Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Haley the Whale Trainer.

So day one at Sea World. Of course, I want to go to the Dolphin Show first. It just so happens, that the show is going to begin in about 10 we head to the stadium.

Those who have known me the longest know that I am crazy for dolphins. Examples? I wanted to be a Dolphin Trainer at Sea World. When I started college, I was a Theater Major with a minor in Oceanography. I LOVE MARINE LIFE. I collected all things Dolphins. Almost got a dolphin tattoo. (LAME) Yeah, it was crazy.

Sidebar - the professor that I took my Oceanography classes from at CSULB could barely speak English which put a serious dent in my learning process, so I focused on theater instead.

But back to Sea World.

I LOVE these animals.

So here we are...reading the map, waiting for the show to start.

Tap Tap... A Sea World employee comes up.... would your daughter like to meet a dolphin? WHAT?????? YES!!!!! They asked Haley and Curtis to go be a part of the show. I could not have been more excited. Well, I guess I could have if I got to go with her...but they needed a "dad."

Even Lexi is excited.

So they take Lexi and Curtis backstage and bring them out with a "mom" who is actually a Sea World Trainer and incidentally looks a lot like me. From afar, it really looks like our family sans Lexi.

The show begins...

The Cast. (I wonder if they are union?)

Curtis gets to meet Dolly...and teach her some tricks.

The trainer tells Haley to dive into the water and wait for the dolphin to come by and pick her up and swim around with her on his back. OF COURSE - she was ready to do it!

Haley asking the Pilot Whale to talk.

Playing Splash the Whale.

The Whale Splashes Back by spitting at her.

Feeding the Whale His Treat. Of course, Haley took to this, and snuck in the pail and gave him more fish much to the trainer's chagrin.

I love this picture... sheer beauty.

Trainer Surfin' the Whale (with our "family" in the background.)

Whale Saying Goodbye.

This was just an emotional experience for me. At one point during the show, I just started crying. I can't explain what it is like to watch your child experience something that you've always longed to do. It doesn't matter that I didn't do it. Watching her experience it was even more joyful. Such a beautiful memory.


Anonymous said...

Awesome! I've seen that show tons of times and have videos of strangers doing the same thing Haley got to experience. That show rocks when they trick the audience! If you and Curtis ever have a chance to get away for an anniversary or something special - go to Sea World and swim with the dolphins. We did it in '06 and it was one of the best experiences of our lifetime! I have pictures of it on my facebook.

The Unlikely Pastor's Wife said...

wow! that is so cool. All I can say lucky ducky !

Lyn said...

I'm so happy to see these pictures. What an experience. I'm so happy for all of you! Loved reading your story and looking at the pictures.

Love & miss you.

johnsonandjohnson said...

that's so special for all of you! Her smile is so big! I am glad she had the opportunity!

Dionne Sincire said...

Wow! Okay, so what's the secret? Spill the beans? Was there a special row or section that you sat in? LOL ;) This has to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Thanks for sharing the fun with us.

Don said...

Haley is a very blessed four-year old....Two of her great loves opening up such amazing experiences in such a short time: the Jedi Knight experience in November and now this. I'm so happy for her. She's gonna want to be a zoological astronaut now! Plus she can almost swim like a dolphin/whale herself! Way to go, Miss Haley. Papa Don's so proud.

Diane Davis said...

i was thinking the same thing as papa... first the jedi and now this. very cool! it looks like a blast. the show itself and haley. :)

Heidi said...


She's going to be famous some day.