After we crossed over the Georgia/Florida state line, we continued on to the rental house that we were to occupy for the next three vacationy nights. From the exterior, it just appeared to be a big house. It needed to be big. We had 13 people. My parents (Little Debbie & Pops), my sister Nornie & her little boy Cole, my sister’s fiance Boots, my brother Timmy (Hot Tim to some), Brad (el Gorila) & his wife (Legs McCracken) and their two kids (Braden, who we call Bubba, and Clara). Oh and us. You should know our names. If you don’t…well, we have a little Meet the Bowers button over there on the sidebar…and I spent a ridiculous amount of time photoshoping the cellulite off my ankles for the photos…so check it out.
Back to the house, let’s just say that I was mildly unaware of what was inside.
I should have known because the name plate gave me a clue.
We entered through the back and saw that the pool overlooked this retaining pond…so cool. But so far, no weirdness.
It wasn’t until we were fully inside that we understood the theme. Yes. That is a spotted leopard laying in the middle of the dining room table.
I didn’t really take that many photos inside the house…mostly because we felt like the oil paintings were watching us. But here are some I pulled off the website:
That’s our bedroom. The one with the three creepy gals gazing over us as we sleep. Yes…the entire house was decked out with leopards, gals with kimonos, dragons and symbols that we had no idea what they meant. Oh and there was a Soprano’s game room. Random and awesome.
Across the street from the house was another body of water….and when the sun set, the entire place became crazy magical. It made me wish I lived in Florida…just so that I could have trees with that moss growing on them.
Okay – now here is the entire group. Yes, Will and I thought it was Twin Day. Boots looks just plain confused and awkward. And the two little ones are looking at me because I’m gorgeous. Haha. It’s because I was doing the self-timer on the camera and ran back and forth four times to get this shot…but a girl can dream, right?! Anyway – this was taken on the last day but I thought you might need a visual of everyone that we attempted to keep together in a group as we went into the theme park.
Speaking of theme parks, the day after we arrived we all woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed and headed over to Sea World.
The first thing we did was hit up the dolphin show.
I was so impressed. As was Will. I didn’t know exactly what to expect with a 13 month old…but he loved it. He watched and clapped appropriately.
I wish I could ride a dolphin…like this….
or like this.
Will also clapped randomly. He loved the splashes and the jumps…but he also loved the random birds that they incorporated into the show. Overall verdict – SUCCESS!
Yup, we could have left the park right then and there and felt like we got our money’s worth.
But apparently Sea World is also kinda known for some other things than dolphins. Like the rides.
I didn’t go on this one because I’m pregnant.
Gotcha didn’t I mom?!
During the wait (while everyone else was standing in line for coasters) my mom and I tried to find places that we could entertain Will. One of the places (that had AIR CONDITIONING) was this tiny aquarium.
Note to self – learn to take better pictures inside a dark room.
And I stress the air conditioning because it was hot as hades. I had read online that you should bring one of the fan/mist bottles…we didn’t have one so we sprang for one at the park…Will wasn’t a fan (haha…pun!)
Then we headed over to the Shamu show.
This really was the highlight of the park.
Will was taking a nap in the stroller so we ended up sitting in a handicapped area (per the direction of the park peeps).
And the rest of the fam sat front and center. That is one big fish.
No comments about the ‘fish’ thing is needed. I know it’s a reptile people. And yes I was homeschooled.
This might be my favorite photo of the park. Can you imagine training these giant animals to jump perfectly?! I don’t think I could do it. Train or jump.
After the show, we had one thing in mind…food and keeping cool. It was so chaotic, I got zero photos of us eating. You can thank me later.
Will had his first merry-go-round experience. It was total crying and lunging and whines until it started. Then he sat there perfectly. I’m now convinced that I need one in my house.
We went into the Shark encounter…which was cool.
But they have a similar type ‘ride’ at the Atlanta Aquarium so I wasn’t oohing and awwing as much as I normally would have.
I was goo-goo over the landscaping in the park. It was gorgeous! I kept saying comments about the sprinkler systems and the number of maintenance men and the time it would take to weed each bed. Then I realized, I’m old.
Penguins are one of my top 5 favorite animals. Along with turtles. I can draw a pretty darn good penguin though. Betcha didn’t know that about me.
They were amazing. I love the way they hop and can burst out of the water.
And that they can swim. I can relate. A bird without normal abilities that can enjoy a bath. Yup. That’s me.
It was right about then that we decided that Will was getting too hot.
So we did what any normal parent would do…held him directly under the mist machine until he nailed the dramatic hair flip seen in shampoo commercials.
The last show we saw was really not as baby friendly. But it was funny.
It had the sea lions…that were very well trained. It makes me doubt my ability to train my child when I see these animals. If only kids were as simple as a bucket of cold fish.
Oh yes, we checked out the sea turtles…love em…
Will had no fear to touch the shell. I credit to my turtle rescues the two days prior.
Oh and since neither of these guys got to ride a coaster (Pops gets majorly motion sick and Will apparently is dealing with official size requirement issues), we did snatch a ‘fake’ coaster picture….just for posterity.
The very last thing we did was hit up the bigger aquarium. Will loved it.
And yes, he is a Houdini at getting his shoes off. After such a long hot day with only one 30 minute nap, we were just happy he wasn’t screaming and clawing at my face.
Near the end of the day the sky clouded over and we started seeing some rain here and there. Perfect timing.
So just as we were headed out of the park, we managed to grab a Sea World worker and get him to snap this family photo. Yup…it took that long to get one with all three of us. Better late than never, right?!
So there you have it – our very fun Sea World adventure. Oh and our crazy vacation house. And the random narration that seeps from my brain onto the page. There is more to come…crazy vacation that is…not seepage. Wait….some seepage 🙂
p.s. I announced the winner of the Freschetta giveaway! Is it you?