I’ve been celebrating my invitation to AdventureCon since it first popped in my inbox. A conference that combines my passion of learning and family togetherness is a promise of value for me. It also excited me to think about visiting SeaWorld San Antonio and Aquatica, since we’ve made amazing memories in SeaWorld San Diego and at SeaWorld Orlando, in Florida our former homes. We now can say we’ve officially been to all three!
The fun was expected…and we had lots! The girls went on thrilling rides, we all watched magnificent shows. SeaWorld puts together outstanding productions and, as a family of vegan artists and art-lovers, we really enjoyed the skilled acrobatics and the delightful sea creatures performing. From the music to the lighting, the costumes, and the beautiful sets… it was all breathtaking.
We also got to meet fun animals like Alina, a lemur, and Wilson, an armadillo, both national ambassadors of SeaWorld for schools and the media. We got to see parrots, stingrays, dolphins, sea lions, penguins, sea otters, seals, beluga whales, and other awesome sea creatures, including the legendary Shamu!
Some learning was expected. I knew AdventureCon would be a fun learning experience and my expectations were met and exceeded. The most fun and learning happens when everyone shares their own experiences, top tools and tips, what worked, what didn’t, and what may. And I got bonus hugs from fabulous mommy bloggers and their families, too. He he.
After a first successful and exhilarating day, I had planned to blog about all the blogging “juicys” I learned. God had a different plan, and, I was humbly blessed to receive and be reminded of some lessons that I didn’t think were possible to learn at SeaWorld.
5 Unexpected Father’s Day Lessons At AdventureCon, SeaWorld
~ Celebrate Dads! ~ I found myself crying after a Father’s Day Salute ceremony on Sunday morning. They toasted to root beer (I hadn’t heard of such a thing LOL) and even though we’ve turned Taylor into one of us health nuts and he didn’t have any, seeing my girls so happy to have an actual male dad to celebrate on such a day really touched my heart. We are really blessed that Taylor and Xoe are part of our family, and to expect a new little girl is really a miracle after 8 years of being a single mom. I agree with the philosophy that the best thing a dad can do for a daughter is love their mother… and Taylor does that very well. We were thankful to be spending Father’s Day at SeaWorld, and to see the SeaWorld staff celebrate our King is a moment we’ll never forget.
~ Mother Is Like No Other ~ Seriously swollen feet didn’t stop me from paying the California sea lions a visit… and it was more than worth it. We saw mama sea lion nurse her baby. She was so sweet and caring to her baby, which we later found out, was literally one day old! Mama sea lion’s milk is 32% fat, which helps baby build nice blubbers of fat that will help her survive in the 60 degree water environment they call their habitat. It takes two weeks for them to do that and be able to swim, but baby fell into the water!!! Mama sea lion panicked. Her desperate cries of pain melted my heart. I was reminded of Elyssa’s conversion to “veganism” when she realized animals have feelings: “mom, I don’t want to eat anything that has a mom.” She’s inspired our whole family and we love the lifestyle, but her words never resonated so loud in my heart. Mama sea lion rescued her baby and kept comforting and nursing her. What a sacred moment of nature!
~ We Are ONE World, United By ONE Ocean ~ I had a big Aha moment at the One Ocean show. Of course I knew that the ocean united all continents, I just never really thought of it from the perspective that we are ONE. The Earth itself was ONE until God created the oceans on the third day, and then He created a lot of sea creatures to be our friends… and they are adorable! (Genesis 1) Kelsey, a brand new SeaWorld positive, smiley, and helpful team member, was the epitome of someone who is passionate for what she does for the ocean creatures, and inspired my girls to dream to make an impact in nature.
~ It’s All About Relationships ~ I consider relationships the most valuable assets, and so does SeaWorld. Director of Communications and Interactive Marketing Brian Carter shared with me the three C’s of SeaWorld : Connect, Care, and Celebrate… not only each other, but all living creatures. In addition to connecting with the animals through seeing them perform and interact, we help SeaWorld care for animals with each visit: a portion of the proceeds goes to SeaWorldCares, an organization dedicated to animal rescue, education, and conservation.
~ Implement, Implement, Implement… In Every Way You Can ~ I was moved about how much SeaWorld cares for the animals, so God thought it was time to implement SeaWorld‘s mission. When we stopped at a gas station, we found a stray dog who was obviously in the stage of nursing her puppies. She looked sad and gloomy and like she didn’t trust anyone. We didn’t have anything dog-friendly to eat in the car, so we gave her water. She drank carefully but seemed disappointed. We don’t shop on Sundays, but we had to make an exception and buy food for Charity (that’s what we “named” her), and she was so grateful. We cried and were deeply impacted by this beautiful animal and will never forget her.
So there you have it… as a homeschooling mom, I’ve learned there’s a lesson in everything, and everywhere if we are just willing to see, listen, and learn. What lessons have you learned recently?