So Day 2 in San Diego, we were given the option to go to San Diego Zoo, Sea World or roam the city sightseeing on our own. Being that we had to make our decision on this activity a day in advance, and most of us felt a little in the dark on how to get around the city and sightsee on our own. 98% of us signed up to either the Zoo or Sea World. I chose the Sea World option with the Majority of the people on my Bus.
After the big night everyone had there were some very sorry looking soles that dragged themselves down to the bus for an 8:45am departure.
Sore heads and unsettled stomachs on hand we slowly shuffled into Sea World just before 10am. Frustratingly we soon realised that 90% of things in the park didn't begin until 11am or 12pm. With the consensus saying this is valuable time we could have spent in bed.. the first couple of hours in the park were spent doing a lot of lying in the gardens in the Sun or wandering around aimlessly.
As the park started to come to life, so did the Contiki crew. There were many smaller exhibits similar to a Zoo that had various animals such as turtles, star fish, penguins, flamingos, tropical fish etc. These were all good to see. But probably not much different to things we had seen before at various Zoo's.
Really everyone was hanging out to see the big shows. These were on only once a day at specific times in the afternoon. So to kill time we turned the clock back to our childhood days and jumped on a few of the rides. One In particular was a water boat roller coaster thingy that we all managed to get drenched on..stupidly numerous times. It was fun though, got some laughs and the adrenaline pumping.
Quite funnily following this we spent a bit of time in this amazing kids play zone. Part of it had a huge ropes and tunnels and suspension bridge setup somewhat like an obstacle course. It was good fun just climbing and jumping around like kids.
We were lucky enough to see 3 out of the 4 shows in the afternoon. First one being the Sea Lions (seals) show. It was very well done and quite clever. It was almost like a movie setup that they performed in, quite a entertaining show. I couldn't get over how well trained and obedient the Sea Lions were. A lot of hard work behind it all.
The second show we saw was quite random for Sea World. It was a Pets show. So basically full of trained cats and dogs performing a variety of tricks both on their own and together as a group. Again so much hard work had gone into training these animals and they were just amazing. If only my dog was that well trained!
The last show we saw, the main attraction of the Sea World complex, was the 'Shamu' killer whale show. It was held in this huge stadium with tiers and tiers of seating. As in all the shows there were parts that were extremely cheesy. But Wow!.. seeing that massive whale doing giant flips outside of the water was incredible.
Even more so the relationship between the whales and their trainers. There were times in the show that the trainers were surfing on the back of the whale, balancing out of the water on the tip of the whales nose..and probably most amazingly.. submarining under the water and being pushed to the surface with such force from the whale that the trainers were catapulted 2 storeys into the air.Just amazing to see an animal of that size so well trained and interacting in the same environment with humans.
My overall summary of Sea World is that I think we were there for way too long. 5 hrs. There was heaps of things that most of us had seen before and wernt really new or exciting in anyway. There were only a handful of rides, that we only really went on out of boredom. I think majority of us would have preferred to spend more time back in the city of San Diego. But in saying that, the shows that we did see, especially the 'Shamu' show was definitely one of those once in a lifetime things that you will always remember.
After our long day at Sea World we were taken to 'Mission Beach' for the sunset. As like all the other places we had been in San Diego it was just beautiful. A great beach, great restaurants & pubs on the water and a small outdoor shopping complex.
You could just tell that the place would be packed in the summer time. Such a beautiful spot. The one noteable thing was they had a huge artificial wave machine setup at one of the pubs. There was some locals tearing it up doing some crazy manouvers. Again you just sensed it would be the perfect hangout in the summertime.
I hope the photos I have posted from Sea World and Mission Beach help bring it all to life for you. Tomorrow is our big travelling day from San Diego to Phoenix Arizona.
I will be sad to leave San Diego, an amazingly diverse and pristine city. Highly recommend it to everyone and hope I get the chance to come back one day and tour around it all in more detail.