We finally completed our postponed Sea World/Disneyland trip. We were scheduled to go back in January, then my mom had a stroke just days before we were scheduled to leave, so the trip was postponed until May - and it finally happened last week. This is my first trip since 1986 and my girls' first trip ever! We took them to WDW last year, and now we're totally hooked on Disney parks! First, let me introduce you to our group: Me - energetic, Disney-loving, mom of 2. The planner in the group. I have two part-time jobs, one of which is teaching at our local community college DH - Just along for the ride. He has MS, so he can't do the long days that I can, but he does have his scooter, so he tries to keep up some DD6 - My little tomboy princess. Is usually up for just about anything DD4 - My spoiled little princess - also a daredevil DSIS - My sister, comes along on family vacations yet swears every vacation that will be the last BJ - DSIS's boyfriend, graduating from college and joining us mid-trip Dad - my dad. In great shape for a man who'll be 70 next month. Plenty of strength, patience and energy, great with my girls Mom - my mom. She hasn't been the same since her stroke in January and has been feeling especially weak lately. She'll be in a wheelchair for all park time Dateline: Saturday, May 14. My birthday and a horribly busy day. Due to various obligations (and BJ's graduation) this busy day begins with me getting up before 7 AM to get the pool setup to be without me for a week, continues with grading, packing, watching BJ's gradation, etc. and finally ends up leaving Tucson, driving towards San Diego at about 5 PM. There isn't much to say about this day, other than it was very busy and stressful and wasn't a good way to spend a birthday. Everybody except BJ loaded into my parent's extended-cab pickup and drove towards San Diego. We finally arrived at our first hotel, the Travelodge in La Mesa about midnight. Dateline: Sunday, May 15. Picts: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63234721@N04/sets/72157626791769908/ Had a nice breakfast at the hotel (am pretty happy with the breakfast here - waffles, bagels, toast, english muffins, juice, milk, name-brand cereal, fruit and pastries. All starch, but some good variety) then set out to do a little shopping (just me, my sister and the girls). Made our way to Lemon Grove and found ourselves a Rite Aid (gotta have some Thrifty Chocolate Malted Crunch ice cream when we visit Cali), Home Depot (totally forgot to bring my Lime Green Mickey Head), and Super Walmart (had to pick up craft supplies to attach said LGMH and stuff to make a sign for Jedi Training Academy, as well as bowls and spoons, cereal and a few toiletries. Note to self, this would have been a good time to look at raincoats and ponchos...) before picking up lunch at Taco Bell for the group. We ate lunch in our rooms and then headed to Sea World! Arrived there about 2 PM and were disappointed that there were none of the evening show scheduled (there had been when I had checked about a month ago, but things are subject to change). The park was moderately crowded, but I've seen it worse. I had already decided that Sunday would be mostly a show day (since the Sea World shows seem to be least affected by the crowds, but I hate walking through crowded exhibits). We had remembered to bring one of our popcorn tubs and a refillable soda cup from a previous trip, so DH scooted over to get refills right away before we headed in to the 2:20 Blue Horizons show. We had also remembered our 2 Sea World ponchos (one child-size, one adult) and DSIS and I made our way to the second row center (with said ponchos) for the Blue Horizons dolphin show. Mom, Dad and DH sat in the side-view handicapped seating (not in the splash zone). We sat and were mesmerized by the show (covered ourselves with ponchos, but didn't have much of an opportunity to get wet, since they had the male dolphins instead of the pilot whales doing the splash portion of the show), waited until most of the crowds had dispersed and got our pictures taken with Marina and Delphis after the show. My girls were cute, I overheard them discussing whether it was the same Marina and Delphis that they had gotten their picts taken with in October (which was very funny to me, since this set was African-American and the previous set had been Caucasian). The SkyTower and SkyRide are now included with admission to Sea World, we walked by the tower and considered riding, but decided to wait until the next day due to the line. We then visited the tide pools for a little while before finding seats for the 4:00 Believe show. Since the Believe show is going to be replaced at the end of the month, they were walking around selling the Believe DVDs for $5, so we purchased one of those. Once again, Mom, Dad and DH sat in the handicapped seating area, while DSIS, the girls and me went down into the splash zone. There wasn't much of a splash zone, however, since they had about the first 8 rows or so blocked off so nobody could sit down there. We watched the Believe show, but didn't need to use our ponchos at all since our area didn't get splashed. I'm actually glad they are replacing this show, it has really lost a lot now that they don't go into the water with the whales anymore. After Believe, we visited Rocky Point Preserve and the girls fed the Sea Lions. For the first time ever, the Sea Lions got all the fish (normally, the birds steal at least one of them - here's a video from our visit 2 years ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtzBUqN2sQc). We then headed over to Sea Lion Stadium for the 5:15 show and entered/sat on the right side of the stadium this time (normally we sit on the left side, but DH wanted to try something new). That was a mistake, the sun was in our eyes the whole time and it was difficult to enjoy the show. The bulk of the show remained the same as last year, but the preshow (and arguably the best part of the show) was different and funny. After the show, we headed to the Sesame Street Bay of Play and rode each of the three rides once. The lines were long, but we promised the girls more rides the next day. We headed out after that, dropping off Mom, Dad, DH and the girls at the hotel before running to Von's to pick up a rotisserie chicken and soup for dinner.