The news stations were reporting on how wonderful the rain was for the county that morning - but not for us!!
When the Excedeo employees woke up the morning of July 18th, 2015, they were all a little concerned that the long-planned trip was doomed to be cancelled; for those that remember, thunderstorms had been occurring all over San Diego from as early as 5:00 AM that morning! While the much needed rain was not unwelcome to most San Diegans - most of whom know the drought problems we have been facing - it began to threaten Excedeo's much anticipated day of fun.
After a lot of calling around and much reassurance from the people at Aquatica, it was decided that we would all meet there regardless of the weather; we had heard from many sources that the weather would improve! So we all packed our stuff and headed to Aquatica!
Eating lunch while waiting for those clouds to dissipate! Look how dark they were - yikes!
When we all arrived, we all introduced ourselves (a lot of us were meeting spouses and kids of coworkers for the first time) and started enjoying the rides - at least for a while. Jasmine - our Service Department and Project Coordinator and avid thrill seeker - was going to go on all the rides! But, after getting to go down a single attraction (HooRoo Run, which was terrifying and exhilirating all at once), the park started closing down their taller attractions due to weather concerns!
What do you do when waiting for storm clouds to pass? Apparently, you start burying a small child in the sand! Don't worry, Kenzo was fully enjoying himself.
So we all gathered around our cabana (which was awesome to have, by the way) and waited for them to reopen the rides and attractions. We decided to have some lunch while the skies decided to start drizzling rain on us. The kids started to do what kids do - which is find a way to have fun when you're bored. Kenzo, the youngest of the bunch, started to bury himself from the feet up with the help of his father. It wasn't long before his big sister Sienna joined in, then one by one all the other kids joined in to "help" Kenzo bury his legs.
Alberto, Kenzo, and Sienna all catching some waves at Big Surf Shores!
Then it happened. A huge bolt of lightning flashed not too far from us, the sound of thunder rolled over us, and Aquatica closed all their rides and attractions, even the smaller and ground level ones (like the Big Surf Shores, the wave pool our cabana was situated next to). Then, as if on cue, the rain started - a slow drizzle which very quickly turned into a full on downpour. We all huddled into the cabana and closed all the side panels and just waited for the rain to pass.
Becky enjoying the waves in Big Surf Shores with Wesley, who is looking sharp in those goggles!
As time passed, the chances of us getting to play anymore that day looked bleak; most of the other guests were leaving or had already left, and the park was practically empty. As little Sienna put it, we would be able to sum up the day with "Once upon a time, we all went to Aquatica and it rained. The end."
Eventually the rain let up, but it still was very cloudy and the rides still hadn't reopened. At that point, we had been waiting for over an hour for the rides to reopen, so two of our team decided to take the reprieve from the rain as an opportunity to escape.
The brave shall be rewarded - the group that decided to stay definitely made the right choice!
Not ten minutes after the quitters left (just kidding - no one faults them for leaving), the clouds broke apart, the sun was shining, and - here's the real kicker - the whole park was practically empty. Those that stayed got to go on all the rides as many times as they wanted with virtually no wait!
They even got to meet the little fella pictured above with his trainer. This is apparently how they manage to keep the seagulls away!
Some people, like our Business Development Manager Lisa, were even brave enough to get a closer shot with the hawk!
Overall, the day was one to remember for years to come. And why wouldn't it? It has all the makings of a great story to tell: lightning and thunder, bravery rewarded, overcoming obstacles...what a day!