Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Memories | Our Busch Gardens Trip

Last Wednesday morning, the day after our adventure, with each retelling of her day and all that Addie did, Brian and I kept telling each other that our trip to Busch Gardens was worth the money paid.

Tuesday morning, we went to Busch Gardens.  For Florida residents there are several ticket options.  We opted to get Brian the Passport ticket which is for an entire year, has free parking, and offers discounts on any purchase in the park.  My ticket is the Fun Pass (pay for a day, come back all year).  Because Addie was still 2 (2 days short of being three), we were not able to purchase her ticket. 

The first thing Addie wanted to see was the gorilla exhibit.  Why she has this fascination with gorillas is beyond me, but we took her to see the chimps and gorillas... and she loved them! (Yes, I am wearing a maternity top.  I am getting bigger faster this time around.)

Then she wanted to see the elephants.  For some reason, she had a plan (don't know where she gets that from) of which animals she wanted to see and the order she wanted to see them in.

And then came the lions.

We were able to get into a "jeep" that was partially in the lion exhibit.  And then male lion stood up and walked toward us.  We knew we were safe because of all the plaxiglass around us, but there was something awesome about seeing this massive creature up close.  He did not walk right up to us, but just moved over to the shade. In our morning Bible time we have been learning about the account of Daniel in the lions' den.  As we watched, Addie and I recounted the Daniel account.  I asked her what the angel did to the lions' mouths.  She put her hand over her mouth and said, "He closed the lions' mouths." Proud moment!

We continued looking at animals and then headed for some Addie sized rides.  The first ride we saw was a glider type ride.  Brian and Addie got on, and then Brian was told that he could not ride- children only. Brian turned to get Addie, but she wanted to ride... ALONE.  She was buckled in, and the bar was lowered.  She was a happy little clam... until the ride started to move.  I think the pictures say it all.  The attendant stopped the ride and my brave but tearful little person gladly got off.  Everyone around us kept saying how brave Addie was.  And she was.

Then we went to the Sesame Street section.  Addie was beside herself!  All of her favorite characters were alive and moving and she could hug them.  We saw Big Bird, who she kissed.  Then we went into a little room and saw Elmo.  Personal cameras were not allowed because they wanted you to purchase one of their photos. 

When she saw Elmo, it was the best part of the day for her and us.  She ran to him shouting, "Elmo!" She hugged him over and over again.  Then she started talking to him about her day and the fact that Big Bird was right outside. Elmo spent time with her and did not rush her out.  We did buy one picture.  We could not resist.

Next was the Sesame Street show where all of her loved characters came to life and danced and sang.  She kept calling for Big Bird to come sing songs. Because we sat in the first row, Addie got a lot of attention from the characters.  They kept going to her to hug her, pat her head, and Elmo loved her little Elmo doll.

We did some more rides, but our little trooper was starting to wear out.  We finally found the tiger exhibit, where Brian was able to take her up a little pop up window where she came face to face with two sleeping tigers. 

It is so different experiencing life as a parent.  Doing what you want becomes obsolete, and doing things to see thee joy in your child's face becomes your goal.  Watching Addie's reaction to Elmo brought tears to my eyes.  I was so happy to see how happy she was.  There was a time when hitting all of the rides and coasters was our goal when going to a theme park.  Now our goal is to have Addie experience all that we can offer her, see all of the shows that she would enjoy, ride all of the rides that are appropriate for her (no gliders for a while), and see all of the animals that she wants to see.

We hope you enjoyed your birthday present, Addie.  We plan on bringing you back often.


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