Monday, June 11, 2012

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