"What? If marvel can do it, I can do it too."
"Those are movies Beca. No one will be fooled by a hat." Blue eyes roll.
"Oh really?" I challenge. "Harmony? What do you think?" I look to the minitature version of the woman I was just talking to.
"Come here." A little voice commands gesturing for me to go lower. Moments later little hands take my hat off "Auntie Bec." Then my hat placed on my head. "Who's that?"
Looking up meeting those blue eyes that once rolled, filled with humor. "See. Minnie knows."
"My own flesh and blood betrays me."
"Stace. Dont be dramatic, plus, she has an awesome aunt. It's not her fault." I reply with a smirk.
"Wipe that smirk off your face and help me load the car." Stacie says shoving two bags into my hands.
"Yes ma'am." I take my keys as I head out to my car. I open my trunk and put all the, unnecessary, bags into it.
"Tell me why we need so many bags? We are only gone a week, not a month."
"Because Auntie Bec, we need to have four outfits for one day." Harmony explains as if it's obvious.
Looking to Stacie, "She is a spitting image of you, she looks and thinks like you."
"You guys ready?" I ask a moment later.
"Yup" Stacie and Harmony both say. I hold a finger to show to give me another minute as I go around the house to make sure everything is already closed and locked.
"Alright. Let's do this."
"I've got to admit. I can get use to this." I say, plopping down onto the king size bed.
"You literally can afford about a million of these mattresses if you wanted it." Stacie says to me sitting beside me.
"Its diffrent. A mattress feels diffrent when you're on vacation."
"Mom! Let's go!" Harmony yells from the kitchen.
"Vacation over." Stacie laughs.
"And the adventure continues." I say getting up. I head to the kitchen where the two are. We managed to get an apartment in a resort that has 2 bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen.
We found it on Airbnb when Stacie kept nagging that hotels arent worth it anymore. I just had to make sure I got my own bed, i dont care where it's from.
But shes right, Airbnb is way better.
"Beca? Ready? They are about to open."
"Am I ready? The question is, is Harmony ready for the best birthday ever?" I say picking Harmony up spinning us in circles. Giggles erupting from the little girl.
"Wait auntie bec." She says seriously. "Do you think we will see the dolphins?"
"Who knows kiddo, let's go and find out!" I say setting her down. "Let's get going guys." Opening the door for them. I'm about to close the door when I remember something. "Wait! Cant forget my hat."
About 20 minutes later and we are at SeaWorld. We decided to come to SeaWorld because Harmony saw a video online of the dolphins and she just had to see them. Of course, despite my badass reputation, I couldn't say no. I always only get a few days for her birthday but this year I got a whole week. Which my team wasnt so excited about but, I agreed to still work on some samples for our next collaboration.
"Do you really think you wont get noticed with just the hat? I dont want Harmony to get scared by people wanting to take pictures with you." Stacie asked concerned.
"I know. If the hat doesnt work, the sunglasses will.... hopefully." I say as I put my ray bands on. We get out the car and we right away are met with metal detectors.
Stacie announces she has to go to the bathroom right away. She also takes Harmony with her. Taking my chance I go to the customer service area and check in.
"Hello! Welcome to SeaWorld how may I help you?" The woman at the stand immediately welcomes me.
"I had reserved the dolphin encounter and the up close experience during the orca and dolphin show."
"Ah yes! May I have your name to look it up?"
"Rebecca Conrad." Despite my dislike for my name, not many know me by it. So its usually safe to do reservations under it. Of course I couldn't use my own last name with people putting two and two together. So I use Conrad at times.
"Rebecca... there you are! 3 for the dolphin encounter and an up close experience for the orca, and dolphins!" She said with a smile. "Let me just get your badges for this. Was there anything else you would like to get while we are at it?"
I look behind the woman at the other offers they provide. I'm not really one for rides, but if Harmony wants to go, one look from her and I'm going. "Yeah 3 fast passes please." The lady just nods and goes to the back excusing herself.
"You are all set Rebecca."
"Thank you so much." I then turn around and head to the direction where I came from. I immediately spot Harmony and her dolphin backpack pointing up at the sign that displays an orca.
"Woah! There are gonna be big dolphins here."
Stacie laughs saying, "Sweetie, that's an orca. But yes they are here too."
I take the three badges, two of which displays the fast pass and dolphin encounter. And one, Harmony's is just like ours but also has the close experience.
I hand one to stacie and I look towards Harmony. "Here you go kiddo, hold onto this for me will you?" Putting it around her neck she looks confused. I am tempted to explain what it is, or just wait and see her reaction when she realizes.
I look to Stacie as she looks up from reading it. 'Thank you' she mouthes. I wave my hand dismissing it. Anything for Harmony.
We go to the line and I pull out our tickets. Handing it to the man informing him its mine and the two ladies behind me.
Right as we pass the crowd of people, we are met with a young man, maybe around our age. "Hey, would you like your picture taken?"
Stacies immediately agrees and puts Harmony between us as he snaps the picture. "Here you go, take this to that building over there." He points. "At the end of your day to buy any pictures you guys want that you get throughout the day."
I thank him and we take a few more steps are met with, what it looks like, a petting zoo- but for fish. Weird. I think it's weird. But Harmony? She gasps as A and B click and she starts to run in that direction. But is pulled back by my hand thats connected to hers.
"Minnie, I know this is exciting but you have to be careful. Make sure you are always in our line of vision today. If we cant see you, you're too far okay?" I say to the little girl.
"Got it." She smiles and I can just see absolute excitement in her eyes.
"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's pet some fish!" Stacie cheers as she grabs Harmonys hand and fast walk to the little pools of fish.
"Woah, auntie bec, look! They are so soft."
Looking down at the water, I see, what I assume is a type of shark. "Yeah looks pretty cool kiddo."
"Ah yeah, no I'm fine. I've seen jaws."
"I hardly doubt this little guy will eat you Beca." Stacie laughs.
"Looks are deceiving Stacie!" I defend.
I hear a chuckle. Looking at the source of the noise I am met with blue eyes. An older man with graying hair wearing a SeaWorld shirt on and a badge that says 'John'.
He speaks into his mic. "This here is a white spotted bamboo shark. This fella will do no harm. Trust me, we wouldnt want another lawsuit on our hands now do we?" The families around us laugh.
"He doesn't bite right kids?" The kids around us, including Harmony, say no. "Go on, pet one." He says gesturing to me.
I raise my eyebrows. Seems like I'm going to be the bit of the joke.
I can do this. Totally. I'm an adult woman. I've been to the Grammys on stage broadcasted to millions.
This is a little shark. Practically nothing in comparison.
I reach down and put my hand into the water, waiting for a shark to come underneath my palm.
"Remember they smell fear." John says beside me. So naturally, I yank my hand out and take a few steps back. He let's out another laugh. "Now I'm just kidding." The crowd laughs along with him. "How about you help her?" He says to Harmony.
She just nods and takes my hand. "Like this Auntie." Takes our hands under the water and a shark, on the smaller side, comes underneath my palm.
Woah. Who knew that sharks are smooth.
"See? Easy. Give her a round of applause everyone." I roll my eyes as people actually clap.
He gets something out of his pocket and bends down to eye level with Harmony. "And a sticker of a shark for you, for being so brave and helping share that Sharks arent so scary after all right?"
"Oh thank you Mr. John." Harmony says shyly but I can see the excitement ready to burst out of her. He just Pat's her head and walks to another victim. I mean family.
"Mommy look!!" Harmony shows Stacie. "The man gave me this because I showed Auntie Bec sharks arent bad!"
"Wow! You're so brave! Isnt she Beca?"
"You sure are. Here let's put it on yeah?" She nods and I put it on her shirt. She puts her chest out in pride.
Adorable kid. It was worth being the target of a joke if it got Harmony this happy.
We spend another 30 minutes at the petting zoo type area with more of the animals.
"Hey guys, look at the time. The otter show is gonna start in 20 minutes. We should get going."
"Otter show?" Harmony asks me confused.
"Yeah, let's go find out what the fuss is all about." I just respond casually.
So we begin our walk to the otter amphitheater.
As we walk inside we see there are already alot of families sitting waiting for the show to start. We decide to sit in the front row, which seems surprisingly empty compared to the other rows. I wonder why.
Harmony sits in between her mom and I. Stacie already has a phone out taking pictures of the stage and of us. It turns into a mini photo op.
Moments later music begins to play and we direct our attention to the stage.
A man, he couldn't be any older than us, comes out. He has curly dark brown hair and is lean. He has a boyish charm to him that you can see immediately. He is wearing, what seems like janitor overalls with a big white badge that says 'Biff'.
"Look! Who's that?" We hear Harmony beside us exclaim.
The man, Biff, seems to have a spray bottle and is cleaning the stage. Dancing the music, kind of goofy. He begins shaking his behind more exaggerating which erupts laughter from those around us. Including me.
He then looks kind of confused and turns around, stares at the big stadium of people and let's out a girl scream. Making everyone laugh more.
He looks around and points to his name 'Biff' and turns around to the back of his overalls saying "Stage Crew" and then waves.
He then holds up a finger, runs to the back and comes back moments later with a big box that says "Costumes" and points to the big red letters that "Keep out". He tries to wipe it off and make it disappear, making everyone laugh.
He then goes to the steps coming down off the stage and to where everyone is sitting. He shyly waves as he continues cleaning the glass where the water is.
He then stops and shows that he is thinking of something. Pointing his finger up as if he has an idea. Scans the crowd and points in our direction.
I look to Stacie and Harmony seeing them with amusement on their face. Suddenly I feel a tap on my shoulder and see Biff point at me and I point at myself unsure. He then looks at the crowd and makes a crazy gesture and then holds out his hand to Harmony.
Which she looks at Stacie and seeing her nod saying it's okay.
So she takes Biffs hand and Biff does a cheer. He shows her the spray bottle, wets the glass again. Looks back at Harmony making sure shes looking, then wipes the wet marks with the rag.
Putting a thumbs up in question, which Harmony returns. He gives her the spray bottle and gestures her to spay. Which she does. Then does the same thing with the rag.
He looks to the crowd and claps, everyone laughs and claps with him.
Harmony looks at him and laughs then does the process again. Spraying and wiping.
He just keeps clapping, slowly walking back to sit down, grabs someone's popcorn and eats it.
The crowd is howling in laughter at this point. I take my phone out laughing taking a few pictures since stacie is recording it all.
We see Harmony turn around expecting to see Biff there but sees hes sitting down. She gasps and says "Hey!"
Biff gives the popcorn back and makes a sad face with a heart symbol with his hands which she returns.
Doing a final round applause and gesturing to Harmony, she comes back to sit in between us again.
"That was so fun! Did you see how close I was to the water?"
"I did! I was afraid you were gonna fall!"
"No mom, the glass is taller than me!" She giggles. Looking back at Biff hes back on stage and we hear music begin.
After the hilarious dance routine performed by Biff, more people come out and start to introduce themselves and bring out some seals and an otter.
They perform some rehearsed tricks and educational bits. Then they bid everyone a goodbye and say when the next show is.
The three of us decide to wait 10 minutes after the show ended to leave. Talking about the things we saw and learned.
Once the crowd of people got up and left, we decided to go and explore what we can find next.
"Aunt Bec, do you think we can come back to see them again?"
"I dont know, dont you want to see if there are other shows?"
"Do you think they have a dolphin one?"
"Who knows, maybe." I say smiling. I know there is one. But I want to wait for her to see to see her reaction.
We stop at a few places to see aquatic animals. Each time we stop, Harmony says that's her second favourite, and that they are the cutest in the world.
Until she sees the next aquatic friend.
Unbeknownst to Harmony, Stacie and I have been leading her to the next show with the Orcas. It starts at 1, its 12 right now.
"Can we go on a ride?"
I knew this was gonna happen. All morning we passed by rides that had Harmony in awe.
"Which one kiddo?"
She puts her finger on her chin. Thinking. "How about that one?" She points to a water one.
"Yesss!" Stacie cheers. "Its getting hot."
Stacie grabs her hand and leads us to the ride. We find out it's a rapids ride. The one where we sit in a circle tube and we go with the water and get wet.
Of course because it's a hot day, there is a big line. And Harmony starts heading to the line. But I stop her and take her around passed them and she looks at me confused.
"But we are cutting the line." She says worried.
"Its okay, we have permission. Just never do this without permission. Got it?"
We managed to skip, what appears to be a 40 minute wait, into less than a minute. Before we know it we are sitting down on the giant tube and are given instructions.
"If you dont want your hat wet I recommend putting it in the middle. Itll stay dry there." The young man says as he pushes us off to the start of the ride.
So I do as he says. Along with my glasses and our phones. Harmony takes her backpack off and puts it in the middle too. It's a bit crammed but itll do its job.
Of course, cause we are a group of three, we didnt get our own tube. We are sat next to what appears to be, a mother, a father, and two kids. One has to be in his teen years and the other no older than Harmony.
We are set off and are immediately run into a wall that sends water splashing in our tube. The water lands on the little girl and her mother. Stating it's so cold.
We go around this wall and water splashes in the tube once more. Instead of the family, it splashes Stacie and Harmony.
"Wooo! That's what I'm talking about." Stacie cheers. Making Harmony and the little girl laugh.
We continue down stream with a handful of splashes- a few hitting me- and suddenly it becomes calm.
"Think that's it?" Harmony asks.
"I think so." I say trying to look ahead in the ride.
The little girl across from us looks at us wide eyes, then whispers something in her fathers ear. He then laughs and holds his finger up to his mouth.
Stacie notices too cause she raises an eyebrow and says in a friendly voice, "What? I saw that."
The family just shakes their head in amusement.
"Uhh how about look behind you?" The little girl says finally.
So I do. What I didn't expect is to see a waterfall, which we will clearly go under less than 10 feet away.
"Shoot. Shit. Whatever. Look behind us Stace."
She flips me the bird. And I laugh, until we go under the waterfall. Then I start cursing again. In my defense, it is cold.
The waterfall manages to make us all really wet. But that's not the end of it.
We are in a tunnel that has rough waters that wet us more. You know, in case we didnt get wet by the waterfall.
It's over. So suddenly we are being lifted back to the platform.
"Beca? As in Beca Mitchell?" The teenager says.
"Uh depends who's asking most of the time." I joke.
His mom and dad look at him weirdly. Obviously not familiar with me.
"Really?" He rolls his eyes to them. "Shes the one who played the girl troll Jessica loves so much."
The little girl, Jessica, squeals. "You're poppy?!"
"The one and only." Stacie says amused. She knows I dont really like getting attention like this, I'm awkward I dont know how to react.
"I have to say, I love your music you produce. You, are talented. The Micheal Jordan of music."
"That's funny. I met him not too long ago. His kid is a fan of trolls too. But obviously not as big of a fan as Jessica. Right?" I say as I wink and smile to the kid.
"Yeah! I'm the biggest fan! I love poppy and the rest of the trolls."
"I hope you dont mind, I know you're out with your family, of course you dont have to, but do you think you can take a picture with her? And my son of course." The dad says politely.
"Definitely, I wouldnt want to miss out on the chance to take a picture with poppys biggest fan."
The little girl laughs in happiness.
Gotta admit. I've met weird people in my time. But this family? Easily one of the most sweet.
"I hope you dont mind, I'll be wearing my hat and glasses, I don't want to cause a ruckus."
"Of course not that's fine. Thank you for taking the time to do this." The mother says.
Then she snaps a few photos. The son and I do a few poses. One of them being as if we are throwing a basketball. As a private joke.
"Thank you again. I really appreicate it. The father says. "Have a lovely day."
"See it wasnt so bad was it Beca?" Stacie says. She always teases me how I say i dont like the attention, but I'm a natural because of how easily I take a picture or sign a few things.
"Sush. The family was adorable."
I feel a hand tugging me. "Auntie Bec. Even though it hurts, Jessica can be the biggest fan for poppy." I raise my eyebrows. Harmony loves poppy. "But I'm your biggest fan okay? No one else."
"Deal." I say hugging her.