Monday, August 5, 2013

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom - Emma's Trip

At the end of last school year, Emma was given a generous 5th grade grad gift from a family member. It was hers to do with what she wanted. She thought a lot about what she could possibly purchase.  Much like her mom and dad, when it comes to spending money, if given a choice between having "things" or having an "experience", meaning going somewhere or doing something...."experience" wins every time.  So she chose spending a day at Six Flags! By the time mom was able to budget in a ticket for herself, Sophie had saved enough to go, too (with Emma's permission, of course).  So Saturday was the big day. To say it was awesome doesn't do it justice.  Both my girls are tall enough to go on all the rides, so after getting a locker for our stuff, they had free run of the park. We mapped out the times of the shows they wanted to see, and I made sure we timed things right to get those 2 shows in, and made sure we had lunch.  The rest of the day was Emma's to do what she wanted...from opening till closing!
(I'm keeping the pictures small because there are a lot of them, but you can click on them to see them bigger)

First stop was for sweatshirts.
They watched the dolphins for a minute, they are Emma's favorite, and later in the day she'd get quite a thrill!

First ride of the day, quickly followed by all the other big coasters. I realized I'm getting too old for this stuff. My stomach and head were not happy after the first one, after 5 I was super loopy.
Getting on Medusa, which was all of our favorite, by far!
We're in the middle of the front row.
I don't do heights well, so I stayed on the ground, but the girls are up there!
There were pretty flowers everywhere.  After we hit all the big rides that they wanted to go on, they were ready to start the animal side of the park. We decided it was probably a good time to eat and let their tummies settle.

The first Dolphin show we saw was the Cirque Dreams Splashtastic.  There's a group of about 30 acrobats on loan from Cirque who performed on the stage while the dolphins did their thing in the water. It was really amazing.  Aside from the actual show, we never buy food treats at these things, it's just an extra Emma was having a blast getting whatever she wanted, starting with cotton candy.

Somehow we ended up back on coasters, that wooden one and this super twisty red one that wend forward and backward. It looked pretty tame, but scared me silly.

It sounded like screaming coyotes.
We also went on Superman.  The kids loved this one because you get on it in a tunnel, sort of like space mountain. It's another forward and then backward one.
Petting sting rays.
The kids love the butterfly house.
The butterfly house is hot, and the kids were wilting, so it was time for snow cones.
I held the snow cones while they went on the boat ride (they are behind the guy in the white shirt)
Second show of the day, the Dolphin show called Drench!, and yes, we are in the front row of the splash zone.  Em got more cotton candy and popcorn.
And here she's telling me about the moment that just may have solidified her desire to become a marine biologist...she was asked to be in the show!!  They asked if she'd be ok with touching the dolphins, the fish, and getting wet.  She was so excited!!
First we all got Drenched!
Then, half way through the show, they announcer introduced her and she went back with a trainer and the dolphins. She got to pet them, feed them, give them some commands and then.....

The dolphin waved goodbye to her with his tail, twice, soaking her!  He also brought her a container that had been floating in the pool, she got to take it from the dolphin and open it, and inside was a baggie of airheads taffy. Keep in mind this is in front of a stadium full of hundreds of people, and the announcer was talking to her and using her name and everything...pretty big deal for an 11 yr old!
The whole dolphin thing was not just a highlight of the day, but her life!!

After the dolphin show, we thought it good timing to do the rapids ride.  Somehow I ended up being the one that got drenched under a waterfall, which the girls thought was hilarious.
Then it was closing time.  They did a bit more shopping, and I got Myles a hat that I knew he would love.  Brian and Myles were kind enough to drop us off and pick us up, and spent the day together hanging out.  Brian offered to take him tons of places he'd been wanting to go, but he only wanted to go to Party City.  So they had a guys party city.   
That is a van full of happy kids!!  We really had a great time.  I've never gone to a park like this with just my girls, and I've never had kids old/tall enough to do all the fun stuff.   I gotta say, it's pretty fun! We all had fun, but especially Emma!  Between the dolphins, and riding her first ride with a teenage boy that she later told me was "pretty cute" was a big day for her! (3 is an odd number and meant one of us rode solo or with a stranger, usually that was me unless Soph wanted to ride with me.)
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

There's a ton more pictures loading to the photo site.

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