Thursday, June 28, 2012

Love it! Life is good.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day Three: USS Midway & Coronado Island
We wanted a break from the parks and to have more "free time", so we slept in a little bit and made our way to the USS Midway at the San Diego Harbor.  They have a Navy base there and a ship people can tour.  Mike's dad was actually in the Navy and stationed in San Diego during WWII.  It was really interesting, I'm so glad we went.  It was one of the best things of the trip. The naval ship was in use for 47 years and one time could hold up to 2,500 sailors.  We got to go on the flight deck and inside of the ship, it was over 9 stories!  For someone that doesn't like small spaces though, the inside decks were tricky for me, but so interesting to see all the places.  The aircraft on the flight decks were really impressive and they were open to go inside of.  We then drove to Seaside Village in the hopes of finding lunch and some fun souvenirs (again buying stuff inside the park is a rip-off!  Taylor and Hannah used all their allowance at Sea World.)  We ate seafood (yay for me) at a great restaurant with an ocean view and did some shopping.  Then we drove to the beautiful Coronado Island, home of the Corondo Hotel built in 1888 and home of Mootime Creamery-the best ice cream ever.  It was so good but so rich, I couldn't eat all mine.  We found a beach and enjoyed the waves and then went back to the hotel for some more swimming and dinner. The kids slept like rocks, we did a good job tiring them out!

Hannah in the bunker-I would hate to sleep on the bottom

Day Four: San Diego Safari Park
This might have been my favorite thing.  I really debated on buying tickets to Legoland after reading reviews (many said it was for smaller kids), but if I could do it again I would have forgone the zoo and done Legoland and the Safari park. Oh well, live and learn.
Originally built for breeding animals for the SD Zoo, this 1800 acre facility was made into a park for visitors and it's amazing.  The animals have tons more room to roam and it's like a safari.  We took a 30 minute tram ride through it and got to see the animals really close up.  The grounds and landscaping were amazing.  I wanted to stay to see the Cheetah Run, where a Cheetah is unleashed and allowed to run free, but my troop was tired by 3:00 and so we left to go back to the hotel and swim.  Bummer.  It was really awesome.  We did get to see the lions wake up and I got some great pics.

Day Five-we drove to Carson City and stayed the night, then drove home.  So good to be home, but that's a long time in the car.  Between Spokane and San Diego in 10 days, I logged over 2,600 miles in the car.  The drive from Boise to Spokane might have been the best for scenery though.

This is one of 8 black rhinos in the world-they are extremely endangered-her name is Lola 

We are home from our vacation.  I have to cook, make my own bed, do laundry and work.  WHAT??  It was so nice to leave for a week.  We drove so far that is took a couple days each way to drive but it was worth it.  Our vacations are usually weekend local stuff and camping (that I love), so this was a real treat to leave for a week on a "real" vacation and we never used a credit card!! Yay for cash!

I actually traveled a bit more than the family, on Thursday my Mom and I went to Spokane for a conference, and that was about a 7 hour drive, we had so much fun though.  So I was in Spokane for two days and Saturday night came home, packed and we left Sunday morning. So I've been "on vacation" for awhile. No complaining!

I have finally downloaded all 234 of our pictures!  Wow, that's a lot to choose from, so get ready for them!

So Sunday we drove to Mike's parent's house in Carson City and we saw all the family and had a nice dinner. Just to review-the drive to Nevada from Boise sucks.   Then we got up early Monday and drove the nearly 10 hours to San Diego (there was a bit of traffic but not too bad). We got to our hotel around 7 and we were starving and had dinner at a local restaurant.

Near Mammoth Lakes, California-on the road!
Our hotel-
stalked  checked the hotel/travel sites a lot before we left and got a great deal at a Residence Inn.  We paid a little more per night but it was worth it. We didn't have to pay a daily parking fee and our free breakfast was much better than the standard waffles and bagels.  Each morning we had at least 4 hot dishes (eggs, potatoes, breakfast meat, etc) to pick from besides the bread, waffle, yogurt stuff.

We all filled up each day pretty well with all that food.    Plus there was a "managers reception" three nights and it was like free dinner (and free beer/ wine).  We were also walking distance from about 20 restaurants and a Starbucks(that's important for me) and grocery stores.  We  got a one bedroom suite which had a living room (pullout couch the kids slept on), kitchen, and Mike and I had our own room and TV.  Loved it all, we had so much room.

Day One: Sea World
We got up Tuesday morning and hit Sea World. I loved it, there weren't a ton of people, the weather was perfect and so much to look at.  We saw the Shamu show, a show with Sea Lions and a Cirque de Sole type show that was amazing. So much to do-rides, sea life to pet, a sky tram over the bay and dolphins.  The kids had a great time, we spend about 7 hours and then headed back to our hotel for swimming.  Highlights were petting the manta rays, the shows, and everyone was so friendly.  We paid for the family picture they take when you enter the gates.  We didn't eat there because it's a huge rip off, so we had packed a cooler with drinks, homemade cookies, fruit and we stopped at a subway on the way there and stored them in the cooler.  That way I felt better about everyone getting a treat as it got hot later.  Those churros are so good!

Family photo op-yep I have on a "waist pack" it might look pretty dorky but it beat carrying around a packpack or a purse.  I put a smaller one on Hannah with snacks inside and never had to hear she was hungry.

on the Sky Tram over the Bay-Hannah cried the whole way

There's a person inside that ball!

The acrobats were awesome

Those white things are big trampolines

Probably their favorite activity. I tried telling them we didn't drive 17 hours for them to just swim in the hotel pool but they just looked at me. Everyday they begged by 3 o'clock to go back to the pool.

Day Two: San Diego Zoo
I was really looking forward to the zoo and thought the kids would love it.  The reality is it's a TON of walking and by 3 o'clock Hannah was tired and her feet hurt.  The grounds were clean and pretty and we saw lots of animals.  But they were all in cages and I think it was our least favorite thing we did.  We were about 1 minute late to the birth of a baby giraffe-amazing.  We were able to see the baby, and the zoo keeper take it away to check it.  So it was cool to see all the animals but since we did the Zoo Safari, I would have skipped the zoo. Also, we ate at a restaurant inside the zoo called Alberts. I had read good reviews but wow!  It was expensive, the food and service was bleck.  So back to my rule about not eating inside the parks, this one was supposed to be different since it was in the zoo but in Balboa park.  We made up for it by visiting Sprinkles-that famous cupcake place.  The cupcakes were yummy but not worth the price honestly.

end of the day and we were tired

she looks like a little movie star