Friday, May 20, 2011


When I was very young, my family would visit Florida during the February school vacation. I have always had great memories of those trips. My parents, my five brothers and myself all packed in a station wagon driving from Massachusetts to Florida and back. If I remember correctly, it would take us one night to travel the 1500 miles; all in all, a fun trip, if you remembered to go to the bathroom whenever we stopped, which was not often. Guys, ever try urinating into a coke bottle while the car is moving? I mean when you're sober! Not a fun event!! But the trips hold great memories for me, none the less;sStopping at South of the Border in N. Carolina and seeing the giant sombrero and all the trinkets for sale (I said this was a long time ago). This was during the 60s before Iphones, Ipads, Ipods, or Itunes. The only tunes were on the car radio and when you reached the south, there were not many stations that our car radio picked up. Although, I do remember a jaunty little tune we heard on the radio during one of our trips. " I don't care if it rains or freezes as long as I have my plastic Jesus sitting beside me on the dashboard of my car". I have always remembered that song all these years later.

When we finally reached Florida, it was great; sunny weather, great beaches and Disney World. Back then before all the I's, this was a really magical place for everyone, especially young kids. Disney was not the only, what we would later call 'theme parks', in Florida. Later in the 70s, one of my favorite parks opened, it was Sea World. It was a great place to see all kinds of marine life. I remember the shows where young women in colorful costumes would play with the dolphins, even riding on their backs all around the large pool. It was great stuff for kids back then. When my brother asked me if we wanted to go back to Sea World last weekend, we jumped at the chance. I did wonder if I would still find it a great place now that I am no longer a kid. Well, after getting over the shock of a $79 admittance cost for each of us, I do have to report that it is still a great way to spend a day. Here are some fun facts:

Milton C. Shedd, Ken Norris, David Demott, and George Millay brought SeaWorld to life, yet that was not the initial idea. The four graduates of UCLA originally set out to build an underwater restaurant and marine life show. When the underwater restaurant concept was deemed unfeasible, they scrapped those plans and decided to build a park instead, and SeaWorld San Diego was opened on March 21, 1964. With only a few dolphins, sea lions, 6 attractions and 22 acres (89,000 m2), the park proved to be a success and more than 400,000 guests visited in the first 12 months.
The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida opened near the end of the second operating season of SeaWorld of Ohio. The success of Disney in Orlando provided another ideal spot to capitalize on the mass number of tourists that would make their way to central Florida for vacations. Since opening day in 1973, SeaWorld Orlando has thrived in a place known as 'the theme park mecca of the world'.

I acknowledge that there are many who have valid concerns about this park and I will touch on them at a later time.
Let get back to why I wrote this post. Can a big kid go back to a place where as a little kid, he had great day and have an equally great day.

I am happy to say.I did!! I naturally had my camera with me and here are some images.

[caption id="attachment_334" align="aligncenter" width="850" caption="The COASTER AT SEA WORLD"]Coaster[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_285" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="THEY LOOK LIKE THEIR HAVING FUN??"]FUN???[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_286" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="ARE THEY STILL HAVING FUN?"]STILL HAVING FUN??[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_287" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="OH OH HERE COMES THE GROUND AND THE WATER"]WATER[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_288" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="YUP THERE IT IS WATER AND THEY DO LOOK LIKE THEIR HAVING FUN!!"]WATER[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_289" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="FLAMINGO NUMBER 8"]FLAMINGOS[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_290" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="EYE OF THE FLAMINGO"]EYE[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_292" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="PHYLLIS HAND FEEDING THE RAYS!!"]RAYS[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_295" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="AT THE DOLPHIN TANK"]DOLPHIN[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_296" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="DOLPHIN PORTRAIT"]DOLPHIN[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_298" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="TAKEN THROUGH THE GLASS AT THE MANATEE POOL"]FISH IN POOL[/caption][caption id="attachment_299" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="MANATEE THROUGH THE GLASS"]Manatee[/caption][caption id="attachment_300" align="aligncenter" width="3000" caption="UGLY FISH PT.2"]FISH[/caption][caption id="attachment_331" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="WE STOPPED FOR LUNCHA TANK IN THE RESTAURANT"] AT THE RESTAURANT

We had a great time and I will have more images next week. Sorry for the problems with the new blog. I know about them and I am trying to fix them. I will see what I can learn but I may need to look into changing blogs back to Blogger if that is possible with my new web site.
Thank you for your patience.


Rimly said...

That looked so exciting Jim. I love these water parks. Lovely

FAYErydust said...

That was soooo COOL.ever!
Seems like you went back from being a kiddo. =)

melissa said...

i had problems loading the photos jim... they were all oversized for my screen :P... i may have to come back again here...;)