Today is the last day of summer vacation for me. Tomorrow I will be at school all day helping with student orientation - taking up athletic paperwork and selling PE uniforms. Friday we officially start our in-service for the school year which continues all next week.
And how are Craig, Natalie and I spending this last day of our magical summer? Natalie is at my parents house until tomorrow afternoon because Craig is laid up on the couch with a bum knee after his surgery yesterday.
Awhile back Craig was walking through the baby gate at the top of the stairs and Ajax scooted down in front of him, effectively tripping Craig which resulted in him falling down about five steps and twisting his knee.
Pop! There went his meniscus!
The surgery was originally schedule for mid-June but due to some complications Craig's doctor pushed it back several weeks to make sure Craig was completely healthy for surgery. The timing actually worked out better because he was able to enjoy our two trips - the one to Lake LBJ for Craig's cousin's wedding and then our vacation last weekend down to San Antonio with some friends to visit Sea World.
And here we are at my original reason for posting - Sea World.
We left on a Thursday morning and returned mid-afternoon on Sunday and it was just the right amount of time away as a family. Natalie did relatively well during both drives and slept pretty well in the pack-n-play....but I will admit that she did end up in our bed all three mornings we were there. We stayed at a great family resort which was right across the freeway from the park and had tons of awesome stuff for kids to do. She enjoyed floating around in the lazy river, eating ice cream, wrestling and tickling with Daddy on the hotel bed and running down the halls.
And now for an array of pictures.
She loves the water and being out in the sunshine.
Eating queso right off her fingers at dinner on the Riverwalk.
All ready to venture out in the park in her new big girl stroller.
Getting a pre-show snack of goldfish.
Sitting with Daddy, ready to watch the dolphins and beluga whales.
The Azul show was full of fantastic trapeze artists and talented divers. There was a lot going on for Natalie to watch. This was by far her favorite show.
I couldn't help but sing the Raffi "Baby Beluga" song. And I don't even play those songs for Natalie - I remember it from way back in pre-school when my mother would dance and sing it around the classroom.
The sea lion show - it was pretty good but had a lot of dialogue which wasn't so great for Natalie but she enjoyed it nonetheless.
Exploring outside our room at the hotel.
We were pretty excited to be on our first official family vacation.
Maybe someday she'll look something like me...
I love her little nose scrunch when she's excited and happy.
Watching the dolphins swim past.
Her favorite place was the aquarium. It was ours too because it was indoors and away from the heat.
Patiently waiting for Shamu to start. See that little straw-Shamu thing in the corner? Brilliant buy by Craig. It fit onto the top of a regular water bottle and essentially turned the bottle of water into a sippy cup for Natalie. Perfect.
The baby whale.
Although the show was great, it was a little more lame than the last time we had seen it which was a few years ago. The animal trainers are no longer allowed into the water with the whales due to that nasty little incident a while back when the trainer was killed.
The big splash!
Sitting patiently on Daddy's lap.
We had to pull her away from the puffins (or the "ducks" according to Natalie).
Feeding the sea lion with Daddy - she loved the little bark that they made.
Worn out from her second day at Sea World!
We split visiting the park into two days which turned out to be the best plan. On day one we were there with our friends and their children and we saw the Azul show, the sea lions and played in the children's water park area. Since our friends were leaving the next day they stayed at Sea World and continued to roam around while we took Natalie back for a good long nap. The second day we saw the dolphins, Shamu, the aquarium, the penguins and fed the sea lions then picked up lunch and returned to our hotel room. It was just so hot and I wanted to maintain some sort of regular routine for Natalie so that we would have a more pleasant trip.
So now she is at my parent's house until tomorrow afternoon so that I can help Craig recover from his surgery and I kind of miss her little face. I have a feeling returning to school full-time next week is going to be very hard for both of us. And Angie and Ajax.