For the third year in a row, my family enjoyed an awesome weekend at the Sea World AdventureCon blogger’s conference. I always enjoy getting together with other professional bloggers to learn from experts on improving my craft. AdventureCon is unique in that it includes cool activities for families at Sea World and Aquatica in San Antonio.
This theme of this year’s conference sessions was “Amplifying Your Digital Voice” which meant speakers and panels on working with the media, storytelling, Pinterest and Google+. It was great hearing from my good friends from Houston, Sara Patterson of KPRC, and John and Carrie Pacini of Mom 2.0 and Dad 2.0 Summits.
The best part of blog conferences is always the other bloggers. We share ideas, laugh and learn from each other. The size of this conference is small enough that it gives an intimate vibe and the Sea World Wildside Ambassadors (which I am one) come to many events over the years so we really get to know one another well.
One of the highlights of this year’s AdventureCon was a tour of the newest attraction, Roa’s Aviary in Aquatica. This bird paradise is built over top of Loggerhead Lane with waterfalls to keep the birds inside, and even the little ones can feed all the beautiful species of birds.
We also got an exclusive behind the scenes tour with some Sea World Animal Ambassadors, such as this awesome Kookaburra bird and a cool king snake.
Another highlight was meeting Star, a young American bald eagle rescued when her nest was destroyed in a storm in Florida. She doesn’t look quite like a bald eagle yet, but she will in a couple years when her new white feathers grow in.
Another special event just for us was an exclusive Q&A with one of the orca trainers to answer any questions we might have about the care and nurture of killer whales at Sea World. We had the freedom to ask absolutely anything we wanted about how they treat the orcas and the trainer was absolutely candid with us about everything. I was at Sea World in December the day after a new baby orca was born so I already saw firsthand and knew a lot of the truth about the orca program, but it was great to hear the questions of even the skeptics who had seen the Blackfish film get their questions answered. I’ve seen the film as well and I know the truth and still support Sea World completely.
My boys and Mike had a wonderful time riding the water slides and roller coasters while I got schooled in blogging and then we came back together for the orca trainer talk and VIP splash zone seating at the One Ocean show. Yes, we got completely soaked. Those orcas move a lot of water with their tails.
We also really enjoyed staying at the Courtyard Marriott Westover Hills, just five minutes from Sea World. It’s a great hotel with a sweet pool and a DJ dance party every Friday and Saturday night. The bartender makes a mean margarita too. I highly recommend it.
As a reminder, I am a Sea World Wildsider so I do get certain benefits such as season passes to the park, but Sea World is one of my favorite places to visit and I would still pay to come often.