|Stars at SeaWorld.|
|Peaceful moment at the shark tank.|
But I did it. I got through the big, fat, hairy, ugly mess...climbed the mountain...met some really cool people in the crossing....and found the beach on the other side. Literally, in my case.
I'm not saying that life is going to be all smooth sailing from here on in but, let me get away from the pithy sayings and give you the rundown of our day at SeaWorld as an example.
|Birthday girl in the audience.|
A few minutes later, on M1 South from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, Matthew informed us from the back seat of the car that he had to vomit. Maybe the brownies hadn't been such a good idea. We pulled off onto the emergency break, had a breather, and relocated him to the middle seat next to the baby - Ryan's usual spot - with the air on full blast and a plastic bag in his lap.
|Thumbs up from Matthew. Good to go.|
We recollected fondly the chocolate cake vomiting incident on the highway from Stuttgart to Belgium on Andrew's second birthday.
And made it to SeaWorld in time to take in the first dolphin show.
|Ryan meets Nicki and Nala.|
|A butt, but a cute butt.|
"Nice rallies on everyone's part." I told the boys on the way to the car later.
"I didn't rally." answered Andrew. Rather truculently, I might add.
"No. But you didn't even have to. Better yet, mate."
|We like this one!|
If you'd have told ANYONE who knew Andrew as a baby in France that you could go a whole day - let alone an hour - without hearing him scream - they wouldn't have believed it.
And the birthday girl. Doesn't the photo say it all? (We are looking into geting copies for the family from http://www.myfun.com/.au - just in case you can do it yourselves!)
We sat in the front row - almost missed having her picked by having the announcer note the baby and tell us they couldn't allow a baby into the show - and then waved and screamed loud enough to catch his attention a second time and tell him it was her birthday.
The three kids picked were from America (originally from America she said) South Africa and England. Which we thought was kinda funny! Since Australians are even more uncomfortable with 'Ryan' as a girl's name than the Germans were - the announcer passed right over it after he asked - she has to explain herself. As well as that funny accent. We might be able to pull it off as a Brisbane accent farther afield from here - like in Darwin or Perth - but were too close to home to pull it off this time around!
|Any Aussies in the audience?! (Hey, it IS a nation of immigrants!)|
Ryan spent the rest of the day being recognized as the girl who was in the dolphin show. And, as it turned out when we went to pick up the photo at the end of the day, having her picture hanging, framed, in the photo shop out front!
Her favourite animals are the rays, gliding through the water with quiet elegance, giving off an impression of hidden, ancient wisdom and serenity.
(Shame about the whole Steve Irwin thing really.)
|Ryan's favourite place to be, the Ray Tank.|
And the day at SeaWorld? I've got the vomit-in-the-car and the blood-on-the-pavement as well as the surviving-all-day-on-sugary-snacks (because the alternative is a $70.00 greasy burger and fries carbo meal) thing down pat.
So that I am able to enjoy the sight of my daughter gently waving her hands in the water as the rays glide by.
|Opening presents the night before. Good thing too, because Meka sent the purple shirt she wore for the day from the USA!|
And make it a perfect day, after all.