We spent the day with sea life: dolphins, sting rays, whales; we even dined with the sharks.

Sea World is big. I don’t just mean there’s a lot to see and do; I mean it covers a huge area. To get to where we wanted to go — mainly, the Orca show — we had to walk across a looong boardwalk around a lake.

We had an hour to kill before the show started, so we went up to the arctic area. Namine assumed this meant penguins, but I told her that would be antarctic. (But we didn’t see any polar bears, either, which both of us thought we would.)

We did, however, see Namine’s favorite whale, the Beluga. Three or four of them, to be more accurate, doing tricks and splashing at their trainers’ direction. Not having expected to see Beluga whales, Namine was positively squealing with delight. We saw a couple walruses, the larger of which was sitting on a rock, resting. The smaller was doing flips under the water. We also saw several sea lions playing with each other.

As we walked through the exhibit, the path led us underground, past the same areas’ underwater viewing windows. Namine got a closer look at the walruses and whales, and a particularly curious sea lion got a closer look at us.

When we exited the exhibit, it was just in time for the Killer Whale show. This was what Namine had been most interested in, and she was nothing short of enthralled. She squealed with every jump, clapping and waving.

Namine would have wanted to get splashed — and it would have been welcome on the hot day — but the splash zone was not, as far as we could tell, handicap accessible. That was not even a disappointment, though, not really; Namine was so caught up in the show once it started. The half hour was over much too soon.

We ate lunch in a restaurant that shared a gigantic tank with the underwater tube that ran on the opposite side, part of the Shark Encounter exhibit. Sharks, groupers, sawfish, suckerfish, and more that I can’t even name were our entertainment. We didn’t eat any shark, although Namine did get a gummy shark with her ice cream dessert. (Not being a fan of gummy snacks, she gave it to me. Under duress, I accepted.)

As Namine had requested, our last exhibit of the day was Shark Encounter. We walked the underwater tube, looking up almost the entire time.

This post is part of the timeline: Namine’s Wish – an ongoing story on this site. View the timeline for more context on this post.