Monday, February 28, 2011

Penguin Encounter

On the top of my very long Bucket List is going to Antarctica and being surrounded by emperor penguins. So when we decided to go to Sea World and I found out that they have a behind the scenes tour for penguins, I knew that was what I wanted to do for my birthday. It was amazing!
We started out by visiting with the puffins. While they are cute birds, they were just okay compared to the penguins.

I was so excited when we got to go in the penguin habitat that I forgot to take pictures at first. I was just so happy to be petting the penguins! It was a good thing Cary was there with his camera.

This little rockhopper was my buddy! He/she wanted to have its chin scratched like a dog. The penguins were so soft! They were also very friendly and did not hesitate to come over and get petted.
This penguin's name was King Cole. I was trying to take a picture and pet it at the same time.

My little rockhopper buddy

This little one was molting. Penguins plump up before they begin their yearly molt because they are unable to swim during this time. This would be vital for penguins living in the wild since they catch the fish they eat in the water.

This is a little king penguin chick who is being hand raised by humans. It had trouble breaking out of its shell and needed assistance. It doesn't look much like a penguin yet, but it won't be long!

This encounter was definitely worth the extra money. I will be doing it again next time I visit Sea World. Until I can get to Antarctica, this will fulfill by penguin wishes!

Makahiki Luau

I made reservations for us to attend the Makahiki Luau for dinner before leaving Sea World. It was a good choice! The entertainment was wonderful and the food was excellent. We even received leis upon arrival and a complimentary picture.

They blew the conch shell to signal the start of the show.

The performers changed outfits lots of time! I really enjoyed watching the performers because they acted like they were really enjoying themselves.

This guy was a Maori from New Zealand. He could really move his tongue!

We feasted on salad, fresh fruit, banana muffins, sweet and sour chicken, tilapia, pulled pork, stir-fried vegetables, fried rice, rolls and lots of desserts. It was delicious and a great evening!

 Good-bye Sea World!

Sea World-Part 2

Next stop at Sea World was the Penguin Encounter and it was just what I hoped to see! Before we could see the penguins, we saw the puffins. I learned in the backstage tour that the puffins' beaks are only very brightly colored when they are mating.

There are over 250 different penguins in the penguin exhibit. They have Rockhoppers, Gentoos, Adelie, and King penguins. They were quire entertaining. After watching them for a while, Cary and I went on a backstage tour where I was actually able to touch the penguins! That will be a whole separate post!

After the behind the scenes tour, we headed to Believe at the Shamu Stadium where we saw the killer whales perform. Ever since the tragic accident about a year ago where a trainer was killed, the trainers do not get in the water with the whales.

There was a new baby boy whale that stayed in the tank while his mother performed. He stayed close to her side and even mimicked some of the tricks during the show.

After the show, we were able to go down front and see the whales up close. The baby whale could  not have been very old because he was still pretty small.

Everything at Sea World is bright and colorful. I can't wait until it is warm enough to plant some pretty flowers at my house.

The Wild Arctic was an interesting area. Before you could get into the exhibit, you had to go on a simulated helicopter ride. After seeing the exhibit, I know why they had to add the excitement. There was not much to see. They had two beluga whales, one polar bear, and one walrus. I think they might need to add to this exhibit.

We saw a few more creatures on our way to the Shark Encounter.

The seals and sea lions were fun to watch. We watched as other people fed the sea lions and seals. We could have paid $20 to feed them ourselves, but we figured it was just as fun to watch. I also learned the difference between a sea lion and a seal so I can tell them apart now.
 There were several egrets hanging out with the seals and sea lions hoping to catch a bite of fish. Lots of people felt sorry of them and threw them fish.

The last show we went to was Pets Ahoy! which featured pets such as mice, cats, dogs, a pig and a skunk. It was nice to be inside to cool off! The show was just okay. There was a part where weenie dogs came out of a hot dog cart that I didn't get a picture of because they were too fast! There was also one who came out at the end. Even though the picture is blurry, I wanted to show the "good luck" weenie dog!

The last aquarium we went to for the day was the stingray aquarium. There were few other creatures besides just stingrays.

It was a fabulous day at Sea World!