The weekend before last I got to experience one of the cooler assignments of my career. This is Why I do what I do!!! The Pepper-Wignall family [I know, they have half the same name as me, how sweet is that?!] asked me to come to Sea World with them and document their vacation with their 2 beautiful boys. I get to do 2 of my favorite things at the same time; taking pictures and watching Shamu do backflips!!! Seriously, So Much Fun. Being that Sea World is in San Diego, I convinced BFF and fellow photographer Sara France to take the day off of work and come photograph it with me!
Meet the Pepper-Wignall Family:
Itajai the Mom
Trent the Dad
Jagger the big brother
Crue the Amazingly strong toddler [Seriously, watch out for this kid. He may look small, but i saw him take out his dad, and his dad is a pretty buff guy...]
One of the first stops of the day was the Dolphin Encounter.
For those who don’t know what that is, basically you can pay more money and pet one of the dolphins and give it some tasty fishy treats. For a few more bucks there is a step up where you can actually swim with the dolphins, but Jagger and Crue are a bit young for that [That'll be next year, right Taj? ].
Our next stop of the day was to watch Shamu do his thing!
One of the best parts of the Shamu Show is when the whale gives the crowd a little cool down on a hot day. Usually there is only 1 whale, but right now they are training a few other, so we actually got 4 [that's right, I said 4] different killer whales at our show. Here are the killer whales, in formation, ready to attack their prey.
Here is a very small image of the immense volley of water they project on unsuspecting crowds who unwittingly sit in what is clearly posted as “The SOAK Zone”.
And here is what happens to you if you sit there.
You get, well, basically soaked.
I have to first explain that so the next set of pictures will make more sense. I was hoping to catch an actual “soaking” of the Pepper family, so I positioned myself carefully, actually missing the show to watch their reactions! [Sara said it was a good show, so awesome work Sea World people!] Right when the show was ending, there was a gasp and we caught this series.
Jagger was very unhappy at first, but trip to the gift shop perked him right back up and he just loved his new toys! Apparently they are to instill better grooming habits, and what can I say? They totally work!
And what would a family vacation be without a little crazy running around?
See, you guys thought I was kidding about the buff toddler, didn’t you? Crue told me that he works out every day on a rotating schedule of arms and legs. It was an arm day, so we had to stop while he did his workout.
After that was a trip to the Dolphin show…
… the Sea Lions… [aw, look at the snuggle bunnies...]
… the horses… [Sea World is owned by Budweizer after all...]
… and finally the Shark Encounter [I don't care how many times I've seen Finding Nemo, I've seen Jaws way more times] Seeing the sharks up close and realizing that they haven’t evolved at all in millions and millions of years is kinda scary. Eat, sleep, make little sharks. Every see Jaws 3? Yeah, it was a terrible movie, but remember all those people trapped in that one underwater exhibit? I couldn’t help but that of that as we’re in a glass tube going through the middle of the exhibit with these amazing eating machines swimming above us…
Jagger liked the sharks, but he thought Shamu and the dolphins were way cooler.
Sea World’s awesome diaper changing stations
After all that fun and excitement, one of the best parts of the day for the boys was running around on a lawn and tackling each other and their dad.
Thank you so much Taj, Trent, Jagger and Crue, for letting aunties Pepper and Sara come and hang out with you last week, we had so much fun and I can’t wait to see you again! Watch your email for a link to all the pictures in a couple days!