Feeding Ducks in the Rain

August 30, 2006

Today a co-worker was telling me about his family’s recent trip to Sea World San Diego, how his niece got to participate in the dolphin show, pet one and pronounce to the audience that it felt like “a rubber hot dog.”

I went to Sea World once when I was about 10. But it was Sea World Cleveland because my family didn’t ever the money for vacations that involved air travel and sunny climes. The simple 3-hour road trip, the night in a motel 6, for which my parents had to save for half a year, was as thrilling as it ever got.

The day we went to Seaworld was, of course, a raw, rainy day. Drifting through the park in a dreary, unyielding drizzle, we begged at least, for souvenir ponchos printed with Shamu’s iconic silhouette but my mother said they were too expensive. We watched the Orca’s perform to a half-full amphitheatre, those warnings that “patrons in the front row might get splashed” utterly meaningless to the already damp and uninspired spectators.

Everything was awash with disenchantment. It was another let down, a terrible vacation. At one point we crossed over a peaceful little bridge, under which meandered a filthy man-made stream populated by flocks of bobbing ducks. On the bridge was a little candy-vending machine where for 50 cents you could buy a handful of crumbs to feed the ducks. We clamored for the chance and my dad dutifully fished a handful of quarter from his pockets.

We stood there in the rain, the grey of the day and the grey of the water melding together into one quiet, contiguous plane of gloom, dropping the crumbs off the bridge, and delighting in watching the ducks feast. It was the most fun we had the whole day, and really all I remember from the trip.

I’m not sure but I think my mom might have been crying.


One Response to “Feeding Ducks in the Rain”

  1. Saerah said

    I used to envy those kids who got to go warm sunny places on vacations, but feeding ducks in the rain sounds kind of fun.
    Then again, I remember a camping trip where it was, as my mom put it “raining steadily harder” for the entire week and a half or so we were in the UP, and being forced to go hiking. After returning to the car drenched a few times, I recall abstaining from any more hikes and my parents were upset with me the whole rest of the trip.

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