The H1N1 Swine Flu Virus being what it is, the new health policy at Bethy's school states that if you have any of its symptoms you must stay home until you have had 24 symptom-free hours. Bethy and Thomas and Mike all have colds, which translates to coughing and three missed days of school this week. Today, day three, I had to get out of the house. Fumbling for any sort of legitimate errand or outing, I remembered a long-ago promised field trip I'd failed to keep.
So it was off to the Dubai Dolphinarium!
We managed to make it there and back without crashing the car or missing a turn or getting lost or anything. Can you believe it? Woot!
Yeah, yeah, it only took 4 tries and 5 months. Sad, I know.
The kids loved the show of dolphins and seals. Standard stuff that I would have loved as a kid but now feel vaguely guilty about...darn those PETA people anyway. These animals were, to my untrained eye, at least, well treated and I told myself that 45 minutes of tricks for fish twice a day is far less humiliating than life in a cubicle.
Thomas was having a good time until the dolphins demonstrated their "singing". For whatever reason the bobbing heads with their mouths opening and closing and the dolphin noise cackling and chirping away struck him as very, very frightening. His eyes got all big and he hurled himself out of his seat, over the armrest, and onto my lap, (oof from me as all the air in my lungs was forcibly expelled) burying his head and refusing to look.
It took a while and a good amount of mommy cajoling to get him relaxed enough to watch the spectacle. Finally he did, in spurts, with intervals of face burying, then finally got into it enough to clap his hands with the music and go OOOH! with everyone else at regular intervals and enjoy himself.
I was most interested in watching the signals of the trainers, and what they could get their animals to do. The seals were amazingly trainable and definitely cute.
At one point a lucky little girl from Germany was selected to ride in a boat pulled by a dolphin. It was her birthday, and her proud papa had already won the painting one of the dolphins had created right in front of the audience (OOH! ). I was most impressed the dolphin could hold the paintbrushes, to be honest.
It was a nice painting. The Dolphinarium staff tried to start a bidding war for it, but...well, yeah. We'd already paid 200 AED to get in, and then I was planning on spending more after the show, so...
Anyway, after watching the girl ride around the tank, pulled by the dolphin, Bethy decided she wanted a dolphin and Thomas averred he wanted to kiss a dolphin.
I decided not to give up hope on getting the kids to pose with the dolphins for a photograph. And here it is!
Bethy thought the dolphin felt rubbery, and yes, it was, but not unpleasant. We all agreed it felt nice to touch the dolphin and that it made sense for a sea creature to be made like that.
Bonus for you that you get to see the new hair. After all my trust in my stylist she whacked it. Major poof-a-rama. What can you do?
On the other hand, it looks exactly the same when I get up in the morning as when I go to bed at night. I guess that's a bonus, though Mike and I have gotten some awfully good laughs out of the amusing and sometimes frightening shapes the topiary of hair used to assume after a night of slumber...