shirt. \m/

Anonymous said...

I told her they were looking for someone's head, and walked away.


What? No manatees?! Manatees are awesome, and they're so cute!

Texas Pharmacy Chica said...

Hey, in the Billund Legoland Park they have the people dryers, too.

And they sell overpriced Legoland ponchos, which we saw a great deal of on our trip since it rained for 9 hours straight.

Final note: A lot of the rides at that Legoland do not stop to let people on: You have to kinda jog and jump. Good thing the kiddos were in decent shape.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering how Craig's hair has been behaving on this trip? I hope he remembered to pack all of his hair products!

He is at just the right age. I remember teaching 5th grade and I have to say that hair was the least of the problems.

Let me say that I taught on the second floor, or a NON A/C building. There were 27-32 children in my room at any given time. If it was 95 outside it was 105 in the classroom.

On the second day of school I finally had to say, "What is the purpose of a brush and make-up if you don't shower EVERY DAY! If you all don't start showering daily, and using "PIT STICK" every morning, I will stop showering and wearing it and you can see how it smells in here!"

That was the last day I dealt with the stench of smelly kids.

One former student (she's heading to college this fall); sent me an email last month with a picture of a post-it note on her mirror. She wrote it on the second day of 5th grade (during my rant) and it said, "Miss (insert my name) says to shower and wear PIT STICK every single day!" She has kept it there since the 5th grade to remind her. OMG! I laughed until I cried.

Hope you are enjoying the vacation? Any pages to do a consult this year?

Anonymous said...

I still remember the "Shamu Fucks!" story from your past vacation ;-)

Off Duty CPhT said...

the water ride thing is so funny, I never really thought about it til now, but yeah why go on it and wear a poncho??? The whole point is to get wet! Most of the ride would suck w/o the water anyway.

Anonymous said...

We went onone of the water rides at the fair. They asked if we were the "Dry Family." We didn't know what they were talking about, but it turns out we weren't the "Dry Family" after that ride.

Grace said...

"... looking for someone's head" .... you're baaaaad! (In a good way)

Kimbra Kasch said...

Ewww . . . I would totally try the terrible wetsuit adventure - knowing no one I knew would see me. But I never thought about the PEOPLE OF SEAWORLD website - until now.

So if I ever make it back to Seaworld - you won't catch me on digital or even old time film. I won't take the chance of ending up being the fodder for fun and giggles.

Anonymous said...

Just wonderful, Dr Grumpy. I'm enjoying your holiday so much. Thank you from autumnal northern Europe

Moose said...

Ya know, Doc, normally I think the world (maybe even the Universe) of you, but I'm getting a little tired of your insistence that only people who fit some mythical model of beauty or looks can wear specific clothing.

I weigh 400 lbs and I'm 5'3". If I wanna run around in spandex to go swim with dolphins, or shorts and a tank top, or whatever, I will do so. I will be comfortable. I will enjoy myself. And any problem YOU have with it is ALL YOURS.

People shouldn't weigh 400 lbs. It's not good or healthy. But the nearly global insistence that everyone not be 400 lbs is probably 2/3 of the reason why people get fat -- or deadly thin. We all need to stop judging people on their looks and size and let people be.

Until then, you (and the likely jerks who will crop up after this, in support of how Shamu nor Moose should be seen in public) can go take your attitude and stuff it in your blow hole.


Grumpy, M.D. said...

Moose, I said that I am in the same badly-out-of-shape boat as most of the population. I wasn't making any claim to be superior to, or critical of, anyone else in the same rotund shape as me.

Anonymous said...

I'm 38 and I would totally get my picture taken with Bert and Ernie.

lbparker said...

Maybe Frank is fascinated by textures--the carpet pattern, the bricks. I've been known to take pics of tree bark and jet enjine turbines because the textures are cool. Yes, I AM a geek, thanks.

Anonymous said...

But...but...the manatees were the only reason I went!

Anonymous said...

So if you had the people dryer around for the dogs, would you take $5 in quarters, bills or would the dogs have to get debit cards?

wv: shroudle. noun. a smaller version of the people dryer that engulfs users in a fog.

terri c said...

That carpet looks like the stuff in the public areas of the local hospital!!! Also, I hope Frank got some good photos of Craig's hair.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you find my body unattractive, but your opinions aren't going to stop me from having a fabulous time trying out lots of activities even if it means you end up seeing me in spandex!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

1. Hell, I find my own body unattractive.

2. My point is that 99% of the population doesn't look good in Spandex. Including me.

GB, RN said...

I'm also a big manatee-phile. Your best encounter can be had in Florida in Crystal River where they take you, early in the morning, to swim with them. Definitely a Bucket List activity.

Ben S said...

Disturbing is the thought that someone else (many someone elses) has been in that wetsuit, and it likely doesn't often get laundered.

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