Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Which We Went Roaming

Hello there!  We're alive!  And we're fine!  I'm so sorry I made all of you worry. 

We are now back in the Land of Reliable Internet Access, which is a lovely place to be.  We've been down in San Antonio, Texas having one last vacation with just the three of us before we become a family of four!  We had an absolute blast and now feel more relaxed and ready to tackle the last things we need to do before we leave in, um, less than two weeks.  Because I hop on a plane for Thailand in thirteen days.  Wow.

Anyway, so we went to SeaWorld on Thanksgiving, the highlight of which was Connor getting to help hold a giant boa constrictor.  He was extremely interested in feeling the snake, so in the picture we got (which I will scan in at a future date and put a warning on, for those who are Not Snake Inclined) he has this extremely intrigued look on his face, like he's trying to figure out what the heck the thing is.  He also helped feed the dolphins, which he was much less excited about.  Apparently dolphins fall into a lower category than boa constrictors on the Six Year Old Boy's Hierarchy of Cool Animals. 

But overall we were kind of underwhelmed by Sea World as a whole.  We were much more impressed with Morgan's Wonderland, which is by far one of the neatest places I've ever been to in my entire life. 

Morgan's Wonderland, for those of you not familiar with it, is an amusement park entirely dedicated to children with special needs.  All of the rides are completely accessible.  It's got three playgrounds, a huge sand pit and a water play area, all of which are wheelchair friendly.  The pond is stocked with fish, and there are remote control boats to drive and water cannons.  There were absolutely no lines, and every time they asked Connor if he wanted to go on the ride again-- no waiting needed.

His absolute favorite ride was the carousel, which he loved so much we rode it three times.  There was a platform the volunteers strapped his wheelchair down on flanked by a pair of sea dragons, and we sat on a bench directly behind him.  The whole thing went up and down just like the other animals on the carousel!  He really enjoyed himself and loved watching the world go by.  He also rode on a train around the park and got to sit right behind the engine, and we took him on a jeep ride (around a track) in an accessible jeep, too.

The sensory room was also really neat; they had interactive screens and if you stood in front of them they would react to your shadow; butterflies would land on it, tadpoles would swim to it, etc.  They had some imaginative play areas, a nice walk with plenty of well-placed rest areas, and, wonder of wonders, really truly completely accessible public restrooms.  I think we would have visited for those alone, because seriously those things are nearly impossible to find.  

I think Connor really felt like the star of the show; everyone was extremely friendly and took the time to talk with him and ask him how he was doing.  We're definitely talking about visiting again next year; one of us might take Connor there while the other one takes Ellen to Six Flags if she likes roller coasters.  While Connor absolutely loved Morgan's Wonderland, it's definitely geared towards kids who are a bit younger on the developmental scale-- depending on where Ellen falls in there and what she likes to do, roller coasters might be a bit more her style.  But I'm pretty sure that any time we visit San Antonio from now on, we'll be hitting Morgan's Wonderland for sure!

Let's see; so we also visited with friends, strolled around the Alamo, watched a movie and had dinner along the river walk.  We spent some time in Dallas visiting family, too.  And of course we explored new and interesting coffee shops and bookstores, because that's just how we roll.  On the way back home we stopped in at a Luby's Cafeteria, which is a kind of a Texas staple, and some nice gentleman paid for our meal and left before we had the chance to thank him.  I'd forgotten just how friendly and welcoming small Texas towns can be, and that was just the icing on the cake of a fantastic trip.

Overall I think Connor had a lovely time.  There were a few late nights as traveling always throws off his routine, but he settled in pretty quickly and I think just really enjoyed having the undivided attention of both of us.  That isn't something that happens for him very often, and it's going to suddenly become much less common in a few weeks when we bring home his sister. 

A few weeks?  Make that less than two.  We can't wait!



Pamela (Duncanville) said...

Glad to know you are all okay and had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was about to decide you were already in Thailand since you sometimes do something before you post about it.
The pictures were great and I even recognized Connor's stuffed animal as a character from Fraggle Rock.
It's great that you found such a fantastic amusement park to go to. There should be more of those all over the country.
I know we couldn't possible be more excited than you to have Ellen home, but all you faithful readers/friends are pretty excited too. Can't wait to meet her, if only in your blog.

Simply, Sarah said...

Morgan's sounds so wonderful! I'm glad you had a great vacation together, before so much changes (in a good way).

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