Surprise Souvenirs

Yesterday, Carolyn, Nathan, and I had a wonderful last-day-of-the-year time at Sea World, and the goodness started before we even entered the gate.

A friend of mine had held tickets for us at the ticket counter, and as we stood in line, we met a wonderful couple of friends, a man named John (from Japan) and a woman named Mia (from DC). They were vacationing for the New Year and decided to land in Sea World for New Year’s Eve day.

As we stood there talking, I found out they hadn’t yet bought their tickets, and it just so happened that four were left for me at the counter, but I only had the use for three, so I offered them our other ticket. They were blown away.

At first, they couldn’t believe it, and then, they talked about how nice people were in San Diego. While we stood in front of the counter, next in line, a woman came up and gave Carolyn a half off coupon, so Carolyn said, “Thank you” and handed it to John to use to buy his ticket.

Again, he was overwhelmed; they “both” were.

While we waited for our tickets at the counter, John said, “Since you’ve been so nice to us, we’d like to buy you all souvenirs.” Now, “I” was amazed and gladly accepted the offer, so we all went inside to the nearest gift shop.

Mia, Me, Nathan, Carolyn, John

While the kids picked something out, I talked with John and found out he was an Engineer in Japan. He was telling me about all the hard work that engineers there have to do, from start to finish. He was very grateful for his time off.

They kids each picked out a stuffed animal, and as I was contemplating on “not” getting anything, John encouraged me to pick something out, so I found a shirt. We were so appreciative!

At the counter, you could tell the lady behind the counter thought she was helping long-time friends, so as she finished, I mentioned how we just met outside in line. Now, SHE was amazed, and in a very excited way, John said, “We should take a picture together!” So, the lady behind the counter helped make that happen.


As we stood there together, I thanked God for meeting them. We plan to keep in contact, and I hope to see them again someday.

From there, the day just got better.

Our first stop was “Journey to Atlantis,” a water ride. The line “seemed” short but took awhile. In talking with someone on the ride, we found out the Shamu Show would be soon, so after the ride, we headed that way.


For that show, we sat in the “soak zone” but didn’t get wet, so afterward, we headed to a rapids water ride, where we all got soaked!


After that, we headed to the roller coaster called “Manta,” but the wait was ninety minutes, so we headed back over to “Journey to Atlantis.” By this time, Carolyn’s leg was hurting, so we decided to head home after the ride, but God had other plans.

As we neared the ride, I made eye contact with an employee and smiled. He stopped us and gave me a front of the line pass! We were SO appreciative, he gave Carolyn one, and then…Nathan one! Each pass would get us to the front of the line on a ride, so we could go on THREE MORE rides, including “Manta!”

Suddenly, Carolyn’s pain was bearable!


We were in awe of all the favor we had throughout the day, and on our way to use our final pass, Carolyn spotted that same employee again and smiled. He gave her, yet, another pass. We were blown away, again!

Needless to say, we ended the year amazingly, and it was just a taste of what’s to come!

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