We wanted to surprise our son last Saturday. I had a day off and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to surprise him with a trip to a water park filled with fun rides and fascinating sea creatures?”
We left Houston around 07:00 A.M. heading to Sea World San Antonio’s latest exciting waterpark called Aquatica. Our son looked thrilled that we were going out of town. He doesn’t know where we were going. All he knew that morning was that we were to visit a friend. Half way down our trip, he started making his countdown. Excitedly, after reading a road sign he shouted, “Yipee! 30 more miles to go!”
We finally arrived at our destination with 30 more minutes to spare. Just before we turned towards the parking lot I asked him, “Hey, can you read that sign?” He replied eagerly, “It says…Sea World. What? Your friend lives in Sea World?” Me and my wife laughed so hard my hands started to shake as I held on to the steering wheel.
As we rushed to the park’s entrance my son curiously asked, “So, who’s your friend dad?” I told him, “You don’t know who is my friend?” He answered back, “No. I don’t know.” I replied cheerfully, “It’s Shamu.” We looked at each other then we both started to laugh.
Discovering The Fun Rides And Surprises
First ride was the Stingray Falls. It’s a raft ride that drops down from about 3 stories high into a tube with many twists and turns, passing through a cascading falls followed by a huge splash. After which, we all entered a grotto that looks like an Aquarium with swimming Stingrays and bright, colorful tropical fishes. My son and I were laughing and shouting at the top of our lungs while my wife was shouting too but of the terrified kind. She thought the raft would flip over. I felt bad that she felt scared. We gave her a hug and soon enough she was fine and was back on her feet.
After jumping and swimming at the Big Surf Shores, we had a more relaxing time at one of the pools. It was about 4 feet deep with Stingray shaped floaters. My son tirelessly jumped from one floater to the next. I was swimming beside him making sure he does not collide with another jumping kid. Eventually, I got exhausted and pretended I was a floater too.
We discovered that this owl was a local inhabitant of the park who now proudly serves as an animal ambassador. Her name is Chloe. She had a very touching story that made us realize everyday, we humans take their homes by cutting trees for various reasons. Meeting her was a great way to understand our role in preserving Nature.
Our most thrilling discovery of the day was venturing at the mesmerizing world of stingrays at Ke-Re Reef. Me and my son were able to book a close encounter with these gentle, fascinating creatures. My son was a bit scared at first but after touching the first of the 170 stingrays, they won his heart.
As we fed the stingrays, several of them would swim around us and flap their wing-like fins creating splashes of water. It was the happiest 15 minutes ever!
When the stingray ate the fish, I felt like my hand was being suctioned by a vacuüm cleaner. It was scary and strange for the first several seconds, then after that, I felt like I was a kid all over again, having one of the most magical, beautiful discoveries of his life.
I was all fired up at the end of the day. We all had a great time discovering the many adventures and surprises of Aquatica. I was so happy that we all shared the day’s discoveries as one family. Happy enough to have the energy to drive another 3 hours back to Houston. That night, my wife sounding amazed told me, “Wow! You drove a total of 6 hours today.” I smiled back with my eyes all ready to drop, “Yes I did and my body felt it 100%. But, I’ll do it again for another unforgettable discovery!” I can’t remember anything after that. I must have passed out.