Can you believe I set foot in San Diego for the first time 15 years ago, and have been living here for 4 years, and managed never to go to Sea World? That’s really weird, especially considering that the place is just 8 minutes by car from here, a quick jaunt across the bay.

Well, my brother came here with his kids, and we were looking for things to do. Balboa Park was quickly shot down, because Teenagers Don’t Do Museums™. The beach was a favorite, but it seemed a little lame to come all the way from August in Rome to stay at the beach in San Diego. The water park, Legoland, Wild Animal Park, were out of the question. Giant aircraft carriers were strangely not interesting; even Fashion Valley got a mild nod from the girl, who is still eager to land some American hip swag.

So Sea World it was. Leaving on a Monday morning at 9:30. We thought it would be empty.

Turns out it wasn’t. Parking was easy (for $15, I’d wouldn’t wish the opposite). Strangely, the attendants steered us towards a spot much farther away from the entrance than needed, but we managed.

Prices shocked us. I had checked pricing online, and there was a special for $64 per adult (which in the park’s definition is anyone older than 9 years, much to the teenagers’ glee and my brother’s dismay). The prices at the door were quite steep: $79 per person. I managed to reduce the hit with the AAA discount ($72 p/p), but the bill still came out astoundingly high.