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‘Tis the SEAS’on

“Well, Basel got run off the road with a tractor-trailer.” I could only imagine the thick blonde curls that belonged to the Alabamian accent rolling out behind me.

“Really, pushed her straight off the road,” the voice continued. The Seaworld guard scanned my ticket, a thick smile plastered on her face. “Into the trees- she didn’t even get that much insurance money.”

I waited until we were a few feet away to make a remark about poor Basel and the tractor-trailer to my mom. Right off the bat, Sea World was giving Disney a run for its money- the people watching was A plus. In the heat of the chaos and Basel, my mom had accidentally grabbed a Spanish map, but that didn’t stop us from making it to the Dolphin Days show on time. The show was terrific. It was cool to see the bond the trainers had with the dolphins. Sea World seems to have semi stepped up there game since Blackfish. Although I probably still wouldn’t pay for a ticket- we got in for free. Seeing the show reminded me why I had been convinced I wanted to do animal rehabilitation for years. Sidenote: I would still love to work with animals, just more of volunteering on the rehabilitation side instead of going to vet school.

The next show we saw was a little less inspiring. It started- well, let’s just say cheesy and then slowly, very slowly, exploded. First, a little background, the show is about Sea Lion High, and it’s upcoming Christmas pageant. The cast includes three humans-the principle, the bully, and the good kid, two sea lions, and an otter. There was a high school stage, some sea lions, and a “high school” bully that looked like he was in the process of a mid-life crisis- but more on that later.  Where to start, I guess it all starts sliding downhill with OP, the very stubborn otter. OP, according to the script, had stolen Santa’s naughty list and was in the middle of a high-speed getaway chase; the principle and high school bully were in close pursuit when OP managed to slide into a tunnel.

“Oh, no, he’s getting away,” the principle screamed. However, OP had other plans. He stayed in the tunnel, planted in arms reach.

“Very, very quickly,” the bully joked. Several seconds passed, OP stayed put. “Welp, this is weird,” the bully had given up the act and decided to take a more comedic approach.

“Not as weird as a 38-year-old playing a high schooler,” the principle bit back. From there, the show was like cliff-diving- heading further and further down with no return. The sea lion refused to help the drowning bully, whose swimming skills were about as good as his acting as one of the cast members, so kindly put it. Then the sea lion walked off when they were supposed to be brainstorming. And finally, the principle forgot to roll up his sleeve when he was pretending to be the student’s arm reaching through the vending machine. The cast ultimately concluded the show with a giant, “we’re getting fired,” but it was the most entertaining show I’ve seen in a long time.

We spent the next hour or so looking at all the animals, including penguins, turtles, and hammerhead sharks. My favorite, however, was a manatee that looked like a small rhinoceros. Seriously, this thing must have eaten a tiny tank! After obsessing over the chunky manatee for a little too long, we ended our day with a couple more shows, one of which was the infamous Shamu show, at least the orcas have a bigger cage now, and some Christmas lights. By the time we were leaving, Seaworld was all lit up; they even had my favorite icicle lights! All in all, it was the perfect Floridian winter day.

Merry Christmas Eve! Let me know in the comments below what your idea of the perfect winter day is!

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