Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dolphin noses and elephant poses

We drive by Six Flags in Vallejo many times a year. We stare at the new rides and say we really have to go one of these days, but in twenty-one years of marriage we never did. We always saw it on the way to other destinations. Yesterday, finally, it was the destination.

Because we only see the rides from the freeway, I forgot they still actually have animals there. The last time I went it was still called Marine World. It was so long ago they had actual live dinosaur exhibits, we ran into Fred and Barney cruising for girls and the park was serving T Rex on a Stick. It was that long ago. No, it's just not the same without the dinosaur exhibit, but it sure smells a lot better.

We did some of the rides, but since the Team Panda school tickets let us come back once more this summer, we were taking it easy. The older I get, the less I scream on rides, the more I close my eyes and the more I wish they were all more like the Big Dipper at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Getting my neck jerked around is just not my idea of fun. I did, for the very first time ever, go on a swing ride. They have a normal one and a super tall one. I looked at it and decided it was much safer than flying in an airplane, which doesn't scare me at all. Problem? The wind on my contacts. So while Ernst was having a great time and yelling "We're above the palm trees," I had to believe him because my eyes were shut.

Trust the inspectors, just trust the inspectors

The dolphins were just adorable. This particularly friendly one was blowing big bubbles under water and then swimming up to bite them. She was also blowing air bubble rings and then swimming through them. I'm not a great fan of animals in captivity. But if this exhibit can convince people to buy dolphin free tuna, this little creature is doing a lot with those air bubble tricks.

the "no butt photo rule" just had to be broken

I just love elephants, front and back. Their trunks are engineering marvels, their eyes see right into you, they have permanent smiles and they just have the best backsides. The park has some great exhibits and some that are just too small and sad. The tiger one seemed just way too cramped. I propose they get rid of the alligators and give the tigers some more room.

We had a wonderful time and look forward to going back for more neck-jarring rides and body-calming views of the animals. Even without the dinosaur exhibits, this place has a lot to see.