The Audience

Working at Tinfoil reminded me that I really hadn’t posted many photos from my recent trip. I’ve added several to the Tinfoil weblog–they’ll give you something new to look at while I tear everything else apart.

I picked Disneyworld and Seaworld for the book specifically because they’re never recommended for single travelers. They’re considered good family places, or even the new couple destination, but almost never recommended for the lone traveler. Yet the experience can be rich, and even fascinating — as long as you are comfortable in the role of observer. If you are, then the audience becomes a part of the entertainment, and you become part of the show.

train

For instance, there was a delightful bit of irony at Seaworld at the California sea lion exhibit. All around the enclosure were these beautiful white birds native to Florida — egrets and herons and many other species I’d never seen before. Gorgeous creatures. However, they’re also considered a pest by the park; they steal the fish that the tourists buy to feed the sea lions. In fact, one flew right up to a woman next to me and took the fish from the cup the woman was holding. Big bird too. Woman screamed, her friends screamed and then everyone burst into laughter.

Pesty Crane

I talked with one of the workers who was using a ball on a stick to scare the birds away. I mentioned how odd it was that she was protecting a species of animal considered a pest in its native habitat–the California sea lion–while chasing away birds native to Florida that would be prized if included in a aviary in San Francisco.

She just gave me a polite smile.

Sleepy Seal

I ended up taking close to 800 photographs, of everything from seals to performers to shows to people in the audience. In fact, it was the audience photos I began to enjoy taking the most–unusual for me, who never takes photos of people.

Of course, there were the splash shots at the killer whale show, though I didn’t really care for the show itself. The audience was the show for me in this instance. However, I adored the seal show, not the least of it because the Seaworld folk gave me a prime position for photographs when I asked.

sealshow

One of the photos from the show is also one of my more favorite audience shots. If you look in front of the seals, there’s an older woman in a wheelchair who has the most delighted smile on her face–isn’t she beautiful? How can you not smile when you look at it?

I did walk through the shark enclosure at Seaworld, which was disappointing. But the crowd, including yours truly, went crazy for the *dragon fish. I was at the tank taking photos for quite some time, and became an unofficial pointer outer to the fish for people who thought they were just weeds in the water.

“Oh, my, George! Look at that!”

“Look at what? There’s nothing to see.”

“It’s a dragon fish. See, there it is.”

“It’s a weed.”

“No, it’s a fish! See it’s head?”

“While, I’ll be darned. It is a fish.”

I had a wonderful time by the tank.

Sea Dragon One

*Not dragon fish, though this was the only sign at the tank. Have no idea what these are.

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