Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Florida on $1,000 a day – Part IV

Yes, this is the fourth installment on last week’s trip to Florida. You’ll find the first three parts if you scroll down a bit.

On our final day in Florida, we went to Seaworld. I visited Seaworld in San Diego in the mid-1990s, and the place has grown wonderfully since then. We attended a hugely entertaining show that featured trained dogs, cats, birds, and pigs, though I didn’t get any photos out of the show worthy of public exhibition. I also rode a pretty awesome roller coaster – The Kraken – that whipped me up, down, sideways, and ass-over-teakettle, though I was not foolish enough to try taking any photos under those conditions, lest I should lose my precious Canon PowerShot A570IS.

I couldn’t quite determine what character this fellow on the left was trying to portray. His pose and formal wear made me think he might be imagining that he was one of the Three Tenors, but his way of looking at a far-off point on the horizon was more reminiscent of Gary Sinise in the Broadway production of The Grapes of Wrath. Unfortunately, the glass separating us from direct contact with the penguins precluded any possibility of asking him.

Since returning, I have told various friends about the parks we visited. On several occasions, I have seen people make a sour face when I mentioned Seaworld. There seems to be a prevailing opinion in some circles that this place is a poor substitute for the Disney parks. Let me put it this way: I loved, loved, loved Epcot – it’s my favorite park ever! But Seaworld offers a wealth of charms, thrills, laughs, and other enjoyments. I just can’t get on board with these Seaworld dissers. Hey, if live animals don’t hold your interest, there are plenty of other diversions in the Orlando area. But if you love animals even a little bit, you shouldn’t hesitate to spend a happy day at Seaworld! …Geez, I sound like I’m interviewing for a job in their PR department!

Once again, lots of photos, so . . .

These guys were very funny and their animals were well trained.

“Okay, okay, I’ll do my Alfred Hitchcock impression for you guys . . . but this is the last time!”

One of a great many puffins flying/walking/paddling about. Did I mention that I love puffins?

Anhaeuser-Busch is a prominent sponsor at Seaworld. I had to go in here to find out whether this facility was A) a stable for the resident team of Clydesdales, or B) an all-equine production of Shakespeare’s immortal drama. You can see the answer in the following photo.

As you can see by the nameplate, it turned out to be option B. He delivered a very moving soliloquy: “To be, or neigh. Whether ’tis nobler in the barn to bear the bits and bridles of outrageous horsemen, or to seek solace in a team of Clydesdales. And when I say ‘Budweiser’ have I not said it all?…”

This was really cool. I hope it’s clear what’s going on here – it’s a big long fish tank that arches right over the walkway, so that we pedestrians are walking through a tunnel of fish.

I was thrilled to capture this shot, as photographing the Shamu show is tough, tough work. Events proceed with great suddenness there. On top of that, the delay between the press of the button and the click of the shutter on my camera feels long enough that I could fit in a side trip to the Magic Kingdom while waiting for a shot to register. This fellow was quickly boosted far into the air, as the enormous Shamu shot her entire body into the air with him perched on her nose. I’m also happy that I was able to capture that stork on the left side of the picture. He invited himself to a front row seat for the show and worked very hard at scavenging raw fish meant for the killer whales.


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