Jan 04

My SeaWorld San Diego New Year's Resolutions

Most of us have been there -- we make lists and lists of resolutions for the new year, yet by the end of the month (or maybe even the week), we raise our white flag and decide that we'll try again next year. I thought I'd break the cycle for 2013 and set myself up for success. I created my very own SeaWorld San Diego resolutions list that I hope to achieve before the end of the year. Here it is:

1. Try a specialty funnel cake at Pineapple Pete's.
I have always wanted to treat myself to one (actually, all of them) for the longest time, but have always told myself that I will save it for a special occasion. Birthdays, holidays and various special moments passed without me trying one of these because I kept postponing it. Well, not this year! I already have my eye on the strawberries and cream funnel cake. Yum! Just thinking of how delicious the freshly-made funnel cakes smell makes me weak. (That's what I get for having a sweet tooth. Or teeth.)

2. Touch a shovelnose guitarfish and sturgeon at the interactive pool at the Manta exhibit.
Why are they on my list? They're a bit more challenging to interact with at the touch pool because they swim farther away compared to the bat rays. One's a cartilaginous fish, the other a bony one. Can you guess which one is which? I think it would feel really, really cool to be able to say that you've touched either one (or both)!

3. Stay dry on Shipwreck Rapids.
You're probably thinking, "Kat! Is that even possible? There's no way!" But I will find a way; I promise you that. Consider this challenge accepted! I might even raise the stakes and attempt to do this during the cold winter months.

4. Spot the big, elusive California spiny lobster at the Tidepool Exhibit.
Most guests think that we're joking when we tell them that there are lobsters at our Tidepool Exhibit because they are rarely seen during the day. Lobsters are nocturnal animals, which means that they are more active at night, when it's dark. I've seen lobsters of varying sizes at the exhibit, but have yet to catch sight of the elusive lobster (estimated at about 15 lbs) that lives in the tidepool.

5. Finish the Net Climb at Bay of Play in less than six seconds.
Watching SeaWorld camp participants scale these nets like nothing last summer is the catalyst for why I want to accomplish this feat. I'm considering adjusting it to 10 seconds instead of six, but hey, why not reach for the stars, right?

6. Touch a beluga whale.
Beluga whales are one of my favorite animals -- they look so majestic and graceful. It would be such an experience to connect and interact with one. Maybe this will be the year I participate in the Beluga Interaction Program in the park.

7. Be able to tell the bottlenose dolphins apart at Dolphin Point.
I've come across park guests who can tell the dolphins apart through their physical characteristics and I want to be able to do the same!

8. Accomplish the Sea-Saw Sway.
Every time I walk by the Sea-Saw Sway, I tell myself that if I analyze the way the game attendants and park guests climb the ladders, I can learn from their experience and succeed on my first attempt. It looks so simple, doesn't it? Oh, but do not be deceived. It's more difficult than it looks, and many can attest to that. I've managed to coax my family and relatives into trying my strategies out (sorry, cousins!) and I think I'm confident enough to try it out on my own. Am I doing it for the prize? No. I'm doing it mainly so I can boast about how I conquered the ladder. (That is, if I actually make it to the top to ring the buzzer.)

9. Catch a glimpse of a polar bear hunting for fish at the Wild Arctic Exhibit.
Plenty of guests have shared with me how amazing it looks, but I've never been lucky enough to see it in action. Who knows? Maybe this year will be my year!

10. Learn more about the fig tree right by the Skytower.
SeaWorld cares not only for many animals, but for plants as well. This includes the giant fig tree by the Skytower. It looks like it has a history to tell, and I want to know more about it.

11. Try every menu item at Manny Ray's by the Manta Exhibit.
Secret's out: I'm a foodie! Which is why this makes it to my list. The first thing I want to try? It's a toss between the Kalua Pork Sandwich and California Cheese Steak Flatbread Pizza. Double yum! Can you hear my stomach grumbling?

12. Achieve every item on this list.
Wish me luck! I'll keep you updated on my accomplishments throughout the year. Until the next post, readers!