This time, though, Ellie and I were accompanied by my dad, who was very excited to see my sister Heather's new show: "Madagascar Live: Operation Vacation." We braved the threat of rain and thunderstorms and off we went.
We arrived at the park with a little time to kill before Heather's next performance, so we spent a little time watching the huge splash made by the Tidal Wave ride. I think Ellie thought it was pretty neat...as long as she didn't stray too far from the safety of her Papa's legs.
Ellie and my dad watching the splash
Ellie's reactions to the Tidal Wave!
(Oh, and yes, in case you're wondering, she is totally rocking a watermelon dress.)
She kills me.
When it was time to head into the Stanleyville Theater, we were able to get a pretty good seat. Once again, we all loved the show. It's very high energy and, as always, Heather does a fantastic job.
Left: Ellie and Papa waiting for the show to start; Right: Would you look at this?! Awesome!
Heather doing the Hippopotamus with Gloria
Alex on stage
King Julian likes to move it, move it
Heather's friend Casey giving Ellie a personal solo dance, with which she is not impressed.
VIDEO: Selections from "Madagascar Live"
(Note: this video was taken last time we went, in June, when our seats were much higher up! Also, please pardon the shaky camera work, as I was trying to record and take photos at once. I'm just not as good at that as Eric is!)
After the show, Heather joined us as we took Ellie over to the Sesame Street kids' area to play in the splash pads for a bit. Every time we go to Busch Gardens I make sure to bring all of Ellie's swim stuff for that very purpose, yet we somehow never make it over there. Today I was so excited to finally get the chance, but of course, as soon as I got her changed into her swimsuit, the park "went into code" - meaning everything shut down due to lightning in the area. Bummer!
But, Ellie improvised as we waited to see if it would open back up, and made her own fun by chasing birds and playing in a puddle.
She's not going to let a little lightning rain on her parade.
When we realized the splashing wasn't going to happen, Ellie made the most of things by running around with the new beads her Papa gave her and enjoying time with Aunt Heather.
The girl lives for beads these days.
Ellie and Aunt Heather