Some friendly advice: don't go to Sea World on the last viable weekend before school starts. Unless you already hate everybody. I have had such bad feelings about other human beings after that experience. Bad, bad ones. Some titles I considered for this blog entry:
"Oh, the Sweaty Humanity!"
"Put Down that Ice Cream Cone and Move Your Fat Ass"
"There is Nothing Amusing About Standing in Line"
"Sea World: a Place that Makes You Want to Spear Something"
I have always hated amusement parks (see above about "not amusing"). I hate the lines. I hate the manufactured thrills. I hate the forced urgency: "By God, Lucy, we paid $90 and YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME." There are plenty of real reasons in life to stand in line (to meet the Pope/the Dalai Lama/Bono) and want to vomit (food poisoning/malaria/pregnancy). And the Diet Cokes are almost always cheaper.
It was so easy to imagine myself as better than those inner-tube-carrying masses. Yet there we all were, working toward a common goal: fun. There was no caste system, no velvet rope to duck under. We were all equally...sweaty. Lu enjoyed the dolphins, the waterpark, and intermittently, the Shamu show. Maybe it was her disrupted sleep schedule or the fierce pursuit of fun, but she was not as dazzled by the whole business as I expected. When she said, "I want to go to the hotel," I all but did a jig. Instead, I did a cooling inner dance, and felt like I had taught my daughter a valuable lesson: Amusement parks suck. The hotel's where it's at.