Saturday 9th May
Sitting with my husband and sister, having a morning coffee, we began to talk about you, and your love of water. In Orlando, on our annual holidays, we have been visiting Aquatica every year since it opened in 2008, and you used to have so much fun there.
Last year you couldn’t wait to go on the new water-flume-drop, where the floor beneath your feet suddenly gives way, and you fall vertically, twisting and turning in the tunnel, until you’re ejected into the pool at the bottom. Your face, when you came towards us, having completed the ride, was full of excitement and laughter. Adrenaline pumping, you immediately turned round and joined the queue for another go. Ihu’s Breakaway Falls certainly gained your vote that day.
Another ride you always enjoyed was the Walhalla Wave, a twisty family ride, where you all sit cross-legged inside a huge rubber ring, and splash and speed downwards, through dark tunnels and open curves. The steps up to the platform giving magnificent views of SeaWorld and beyond.
The lazy rivers and wave pools were places to go to catch your breath, in between the more thrilling rides. We used to arrive just after opening, stake our place beneath a huge umbrella, chill awhile, and then wander around the park, queuing up wherever took our fancy. Quite often you would go off on your own, feeling safe, coming back at various intervals for food and drink.
Many times the afternoon would bring a thunderstorm, when the water rides and pools had to be cleared. By then we were ready for a change, and would usually end up running to the car as the big raindrops began to fall, and thunder rumbled slowly overhead. You especially liked it when we had ‘Preferred Parking’, as that meant we didn’t have to dash so far to reach the safety of our car. We were all hot and fairly tired by then, worn out by the heat and all the water rides we had been on.
We loved seeing you happy and having fun. Your smile and laughter made so much difference to our days. Orlando was your magical, summer playground, and we did everything we could to help you get the most from our time there.
I don’t know why we focused on Aquatica this morning, reminiscing about all the different types of slides, flumes through the dolphin pool, drops, rapids, waves, the heat, the shade, the people, and you. We only went there because of you. So that we could see the delight in your face. And really, we were all big kids at heart.
Missing you so much, my darling water-baby boy.
And yes, we did visit your graveside today, and we told you about our conversation, and how much we knew you loved going on holiday, and especially checking out any of the new rides. Dream about Aquatica tonight, and I’ll be there with you.
Love you xxxxx