Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Spring Break 2014: Exploring Old Town

Monday - our last day in San Diego.  Our flight wasn't until around 2, so we had time for lunch and a short adventure.  Old Town San Diego is near the airport, and a friend had recommended a restaurant there, so we went a little early to walk around before lunch.

Old Town is part of the original settlement, and there are several historic buildings.  We saw donkeys, a blacksmith demonstration, and some interesting artifacts.  The kids really liked the covered wagon and the gardens.
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Will also gave us his best unintentional Unabomber impersonation - we laugh every time we look at this picture.
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Lunch outdoors at Casa de Reyes was a perfect end to the trip.  The food was good, it was a gorgeous day, and we had a chance to share our favorite memories from the trip, most of which revolved around the beach and hearing Dad's stories from his time in the Navy.  Our first Spring Break trip as a family was a big success!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Spring Break 2014: Zoo Day!

The San Diego Zoo is amazing - and huge!  We arrived close to opening time, took a few photos with the lion, and got in line for the bus tour.

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Claire making plans for our day while waiting in line for the bus.
Claire's Plan

The bus tour is a good way to see some of the highlights of the zoo before visiting favorites for a closer look.  We saw the monkeys, hippos, aviary, and gorillas before lunch at Albert's, which provided a great midday break.

Rio is one of Will's favorite movies, and the zoo had a Rio show in their 4D theater, so we had to get tickets.  There were several macaws (the main character in the movie is a macaw) in the area around the theater - Will was SO excited and kept talking and waving to the birds.
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We saw the reptiles and grabbed treat before taking the sky tram to the polar bear area.
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Will in comparison to a polar bear!
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We were all done for the day after seeing the polar bears, and we used the bus to get back to the entrance.   Claire wanted to sit on the top.  After a stop, we were able to move to the front of the bus, which is where she really wanted to be!
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We ended up spending about 7 hours there, and the kids did great (so did the adults)!  It was a terrific way to spend our last full day in San Diego.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Spring Break 2014: Torrey Pines and La Jolla

When we came to SD last summer, we spent our first few days in the La Jolla area, and we wanted to go back to see some of the highlights.  We started the day at a place that was new to all of us - the Torrey Pines State Reserve.  We were glad we got an early start as the trails were getting really packed by the time we left.  It was a really beautiful place - and we all got a little exercise!
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On our way into La Jolla we called an made a reservation at Cody's (their lobster rolls are amazing!) and had time to see the seals at Children's Pool Beach before our brunch.  We were excited to see so many baby seals lying on the beach with their mothers.
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Flowers for the seals
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Spring Break 2014: The USS Midway

Visiting the Midway was one of our favorite activities when we went to San Diego last August, and this visit was even better since we had my parents along and got to hear some of my dad's stories about his time in the Navy.  Dad was an aviation ordinanceman, and he was responsible for bombs and weapons on a carrier.  He was stationed in San Diego for awhile at a base south of our hotel, and we drove down to the base before we went over the bridge into the city.  It was interesting to hear how much the area had changed since he was there, and we learned a few things that we won't forget, particularly one story involving a Model A Ford!

The kids love being able to climb aboard some of the aircraft on exhibit.
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Must push all the buttons!
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Claire may have a future as a catapult officer.  
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Natural born shooter!
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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Spring Break 2014: Coronado & The Del

After spending Wednesday morning at Disneyland, we grabbed lunch at In N Out Burger (hasn't yet made it to SA, although one is finally under construction!) and started on our drive to San Diego.  We stopped at a Target for snacks and some beach supplies on our way to the hotel, and Claire thought the cart escalator to transport your goods from one floor to the next was the coolest thing she'd ever seen.
Target carts

My parents flew in that morning and met us at the Hotel Del Coronado.  We spent a few nights at The Del in August, and we were excited to be back and spend some time there with Nana & Granddaddy.  We dropped our bags in our rooms and walked out to the beach.  Claire and Will were SO excited to be back!
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Dinner was at the pizza place in Coronado, and dessert was ice cream from Mootime Creamery while sitting on the hotel's back patio.  Heavenly!
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Morning snuggles
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Claire trying to sneak into Nana & Granddaddy's room for a cookie
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Will was in love with this robe in the gift shop...I wasn't in love with the price tag, although it was super cute on him!
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The Del was a great home base for the San Diego portion of our trip - we will be back again!

Spring Break 2014: The Rest of Disneyland

More photos from our trip

Carousel

Will's first roller coaster ride - Gadget's Go Coaster.  He loved it!
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Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
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Robert smoked me on the Buzz ride - his score was 276k, mine was 125k.  Ouch!
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Autopia.  We need to work on our kids' driving skills - it was a bumpy ride, but lots of fun.
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Fastpasses for Soarin' - we ended up riding it twice
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Tuck & Roll's Drive Em' Buggies
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Some snuggles with my girl while waiting in line for the Monsters, Inc. ride
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Pixar Parade
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Toy Story Midway Mania - another family favorite!
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Robert didn't beat me as badly on this one
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Mad Tea Party - you can't go to Disneyland and not ride the teacups!
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Princess Mouse Ears
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Spring Break 2014: Meeting Disney Characters

One of the kids' favorite parts of a Disney trip is meeting different characters.  We only had one character meal on this trip, so we didn't have as many interactions as the last trip, but we still got to meet some favorites.

Minnie
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Ariel
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Sleeping Beauty
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Belle
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Snow White (definitely a favorite)
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Mater
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Red from Cars
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Sully
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Will really wanted to see Randall from Monsters, Inc., but he isn't one of the popular characters, so we were trying to manage expectations.  Fortunately we saw this image of Randall in an area near the Monsters Inc. ride that sufficed!
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You might also note no pictures with the characters from Frozen.  The wait in that line was usually 2-3 hours - no way we were doing that.  We kind of just hustled the kids past that area when we were nearby.  We'll try to meet them next time!