Thursday, March 06, 2014

West Ed: Day 2

[Feb 13 2013]

Day 2 at the mall was jam-packed with fun. The first day at the mall was also fun, but it was really only half of a day because we arrived after lunch. On Day 2 we really got down to business.

The kids tried skating for their first time. Scott had done rollerblading at school, so it wasn't long before he could let go of the boards and scoot around on his own a bit.

Katie needed someone to hold her hand all of the time. She was enthralled with the figure skaters she had seen on TV and often lifted a leg out behind her or tried little hops to pretend like she was a big-time figure skater.

We witnessed a training session with a tiny boy and his very intense Russian father-coach. The boy was probably 5 years old but he was pretty amazing to watch. There were lots of tears though, as coach-dad didn't think his arms were straight enough, or his hands pointed the right way.

I think we were too easy on Katie. I probably should have gotten on her case a bit more about her technique and then maybe we would have seen greater results. Maybe not. It's hard to say without proper judges on site -- and even that can be problematic, as we saw in the Olympics this year.

Katie never wanted to stop skating. She loved it more than we anticipated. Still, the public skating time was up and we needed to move on. Scott and I headed over to the ropes course, where you are strapped into a harness while you try to walk across balance beams and other tricky obstacles as high as 3 stories up up in the air. You could hang onto your anchor line if you didn't want to fall off of anything, or you could let go and literally walk a tightrope.

Since Katie wasn't big enough for the ropes, she went with R to the Build-A-Bear Workshop to make her own My Little Pony purple winged unicorn, which she named Violet. She was one happy little girl.

After lunch we planned to hit the sea lion show, so we climbed aboard the replica Santa Maria before taking our seats for the show. The Santa Maria wasn't a very large vessel, really. That is a long time to spend in such a confined space. We only spent 5 or 6 minutes on it before our kids were ready to discover the sea lions instead.

Sea lions are pretty awesome. They look sort of chubby and immobile, but the are pretty amazing swimmers and even on land they have a knack for making the most of their sliding ability. We learned that the easiest way to tell a sea lion from a seal is to look for the little ears poking out, as sea lions have them and seals don't. Apparently, sea lions are sensitive about people always calling them seals.

We followed up the sea lions show with a visit to the aquarium cavern for some hands-on marine life displays. I don't really like touching the animals. It's partially because of the texture, but it's mostly because I don't like to get my hands dirty. There were 40 kids there from a pre-school lined up for the wash station ahead of us and nobody wants to wait for that.

We went to Galaxyland at least once each day. When you don't have to wait in lines, it doesn't take too long to get your fill of spins and loops.

Scott wasn't big enough for this blast-off ride, so I flew solo. I screamed so much all the way up and down that I attracted several more people to try the ride, which had seen so little traffic that people probably had thought it wasn't even running. Several of the rides operated in 15-minute blocks -- staff would alternate between those rides every 15 minutes -- because it just isn't that busy. If you are going to visit Galaxyland, go during the week. It's amazing.

We finally started running out of steam so we headed back to the hotel and I took the kids swimming in the hotel pool as a bit of a warm-up for the next day: Waterpark Day!

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