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New Year’s Eve at Aquatica

On New Year’s Eve, most people would think of celebrating it by…

Partying the night away with good food, good company and probably lots of alcohol.

Not many would think of splashing around in a water theme park, especially when temperatures have been freakishly cold of late.

I mean, who would do that right?

Right.

…And that’s exactly why we did it.

We spent our New Year’s Eve at Aquatica - Sea World’s water theme park!

I’m not really into parties, and I hate crowds. I wanted to have a smashing New Year’s Eve without body grinding with random strangers.

Water theme park on a really cold day?

My perfect solution.

A brilliant idea if I do say so myself, considering how empty the park was (for Holiday Peak Season standards)

Upon entering the park… It was a gloomy rainy day! Kinda ruined our plans for doing other outdoorsy activities we had planned.

But you know what they say. If you can’t beat them, join them!

If you’re going to rain on my parade, I’ll take my parade to a god damn water theme park. You hear me God???

Sam being pissy about a tiff we had earlier on.. He loosened up though.

Everybody’s happy in theme parks!

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We changed into our swimsuits and headed straight for what they call “Loggerhead Lane”!

Grabbed a two person float and off we go!!!

Loggerhead Lane’s pretty much like a huge lazy river, with a few special Sea World touches here and there.

I love bobbing up and down on big floats!!!! So fun and relaxing.

Looks like summer but it really was winter.

Told you he lightened up ^.^

LOL he thought we were crazy for being almost naked and soaking wet in those sort of temperatures

Nice job you have fella! Checking out girls in swimsuits behind those sunglasses with a valid excuse, day in and out.

Weee I really like bridges like these.. Even though they freak me out a little since I always assume the ropes are going to snap, but I like walking on them cuz they bounce up and down!

I find it funny how they make EVERYONE get splashed in the face, all the time. Nobody escapes muahahaha!!!

Aww how awesome is this feature!!! I loved floating past this section with all the colorful fishies :>

Always makes me look down just to check if there’s any fishie darting around my feet…



Teehee!!!!

You have no idea how hard it was taking this picture.. We had to go against the “current” and the flow of people, then run back and forth setting it on self timer until we had a decent shot.

Aquatica is fab because there’s attention paid to detail even though it’s a water theme park. Normal water parks are just filled with concrete, slides and water but Aquatica has dolphins, lots of plants, a man made beach and other cool stuff!

Two things I hate about water theme parks -

1) There are no elevators or lifts WTF resulting in you climbing up heaps of stairs just to go down a slide -_____-”””

Some are like 8 storeys. I kid you not. It’s funny watching the fat kids take a break on their second floor hahaha.

It’s even funnier when a little girl poked my ass just cuz I was going too slow LOL

2) You have to be barefooted and water theme parks are, well, WET! And you have to walk around on the dirty ground and all.. Ewww. And when the sun’s out and the ground gets heated up, it HURTS!

Me and Sam!!! He looks so cute in this pic hehehe :>

Can’t really see my face due to all the splotches caused by water droplets on the lens of my waterproof camera.. You’ll see the splotches a lot in this post, sorry, I can’t help it!!!

HAHAHAH his face is like :F

Check it out!!! We could see our hotel even from the water park! Great location or what? I miss that place.

On another slide, we could see Sea World and even the car parks!!! So weird. It’s like, you’re in a water fantasy land and you look out and see… the car park. And you think to yourself, “What an oddly dry place!”

Weeee our turn to go down the slide!!! ^.^

I scream more on water slides than on roller coasters, LOL. I think it’s because I feel so vulnerable on the water slides… all I’m sitting on is a plastic tube. I could honestly fall out anytime, but in a roller coaster I’d think it’s quite unlikely that I’d fall out.

At least I hope so -_-

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I love how they try to make each and every slide different and unique in its own way! This one is one-of-a-kind.

You’re probably wondering why it’s called the DOLPHIN plunge…

That’s cuz you take a deep plunge into a dolphin’s habitat!!!!

Pretty awesome eh? Too bad for this woman, I don’t think she got to see any dolphins but she did get her picture taken by me though!

Because Aquatica is by Sea World, they had the whole “marine life” theme going on with their water park! Quite a fab idea, since, well… marine life lives in water.

Ain’t that a strange looking porpoise? I know they’re trying to follow the whole Black and White shamu theme but that’s a REALLY weird looking dolphin.

We took videos while going down the Dolphin Plunge, and I just HAD to upload them because Sam’s version is so funny hahaha:

I went down reaallllyyyy slow so I could get a closer look at the dolphin!

Yeah, it’s all dark inside a small, enclosed tube (read: CLAUSTROPHOBIC) and then there’s shimmery star-like lights to make the darkness not so boring and to build suspense, then you see light and BOOM!

You’re in the middle of a dolphin’s habitat!!!!!

If you’re really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the dolphin just like I did. It was a short lived moment though, I really hoped it would be just beside me or something! I guess it’s entirely based on luck, depending which part of the pool the dolphin decides to be at.

But at least my Dolphin Plunge didn’t turn out like Sam’s…

HAHAHAHAH HOW FUCKING FUNNY IS THAT?!?!?!?

When I reviewed his footage, I seriously LOL-ed so much because I see a lot of plunging and not enough dolphin, baby!

It’s like, “Weee let’s see if I can catch some dolphin action on camera”

“Ohhh… OHHHHHHH OOooo0o0oooo it hurts against my back so much WTF”

“Oooh here it comes!!!!”

….*bright light flashes for less than a second and disappears, and the next thing he knows, Sam finds himself submerged in water*

“Ok! Well that went well! Let’s review the footage.” *points the camera to some random chick and goes, “Oh that’s not herit”*

LOL I can’t believe he called me an IT!!!

Their man made beach!

Nice feature, especially for the parents who don’t want to go on slides and all but are just there to accompany their children…

I suppose it’s a good place to chill at but I don’t like suntanning and I don’t like man made beaches, so we didn’t waste any time here.

Random supposedly artistic shot :P

Me making my boyfriend carry the float up 5 flights of stairs hehehe

Yay for kind strangers who offer to take pictures for us ^.^

LOL I actually got someone landing with a big splash in my picture!


O hai fruit loops!

I luff two person slides!!! You go double as fast because there’s double the weight! Plus it’s always fun to hear the person beside you screaming hehe

Speaking of screaming, here’s a video of us going down the slide in the pic above!!!

It was going a lot faster than it looks! Fun times :>

Ooooohhh this one was STUPIDLY FUN as well!!! We got to go on all the slides again and again cuz there was nobody ~~

You get a sliding mat, and when it’s your turn to go, 8 of you will lie on your mats and put your entire body weight on it so you slide down as fast as possible!

It’s pretty thrilling since you’re on your front, racing down head first!

I remember when I was with Gwen in Perth doing a similar slide and I GOT STUCK. I was supposed to push my mat forward but I was just stuck there like a sad beached whale.

Why am I telling you this???

Kiddy pool!!

He seems very pleased with himself.



HAHAHAHA

This was in a really fast moving pool called “Roa’s Rapids”

I remember this so clearly because of this fat boy who made me and Sam laugh sooo much. It’s not going to be funny if I type it out, so forget it but I bet Sam is going to laugh when he reads this!

Hahahaha omg I think that’s me trying to race everyone else wtf

Hi mum look at me!!!!

Lol we were wearing life jackets so we could just lie back and float around like lazy blobs :3

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We went a few more rounds and then it was time for us to go!!! It became too cold and too dark, plus the park was closing.

They had a lot more other fun slides and all, but I can’t possibly blog about them all!



Thanks Aquatica for a fab New Year’s Eve!!!

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We decided to end the day, and the year 2009 with a big bang.

By a big bang, I actually mean a very, very large meal indeed.

We had dinner at Crab House..

Oh I miss America’s seafood. SO cheap and SO GOOD.

Started off with 2 servings of their freshly toasted bread with whipped butter. I love!!!

Bread is hands down my favourite appetizer. Either toasted with butter/garlic or dipped in olive oil + vinegar!

Seafood chowder…



And a WHOLE FREAKING LOT OF SEAFOOD!!!

Omfg I’ve never seen so much seafood on one table in my life!!!!!!

We had a whole lobster, a lot of crab claws, mussels, prawns, corn cobs, whole potatoes…

*burps*

It was INSANE. And I loved every moment of it.

I reckon the best crabs I’ve had are in America. Because they come cheap, fresh and steamed with DRAWN BUTTER!!!

Bottom left corner. Melted butter.

Dipped with crab claws = heavenly goodness.

I has mad cravings for seafood now thanks!!!!!

So dirty and oh so satisfying.

Finished off with delish creme brulee :>



Our last picture for 2009!!!

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To be honest, my end to 2009 couldn’t have been anymore different than my start to 2009.

On December 31st 2008, I was with James, and we were having a quiet celebration, perfectly happy and all until we had this big fight over his ex-girlfriend who called at 11:59 at midnight EXACTLY to wish him happy new year.

That idiot, instead of ending the phone call after a brief conversation, actually carried on to talk to her for the next 1 minute, leaving me wishing “Happy New Year” to myself. While my boyfriend talks to his ex-girlfriend who’s calling him from China. In my room. IN MY FACE!

What a stupid fucking slut, couldn’t even send a god damn SMS instead and had to call MY then-boyfriend because she’s just so lonely and pitiful. WTF!!

No comments about James. I’m just freaking happy to have moved on to better things.

I know right, “Let stupid people be stupid people and let bygones be bygones”…

But this is a reminder to myself to cherish all the good things in life I have right now.

At that very moment in 2008, I secretly hoped for 2009 to be different.

And different it was.

Come 2010, and I’m leading a new life, with a new boyfriend and things have been better than ever.

Yeah, life is good.

And it’s only going to keep on getting better.

xoxo,
Jess

Flying with Bob’s Balloons over Florida

I consider myself to be an extremely wishful person.

I want many, many things in life, even the most random stuff and going on a hot air balloon happens to be one of them.

There’s something extremely tantalizing about seeing little specks of colorful balloons gliding in the air.

Why are balloons so magical?

It always puts a smile on peoples faces, no matter if you’re 5 or 50 years old.

Are you one of those people who will keep your eye on a balloon floating into the distant sky until you lose sight of it? I know I am.

Once again, I reckon this has something to do with my desire to be closer to a world completely unexplored..

Much like the deep blue ocean, there’s something appealing about being way up in the sky and amongst the clouds.

Everybody wants to feel like they can fly.

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We got picked up from our hotel by Bob’s Balloons in the wee hours of the morning so that we could be the first to catch a glimpse of a beautiful sunrise.

I’m wearing the same coat over and over again coz it was the warmest clothing I had @__@

I wasn’t expecting such cold temperatures… We had flurries of snow in Las Vegas the previous time I was there, and it wasn’t even this cold.

First they bring out the huge lump of a balloon, and the accompanying basket plus a strong fan to blow air into the deflated balloon..

Taking a pic with it while it’s being inflated!

It was still 5+am when we were preparing for take off so it was still pitch dark.

Sam had to help them with the setting up but I was too busy taking pics :P

You’re supposed to hold the sides of the deflated balloon firmly so enough air can get in the right way.

Once they have enough air in, they use their… erm… dragon fire breathing device to heat up the air. Remember primary school science? Hot air rises!

Hence the name Hot Air Balloon. *feels smart*

Breaking dawn! And no, not the stupid book.

Busy taking pictures again… I always use two different cameras, so the pictures may appear to be very different.

O hai balloon, you’re filling up quite nicely!

It was quite a mad rush because one minute I’m just standing around taking pictures, waiting for everything to be done and the next moment they were like “Ok we’re good to go, quick, get in!!!”

Managing a hot air balloon is different from flying a plane. You don’t really get to control take off and landing, or sometimes even the course of your route. You just flow wherever and whenever the wind takes you.

And that’s the beauty of it all, isn’t it?

You hop into an oversized balloon for a ride, sitting in a basket, letting nature take its course and not really knowing what to expect or which path you’ll end up on.

Kinda just like life.

….

And we’re off!!!!!!

Up, up and away we go!

Every time I look at hot air balloons, they always seem to be gliding really smoothly in the sky, so I definitely wasn’t expecting a shaky take off!

It didn’t just magically levitate itself into the sky as I thought it would lol.

We moved inch by inch, imagine someone tugging at us from one side of the basket with a rope.. That invisible rope, would be the wind itself.

Sometimes it tipped over at one side so much, our pilot had to throw his entire weight on the other side to make sure we didn’t completely fall out of the basket!

It wasn’t dangerous or anything, but it certainly was thrilling.

When we were high enough up in the air, everything stabilized… and the experience was quite surreal.

Even though we couldn’t choose our exact route, our pilot could manoeuver the balloon so that..

We were skimming over lakes one moment


And gliding over tree tops the next


Sooooo pretty!

He asked if we wanted to go really high or really low.. we decided to stay quite low so we could see everything we never would have on a plane cuz planes fly too high!

Plus it was fun yelling to people below :)

Candid excited me!

I get really excited every time we fly really low, at one point it was so low while we were flying over tree tops that some branches kinda broke off LOL



Hi baby!!!

He’s been going “zomg hot air balloon!!!” for like a month before we even went on it hehe.

I think I was being a bit of a wuss cuz I insisted that the pilot and Sam stand on the left and right side respectively so the basket wouldn’t be tipped over to one side and I wouldn’t have to feel like I’m going to fall out!

The pilot kept laughing at me and teasing me, sometimes purposely tipping the basket over so much I felt my heart drop T_T



a moment to remember


I’ve been dying to do this for so long!! ^.^

Flying in a hot air balloon is really different from parasailing, or flying in an aeroplane, etc…
When you’re in a plane, pretty much all you can see are clouds. When you’re parasailing, all that’s below you is water..

I’m amazed by how many different experiences one can get.

For some reason, when I think of hot air ballooning, I think that if there was a god, this would be his view of the world he created.

It’s like taking a step back to admire his work.

I can’t decide whether I prefer the sunrise or sunset.. They both paint beautiful colours into the sky.

*sighs*

Isn’t it absolutely stunning?

We had other people flying with us that day, check out the cute little specks in the background!


BEST way to catch a sunrise, EVER.

The whole experience lasted for about an hour, so I had plenty of time to take in the sights and sounds… and think about what a great start it is to my morning.

That’s my “deep in thought” face, and that’s our pilot being goofy. LOL. I told you he likes to tease me!

Looking at Orlando from a whole new perspective

It was funny to see the cars slow down when we were hovering really near them. They look like toy cars godzilla would pick up and eat hehe

Typical streets of Orlando



….Good morning to you too, Florida!



That’s us in the water reflection!!! ♥

I really do miss Orlando.. It was the perfect holiday :’)

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An hour passed sooner than we thought, and then it was time for us to land.

Our pilot had to pick a big enough grassland for us to land on, and I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if the winds suddenly picked up and we found ourselves landing in the middle of a road or on top of a building.

But of course none of that happened, Bob’s Balloons are veterans in their field and we had a perfectly smooth landing.

….Ok I lied about perfect landing.

I wanted to take a video to show you guys how rough it actually was (landing) but my pilot strictly said I should bend my knees a little and hold on to the hand rails the whole time, until the balloon comes to a complete stop.

Once we hit the ground, we bounced up and down a couple of times before skidding a few metres across the field.

Let’s just say, landing was a lot rougher than take off.

And this time we REALLY almost tipped out.

Well, the pilot did lol.

He fell out then he used all his strength to try and hold the balloon back. It was an interesting situation. First the Sea Screamer on Clearwater Beach, now this.

Why is it whatever we are on is always tipping over?!

I also then half-wondered what would’ve happen if the balloon continued flying into the sky, with just me and Sam without the pilot?

But I’m not complaining.

It’s the unexpected things that happen in a holiday that makes it so memorable and unique ♥

I loved every moment of it.

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Sam definitely seemed to agree ;)

The moment we landed, he started singing and doing YMCA actions… I don’t even know why LOL but when Sam starts breaking into song, you can be sure he’s in a good mood!

Here’s a showcase of his silly antics just for laughs:

Y

M

C

A!!!!!!


…Hehehe silly billy!!! :>

The only thing I miss more than Orlando is my boyfriend.




Happy us!!!

We tend to act like little children whenever we get really excited or when we’re extremely happy.. We’re different, yet alike in so many ways. I think I found my soul mate :D

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We celebrated our first hot air balloon flight, the start of a great day and life itself with a complimentary champagne toast by Bob’s Balloons

They also offered chips with salsa / pastries and other yummy goodies, which I wasted no time in wolfing down ^.^

Finally, we wrapped up the experience by helping them put away the ginormous balloon.

“Come and help us, don’t worry we won’t charge you extra!”

Deflating this balloon is no easy feat, it took 5 grown men and a young girl plus a lot of effort to get everything done.

….Thank you Bob’s Balloons for making our first hot air balloon experience a wonderful one.

Now I can scratch off another item on my “Things I want to do before I die” list.
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Gliding around in the air on a basket attached to a colorful balloon while overlooking one of America’s most beautiful states?


Check.

xoxo,
Jess

Clearwater Beach

Some day, I’m going to be on a boat out at sea, trying to spot dolphins and looking out to an orange horizon while listening to this song and remembering how I blogged about doing it.

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Each time I travel and explore a new place, I make it a point to visit one of their beaches. I like to say, You’ve never been to a country if you’ve never been to their beach”

What’s a holiday without some fun in the sun?

And so we took a 3 hour bus ride from Orlando to Clearwater Beach.

They picked us up early in the morning and it was a beautiful start to the day with brilliant weather..

I wasn’t expecting to be greeted by gloomy clouds and strong gusts of wind.

They said the weather was going to be cold, but I didn’t know it was going to be this cold.

We decided to carry on to have a lunch buffet on board before starting our day’s activities, and hopefully by then we’ll see a change in weather.

Despite mother nature going against us, we refused to let it bring us down. We were already at Clearwater Beach and freezing weather or not, we’re GOING to hit the beach!

On Board the “Calypso Queen”

Happy boyfriend!

We shared a table with a China girl who was traveling all alone, and she offered to take this picture for us. She looked a little lost and lonely, so I started a conversation with her in Chinese.

It’s funny to see peoples reaction when they realize I actually do speak (a little) chinese. The girl’s got guts to wander around the US all alone..

This country isn’t exactly the most welcoming nor safe place.

Quite annoyed with the weather… but it wasn’t for long!

We finished lunch, and to my delight it was sunny again!!!

Not as sunny as I’d like it to be, but sunnier than before and sunny enough.

The winds, however, were unforgiving and made the weather still freezing cold.

At first, I was only wearing a beach dress over my bikini, thinking it’d be enough.

Then I had to put my jacket on.

Then I literally froze to death (like seriously) so Sam went and bought me some matching white pants to make sure I didn’t die of hypothermia. Oversized holiday pants ftw!

I know it was winter, but it’s still Florida yo!!! Whatever happened to the Sunshine State?

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I planned this trip to Orlando super meticulously, trying to make sure every activity and moment we had was perfect so I went online and did my research on which was the best boat ride at Clearwater Beach.

Ended up booking a 1 hour ride on this Sea Screamer, after reading a lot of good reviews.

They promised dolphin sightings, otherwise you get a free ride with them again. Dolphins love to ride in the boats wake, and I was really dying to see them jumping around the boat!

Holidays are the bestttttttt!

Loving the sun!

Sam was wearing my sunnies coz he lost his lol

Friendly boat captain

The boat started moving and our tour officially started!

We passed by gorgeous waterfront houses and they mentioned the names of some celebrities who stayed there.

Seeing that no one was sitting in the front now (we realized why later), we took the opportunity and sat at the front thinking we got the best seats in the house! Oh how wrong we were…



♥ ♥ ♥

When I said it was a really windy day… I meant it was a really really REALLY windy day.

We got to see a lot of city landscape, but we didn’t get to see any dolphins this time! :(

They said it was because of the bad weather… Awwww!!!!

And that wasn’t even the worst part.

All of a sudden the weather became stupidly bad, so bad that the waves started getting REALLY big and the boat ride became 100x rougher.

This was a really small boat we were on, the waves and dips were so big that it felt like we were on a roller coaster!!

Each time we didn’t manage to “cut” a wave properly, the boat would crash onto the water really hard and sent unwelcoming amounts of water splashing onto our faces.

WTF.

At first it was a little spritz here and there, we got our hair and clothes wet but thought it was not such a big deal…

Then the waves got bigger and the ride got rockier and soon we were completely drenched in sea water.

Like 100% dripping wet.

Then they said that the weather condition is too bad to be on the water, so they raced back to the direction we came from at top speed.

I SWEAR I ALMOST DIED!!!!!

Firstly, the boat rocked back and forth SO much that at one point it felt like we were going to be capsized. I know it sounds dramatic, but sheesh, if you were there you’d be shitting your pants too!!!

Me and Sam couldn’t stop shivering and clutching onto each other for warmth, because not only was it an extremely cold and windy day, we also happened to be soaked from head to toe in sea water and racing back to shore in a wet boat at top speed.

Just splendid.

It was the single most cold moment of my life and I felt numb from head to toe.

Note to self – don’t go on soaky boat rides when the weather is 0 degrees.

Thankfully, we managed to arrive back on shore safe and sound… No capsizing or dying of hypothermia or anything tragic like that.

We didn’t get to see dolphins but we sure did get one hell of a ride.

Despite the unforseen circumstances, it was actually still quite fun because we weren’t the only ones who got wet!

Pretty much everyone sitting in the first four rows were completely soaked and we would scream and shout like little children whenever the boat made a huge dip or when more water came splashing onto our faces.

Always brings a smile to my face when I think about it.

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After all that drama, we couldn’t wait to just unwind on the beach..

There’s a certain appeal about beaches that I just can’t ignore.

No, I’m not a surfer, I’m a hopeless swimmer and I’m not even a fan of suntanning… But I do like parasailing and jet skiing. Does that count?

Simply put – I just really, really appreciate the change of environment. Some place I can let my hair loose, kick off my heels and just run around barefooted in the sand.

If I look out towards the horizon, I’m staring straight into a world I’ve never known…

So mysterious and alluring.

So hostile, yet welcoming.

And when I look past my shoulder, urbanization and civilization is all I see.

Isn’t it amazing that 80% of Earth is covered by oceans, and yet we know almost nothing about it?

Perhaps I like being on the beach because I feel like I’m sitting on the doorstep of the ocean.. Sitting on the only thing that separates the underwater world from the world we know.

I love this picture. This picture best represents what Clearwater Beach is actually like – rainbow umbrellas, lots of sea gulls, fine white sand and simply beautiful.

No doubt about the fact that my dream house is on a beach, sitting on the coastline so I feel closer to the ocean.. and the amazing creatures that live in it!

at

How I wish Singapore had nice beaches.

Oh well.. I won’t be staying in Singapore for long anyway. Most probably going to Melbourne and Australia has GORGEOUS beaches!

They had cosy little cabanas for rent! I’ve seen beach chairs and big umbrellas for rent, but this is a first. And a great idea too.

It was the perfect little hideout for us for a few hours…

They provided us with chairs, but we ditched the chairs and bought towels so we could just lie down on the soft sand and look up into the sky.


They say happiness is contagious. And it is.

Another reason why I love the beach is because people are always having a great time. Wherever you go, you see smiling and hear laughter.. it just rubs off on you.

That, plus the sound of crashing waves and my boyfriend hugging me in our little cabana, made the perfect lullaby and it wasn’t long before we both fell asleep.

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I woke up a few hours later forgetting where I was.. then realized I’m in some beach in Florida with some dude I met from L4D.

Pretty amazing.

We decided to grab some dinner then head back to our hotel, but not before checking out their flea market on the beach!

They had a lot of really neat handicrafts for sale, and I bought a cute angel made out of pretty seashells for my mum.

Flea markets are so fun to shop at ♥

We picked this quaint little seaside restaurant called Crabby Bill’s and had the most satisfying dinner there.

They had AMAZING food at crazily affordable prices. ♥

By far one of the best crabs I’ve ever had. Nothing like fresh crab claws dipped in melted butter! Salivating at the thought of it.

No better way to end a nice day with a nice meal.

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We only had a short while to eat before we had to catch our ride back home..

And that, was the end of our day at Clearwater Beach.

The sound of waves crashing against the shore.. the salty taste in the sea breeze. Oh how I miss those simple, irreplaceable things.

xoxo,
Jess

Something Far Greater : Sea World

***UDPATE: I completed the post! If you only saw Part 1 previous, scroll down and you’ll see part 2

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Last night I had beautiful a dream where I was swimming with orcas in Sea World… ♥

It was the best dream I’ve ever had.

I woke up with the biggest smile and the best feeling in the world, and I knew I couldn’t postpone my Sea World post anymore.

So here goes.

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Sea World was unlike any other theme park I’ve been to.

Instead of using fantasy and imaginary characters, Sea World attracts its visitors with amazing shows and wonderful animal attractions.

I’ve been to Sea World parks quite a few times, the last one I was at was Sea World San Antonio, Texas…

And I was thrilled to find that most of the park’s key elements were kept very standardized and similar, with a few unique touches.. So you’ll get the same amazing Sea World feel no matter which park you go to!



Sitting outside Hilton waiting for our taxi

On the morning of our first visit, I kept bouncing up and down, clapping my hands and going

“I’m going to see killer whales!!! OMFG I’m going to see KILLER WHALES!!!!”


I just couldn’t contain my excitement and joy!

Originally, this trip was meant to be mainly for Disney but in the end we spent more time doing other things than on Disney.

Don’t get me wrong, Disney is absolutely bloody amazing ♥..

But there’s SO much to do in Orlando!!!!

Even though we stayed more than 2 weeks, there just wasn’t enough time.

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I’ve always been fascinated by killer whales - I remember seeing them for the first time when I was younger than 10 years old. That awe I felt when I was in their presence never left me..


I still have my first Sea World Trip souvenirs sitting on my display shelf. My favourite is a snowglobe with a picture of me and my dad riding a fake killer whale.

But it wasn’t until recently that my admiration and fascination evolved into a

FULL-BLOWN OBSESSION

That is the face of a girl so excited to be there, she just couldn’t wipe that grin off her face the entire day.

Listening to Sea World music now and feeling stupidly nostalgic.

Sea World has taken over Disney’s place for the most special theme park in the world to me now :’)

Scratch that… It’s so much more than just a theme park. It’s the place that made me realize my dreams, and reminded me that life is so much more.. if you just Believe.

You can see the Manta Ray in the background! (actually you can see it from a long distance away, we could see it from our room at the Hilton!)

Fake killer whales at the entrance… I was thrilled even to see a plastic dorsal fin.



HAPPY!!!!!!

I would kill to touch a real killer whale my bare hands one day. That’s why me and Sam are going to Alaska / Norway!!!! Actually we are also considering New Zealand and Maldives. Can’t decide omggg


This monstrosity of a roller coaster is the
Manta Ray.

The manta ray is the largest of the rays, with the largest known specimen having been about 7.6 m (about 25 ft) across, with a weight of about 2,300 kg (about 5,000 lb).

MAD HUGE!!!! WTF like a damn whale already!!!! Can’t wait to see that in real life too!

Named after the largest sting ray in the ocean, this roller coaster is inspired by how Manta Rays’ swimming motions make it seem to“fly” through the ocean.

And just like the Manta Ray, you get to “soar and fly” along with it!!!!!



MAD FUN!!! I
t’s a roller coaster like no other.

You don’t SIT on your ass, instead, you are completely lying down on your front ala Superman flying position. It really feels like you are flying, especially when it goes dowwwwwwnnnnnn!

Without a doubt, me and Sam’s fav coaster of the trip.


Look at that BADASS loop!!

I can just feel the drop in my stomach already. Woohoo I love it!!!!!

Sea World may only have three roller coasters, but they’re FAR better than the rest of the theme parks because they are so BIG and awesome!!!!

Full view of the Manta Ray.

They had 2 other big coasters,

This bad boy is called the Kraken

Inspired by a mythical sea monster

Huuugeee drops! Fun times

The last one is a coaster that runs on both water and land, called Journey To Atlantis

It starts off as a boat ride floating on water with lots of cool effects inside a building, there’s sea creatures and mermaids and what not…

Then it has this big slide:

And finally it becomes a high-speed land roller coaster, going round and round.

A really innovative idea, just like the Manta Ray!

We arrived mega early – like at 9am, so lucky for us there weren’t any lines at the rides at all since the crowds have yet to start pouring in.

We got to on them again and again and again!!!! Love! ♥

Outside the aquarium’s entrance!

I bought my first Shamu toy within 15 minutes of entering the park… I just couldn’t wait!!!

Sam loves Sea World too! Hehe

Sitting in front of a tank full of fishies :D

Oh hai there!!! Aren’t you a happy little ray?

Some gross sea sponge thingy!

Things that have suction pads really REALLY freak me out, like, starfishes, like…………….


OCTOPUSES!!
Imagine them latching themselves onto you, omfg!!!!

How come people like to eat these things?! So effing disgusting and tasteless, like rubber.

Oh god I am going to have nightmares about these. Brain, I want to dream about killer whales, not octopuses!

These needle-like creatures just kept bobbing up and down in the water! So interesting and queer.

Hehehehe that’s my boyfriend trying to take a picture of a fishie that just won’t stay still!

He’s really fascinated by animals just like me or perhaps even more, and we always watch documentaries + discuss animals together! So much fun!

Instead of solely focusing on killer whales, he’s fascinated by pretty much everything. He knows so much about them, it’s bloody amazing! He should have been a researcher or something instead of a medical scientist.

But like he said, he likes learning about them and watching them – not working with them.

I SURE AS HELL WOULDN’T MIND WORKING WITH KILLER WHALES THOUGH!

Hello you leafy sea dragon!

Why won’t you stay still for us to take a non-blurry shot of you??

Ah-hah!

My flash pwned you.

This school of fish just kept swimming in a tight circle the whole day.

Don’t they get dizzy or bored?! I know they do that in the wild to protect themselves against predators, but they’re perfectly safe in Sea World!!!

Every now and then a sting ray would purposely swim into a school of fish and disorientate them for fun. So funny!!

I dunno what this is but it looks funky! Pretty much anything that lives in the ocean fascinates me. I mean c’mon, how boring are land animals?!

No mystery to them at all!

Meh…. I wonder what they feel like? I hope I don’t accidentally touch any weird things when I go snorkeling!



Nemooo0o0o0oo0oo0oo0o0o0o



HAHAHAHAAHAHA

I think it was originally meant for kids.. had a hard time fitting myself in there :P

I adore how Sea World is both relaxing and exciting!

Heart all the water displays.






We walked around, intending to grab some breakfast but ending up getting our caricature done!

We are the best tourists to have ever – we believe in spending money during holidays. It’s not unnecessary if it makes you the slightest bit happy!!!!!!

Yay for boyfriends that aren’t stingy assholes!

“Make sure I’m pretty, ok! Long eyelashes ah!!!”

He was pretty good at persuading us… wasn’t that interested in the first place, but in the end we figured out it was a good idea lol. Plus his works were really good!

I got him to draw us in swimsuits with ridiculous figures, riding a killer whale!!!!

All done!

ISN’T IT FAB?!?!
Heheheh so cute!!!

I wonder why he drew Sam like an extremely fair black man though. I mean look at those lips and nose! I know they’re big, but wtf? LOL at least I look good.

They had swimmers in these glass tanks called “Pearl Divers” and what they do is pose for pictures the whole day and dive for fresh oysters that lie on the bottom of the tank!

The woman explained that there are oysters with pearls in them at the bottom of the tank, so you pay $15 and tell your diver to pick up a bunch of oysters for you, then you pick the one you like and you get to take home a fresh pearl!

Sounded pretty cool so we decided to try it out!

I chose the male diver because he’s cute. ♥ What???

He’s back with a bunch of oysters for me to choose from!!!

Look at his smile hahaha omg he really is quite cute! Sea World people are all uber friendly.

I picked a nice-looking oyster (actually they’re all ugly) and brought it to the counter to receive my pearl..

I name my oyster “Oystie”!

Slicing it open… Ouch

What kind of pearl would it be? You won’t know until you open it!

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Say hi to my pearl!!!!

They said it’s a blue pearl, the second rarest after the black pearl, even though it looks silver-ish. It’s so naturally round!

I always thought pearls would come in less refined shapes.

Baby bought a pretty little seashell box for it to sit in… and now it sits on my display shelf, along with my other lovely souvenirs :>

So pretty!

Amazing how a simple mistake like a grain of sand accidentally finding its way into an oyster could result in something so beautiful.

They say this earth was a mistake too..

Bf with a giant clam. I wonder if it’s fake or real?

The view from the bridge…

Random pretty pics of Sea World

They got the “theme” and “park” in Theme Park right



Hai Sea Turtle!

Everytime I see one I’m reminded of the turtles in Finding Nemo going “I WAS LIKE WOAH” hehehehe

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Stingray Lagoon!!

Where you get to touch and feed many sting rays…

I’m not a fan of touching slimy creatures, so I gave it a miss but Sam was game for it

“It feels like rubbing your hand against wet sand paper”

Flap those wings as much as you want, but you’re no birdie, Mr Ray!

Penny machines!!!! Another one for our collection

She turns your name into a piece of art. I love how she uses killer whales and dolphins!

Yipee yay!!!

Dolphins time!!!!! I ♥ them so muchhhhh

We all bought fish to feed the dolphins with.. There’s a pretty long line, because everybody wants to feed the cutesy dolphins!

Hehehe look at that dorsal fin! Compare it with the killer whale’s – another dolphin.



HELLO CUTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love the squeaky high-pitched noises and clicks they make, just like orcas!!



They are so amazingly adorable!

This brought back a lot of nostalgic memories for me, I remember being like 10 years old and doing the same thing in Sea World in Texas..

My dad took so many pictures of me interacting with them, and I just had the best time feeding them and petting them for over 2 hours!



“Lookie flipper! I has fishie!!!!

I’m sure you all remember the video where those stupid sea gulls took the tray of fishes right out of our hands!!! The atrocity.

I hate sea gulls, they are so damn annoying.

Dolphins like to swim on their backs for fun.. I notice killer whales do that too!

“I want more fishies! :P”

Look at that jagged dorsal fin! Almost shark-like.

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Next stop :
SHAMU STADIUM!!!! ROAR!!!

Finally, I get to see the killer whale show called “Believe”!!!!!!!

Nothing like holding your lover’s hand and hot chocolate in the other, strolling through Sea World

It was the most beautiful day I could have asked for


…….And we reach Shamu Stadium!!!!!

Look at the amount of people!!!! This was only 1 day after Christmas.

How cool is this stadium? Check out the biggest tail fluke you’d ever see!

…WHO IS REALLY EXCITED??

I AM!!!!!


….WHO IS GOING TO SEE THE SHAMU “BELIEVE” SHOW???

♥ I AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ♥

Thank you baby for making all of this possible!!!! I ♥ you!

The trainers come out to tell a story and entertain the crowd!

And then the moment we were all waiting for….

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OMFG DUDE IT’S SHAMU!!!!!!!!!!
*spasm*

I was so excited and mesmerized that I didn’t bother taking a video.

I just wanted to focus on being in that moment and enjoying the performance….

I decided to embed snippets of the show which I found on Youtube so you may have a vague idea of what the show is like, enjoy!


Isn’t it just so awe-inspiring?!?!?!

Every show is a little different, so you can always expect new things!



Trust me….
seeing it on video is NOTHING like seeing it in real life. When you’re in Shamu Stadium, you can literally feel every splash that Shamu makes!

That’s a baby orca, it’s so small and cute!!! By small, I mean it’s actually about 2.5 metres long at least.



I have the biggest urge to just jump into that tank with them.

Awww these cuties are dancing along to the music!!!

Shamu does his peformance well and gets a special treat!

Altogether now - AWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shamu does backflip! Hehehe.

LOOK AT ALL THAT BLUBBER!!! I wants to huggles it.

Yes. This picture is so “OMG”, I know!!!!

Orca and trainer dive together….

Then they surface together, Orca does a somersault and shoots his trainer high up into the air!!!!!!!!

TELL ME THIS IS NOT THE GREATEST SHOW YOU’VE EVER HEARD OF!!!!!

These people certainly seem to agree with me.

The air’s just buzzing with excitement! Lots of gasps, clapping and cheering!!!!!

Perfect atmosphere.

Seeing trainers interact with their orcas so closely always gets me all choked up, because that’s my biggest dream in life right there..

And even though I may not get to do it, someone else who really deserves it can.

The ocean’s top predator that is both deadly and astounding can be a dear friend to a human being.

Simply amazing.



Tilikum says hi!!!!!

One part of the show, they get the killer whales to use their tail flukes to splash the audience with the water!!!

Everyone gets excited by it hahaha but people like me dodge out of the way.

It was already like 0 degrees, I didn’t want to be soaked!!!



What a big boy!



Big Tilly gives the show a grand finale!

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What can I say?


TERRIFIC!! MAGNIFICENT!!!

Just splendid. Just what I was dying to experience. It was totally worth the trip to America for.. Just that one show alone.

It filled me up with happiness, and until now, I still feel it.

These Orcas, together with Sea World, are incredibly special to me in so many ways I can’t even begin to explain.

I love them so much :’)

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HEHEHEH I wanna ride a real killer whale!!! Roar!!!



So much fun that day ♥

This fake orca may seem big enough already, but the real ones are wayyyy bigger!!!

We spotted this uber cute Sea World Beetle!

Hahaha all I need to do is paint my mum’s white beetle with a little black and blue, then attach a dorsal fin!!!!

We saw good ol’ carnival games…. From the uber fun, to the uber rigged. (c’mon, you KNOW they’re all RIGGED!!!”

AND THEN I SPOTTED



OMG HI TILLY!!!

You see that super big Orca toy hanging at the top right corner of the pic?!

The moment I saw that, I went “OMG OMGOMGGOMGGOGMGMGMGM I WANTS IT!!!!! I WANTS IT BAD

And Sam was like, “OMG yeah it’s really nice, let’s get it! Look at the size of that thing, it’s so big!!!”

We asked the carnival person whether we could buy it, and he said yes, but for $200 USD!!! WHATTHEFUCK!!! D:

200 I might as well take a domestic flight to Alaska where I can see real killer whales in the wild right!

Me and Sam were determined to get that toy, so we started playing all sorts of carnival games to try and win it… But we couldn’t!!! Damn games are rigged :(

We stupidly blew like $40 USD on the Ring Tossing game:

You’re given a tiny red ring, and you’re supposed to throw a number of them onto the bottles and hopefully a ring gets caught on the top of a bottle, and you’re a winner.

This sounds like “luck” to you, but the damn rings are so small they could never hook onto the bottles plz!

I got kinda pissed, and I asked the carnival person whether it’s even possible.

And he actually said, “It’s possible, it’s just hard. A few people have already won the big toy that you want today”

HE’S NOT LYING! I saw this bitch carrying it around the park. I even went up to ask her where she got it from, but the bitch wouldn’t share WTF selfish bitch!!! I hope your fake orca bites your ass at night!!!

Anyway I was so determined even tho I know the game was rigged. These damn games play with your mind man, you go like “OMG thats so close, I’m going to play it one more time and imma get it” but you never do.

After awhile I told Sam, “hey screw this, let’s try something that’s not so rigged.. based on skill instead of luck”

And because the killer whale god knows I love his orcas, I found this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HELLO THERE! Now you look moderately decent!

Me and Sam were discussing who should throw the ball, because we were both quite fail at this sort of thing..

When this fat angmoh guy just waltzed right next to us, used $4 to buy a few balls and HE WON THE TOY IN HIS FIRST TRY WTF.

Pissed and jealous like MAD!! I asked him if I could buy it off him but he said it was for his gf. FML.

You get like 4 balls I think, and you must get all 3 in to get the big toy, otherwise you’re stuck with other stupid toys like snakes!



COME ON BABY!!!!!!!

You can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

….Not. Hahaha he wasn’t that great at it at all. But finally the fat angmoh decided to be really nice and offered to help us win it for free if we paid for the balls he threw, and we agreed!

But the kukuhead took like 10 tries to win for us, even though he took only one for his own gf wtf!!! Dunno if he did it on purpose or what, but oh well, I guess if people do a nice gesture for you you don’t get to complain.

Thanks anyway, angmoh guy!!!!

Because……..

NOW I CAN HAS TILLY!!!

WOOOHOOOO!

I bet I’m the only one in SG who has a damn killer whale this big in her room, and if you have one or know someone else who has this big boy I DONT WANNA HEAR IT!

We also won an extra snake toy, and I asked a little indian boy beside me whether he wanted it and his face lit up like it was snowing on Christmas morning :P

(although Christmas was a day earlier)

I kept walking around with this huge grin on my face, as me and Sam struggled to walk around with this big boy without bumping into anyone.

After this, we went to see a theatrical performance (still in Sea World! mad awesome, so many shows) and it was pretty good!!

The show was like full house, and everyone was scrambling around for seats.. You should see the look on their faces when they saw that Tilly occupied like 3 seats alone. LOL.

In the end a group of kids came over and asked if they could seat next to us. We looked at them, then looked at Tilly and they said they don’t mind having Tilly in their laps.

So the 5 of us sat together, with Tilly on our laps. Hahahahah pretty funny.

After awhile we figured he was more trouble than we thought, so we walked to Guest Services and dropped him there.

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The park was really big, and walking from attraction to attraction can get extremely tiring…

What better way to relax and unwind than sailing into the sunset on a pink Flamingo?

The way the water sparkled so invitingly under the sun as its rays gently warmed my cheeks on a cold, beautiful day was too much to resist…



Isn’t it beautiful?

The observation tower

The world seemed to slow down… All I could hear was faint laughter, water trickling as we steered the boat and occasionally, screams from the thrilled roller coaster addicts coming from far away.

Just taking in the moment and feeling like the world is such a wonderful place.



Teeheee



Shamu rocks your socks!!!

Kodak moment much :)

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Besides the ever popular bottlenose dolphins and killer whales, Sea World houses many many more wonderful animals…

Like sharks, sting rays, manatees, pilot whales, and…. Sea Lions!!!!

Surprisingly they don’t stink! I mean come on they look so fat and lazy… you’d think they’d have a bad smell :P

Aww hehehe look at them just basking in the sun like nothing else in the world matters.

And nothing does. Unless you have food for them!

Then they’ll daringly jump onto the ledge, like this, barking for food!!!!

People were more than happy to purchase food and feed them…

“Bark! Do you has fishie for me?! Dolphins are overrated, give em to me!”

Sam gladly obliges! Woot this is actually a good shot, if only it was in focus!

We both think Sea Lions are actually quite cute… especially the pups, they’re like little puppy dogs! :)

Urgh stupid sea gulls, they’re freaking everywhere!!!! They didn’t get my fishie this time, hah!

There’s a mad rush everytime someone throws a fish towards the sea lions – they all lunge towards the direction and whoever gets it first is the winner.

Some of them have actually learned tactics to attract attention by slapping their paws against their chest or the water, as if to say, “Pick me! PICK ME!!!!!!”

So cute!!

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Ok maybe Sea Lions may not be all that cute to you guys, but surely…

Surely penguins capture your heart? ;)

They’re so cuddly and clumsy looking! lol

Look at them go, like little torpedoes!

Learning about different penguins.. There is so much fun learning to be done at Sea World!

Sam with a hilariously badass looking penguin! Check out those eyes and the hairdo. Even its name is so gangsta. “ROCKHOPPER”



:P

♥ ♥ ♥

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It was getting dark by then, so we went to visit the orcas at the Underwater Viewing area, and that’s when I had the most magical interaction with them!!!!

It was the BEST omg I’ll post pics of that later.

Then we had dinner with Shamu!

Dine With Shamu is a dinner event organized by Sea World, where you get to enjoy a sumptuous buffet spread and at the same time, watch Shamu perform for you RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR DINNER TABLE!

It’s like a backstage kinda thing where the trainers explain what kind of techniques they use to train their killer whales, and other interesting information!

And who should perform for us, but the now-notorious Tilikum?

He was such a sweetheart during Dine With Shamu, always doing what he was told without any sign of discontent…

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We have almost come to the end of my Sea World post, and the rest of the pictures below would be the time I’ve spent interacting and observing Sea World Orlando’s beautiful Orcas.

We spent many days at Sea World, and I’ve summarized + combined everything into this long entry… so don’t be confused by our different outfits.

Below is a montage of my favourite Shamu shots – Such beauty should be shared with the rest of the world.

Enjoy!

Hi cutie pie!!

If they find you interesting, sometimes they come right up to you and press their heads against the glass wall and just spend a good 2 minutes observing you. Hehe ♥

I wonder how many hours I spent just staring into that tank.

Super cute siblings!!!!

Eh I told you they like to swim upside down for fun!!

They were pushing each other around like that… How adorable!!!! Squeeee ^___^

Looking abit yucky because I had no make up on and was exhausted after a long day..

Orca says hi to Sam!

I still can’t get over how big they are :)

“Hey, are you taking a picture of me?!”

“Which one of you was it that took a pic of me just now, huh?”

“Come out, come out wherever you are!”

The babies are always so curious :)

TRUA, MALIA AND NALANI!!

:DDDDD



Teehee it was totally giving me a kiss!!!



:3 I’m going nuts, it’s cute overload!!

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&&& More Shamu performances!!!!!!!

The Believe show soundtrack :’)

Great song isn’t it?

We kept going back for more and more performances… I said before that there’s always something new in every show, and here’s proof!!!!

LOL. Fully prepared to take on Shamu’s splashing!!

Sat in the front row seat, and I could’ve touched the orca if I just reached out my hand…. Sigh

Oh hai there!!!!!!!!!!!!



I wanna do that T__________T

This wasn’t the normal “Believe” show, it’s called Miracle because it’s themed for Christmas!

It was a cold, cold night but I felt warmed by all the love in the air!

They had Christmas carols playing and the lyrics were on the screen so everyone could sing along. Just lovely

There’s even a saxophone player to add to the mood too!

I miss Christmas already..

Cooler than James Bond.

A lot more action during the Christmas shows! People flying everywhere…



WOOOHOOO!!!

I told this man he has the best job in the world and that I really, really envy him.

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After witnessing a spectacular Miracle, we made our way to another stadium in Sea World to watch their ice skating special!

Aw it’s such a cute set!!!!

Jolly music and fab peformances – the night ended with a big bang.

Literally.

I’ve seen many fireworks displays in my life, from Singapore’s National Day to Disney’s special displays but Sea World had the best I’ve ever seen.

Perhaps I am biased, but that night meant the world to me, and I feel truly blessed to have experienced what I did.

I know I’ve said this a hundred times but I can repeat it a hundred more.

I miss Sea World SOOOOOO much and I can’t wait to go back there!

I hope this post was fun to read, because I had a great time recalling all those beautiful memories.

I can’t wait to plan my next trip.

Thank you Sea World and what it represents for being so, so special to me.

In the mean time, I’ll cherish these pictures & memories that I hold dear to my heart..

Oh, and also my very own killer whale family that I have at home!

Tilikum, Trua, Malia, Bob and Jess signing off.

xoxo,
Jess

Interacting with Trua and Malia

I’ve watched countless numbers of killer whale documentaries / videos, stayed up till 6am night after night just reading stories and information about them, and I’ve even watched them perform in front of me barely a metre away in Sea World quite a lot of times…

They occupy my thoughts more than anything else in this world.

But what I really, really really really wanted to do was just to be able to reach out to a killer whale..

To try to be part of their world and interact with them. Instead of being just another gawking spectator, I wanted to be its friend.

I was truly the happiest girl alive when to my delight, Trua and Malia decided to be that special friend for me.

I thought it wasn’t going to happen, but amazingly it did!!!!!! And I have it on tape to remember it by.

One of the most magical moments I’ve ever had in my life.. is one that I shared with killer whales

It’s a deep fascination and love that I can’t explain. Just to have it look straight into my eyes was enough to make me forget about the real world. All I could think of was how beautiful they were. I didn’t even notice other people surrounding me taking pictures and videos.. I was bouncing up and down with exhilaration and thinking to myself, “I’ll never forget this moment.”

And I won’t.

After my exams, I’ll visit them again. I miss them like crazy already. I CAN’T WAIT.

I didn’t get to touch you with my bare hands, but thank you for touching my soul…

xoxo,
Jess
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