Monday, August 3, 2009

San Diego Weekend

We had a action packed, fun-filled weekend in San Diego with Nanny and Auntie Mimi (Josh's sister for the uninitiated). We arrived Friday afternoon a little early, so we wandered over to Fashion Valley to find a potty and kill some time. We went in to a sweet toy shop (Gepetto's I think) and the kids looked around for a bit. When we said we had to leave there was no fuss (per usual) and once again I was kind of amazed at how good my kids are. I know of a lot of parents who wouldn't dream of taking their kids into a toy store with the intention of not buying anything. I don't even have to tell them we aren't buying anything. Occasionally they will ask for something to be on their birthday list, but that is the end of it. Just love them.
After we settled into our hotel room it was off to Sea World! Here's the kids taking their tour guide jobs very seriously:

Fin especially takes this job seriously. He mapped out our entire day, and urgently chided everyone to keep up and stay together! Later on at the hotel he circled the things on the map we didn't get to, which he would like to do next time we go. He's so cute. One of the first things we did was visit the sea lions. You can buy fish to feed them. I handed Parker a little tray of fishies not sure if she would do it or not. Griffin didn't hesitate to say no, and back up five feet from the edge. There was no way he was going to touch those things, no way no how. Baby girl didn't even blink. She picked up the giant slimy fish and dangled them over the window into the open barking mouth of the sea lions. She loved every minute of it and wanted to do more when they were all gone. I love how she has no fear of animals whatsoever.

This seal was the smartest of the whole bunch (the one on the rock) and was cracking us up. All the other seals hung out on the edge barking, while he sat stock still and made the most annoying, held out braying noise you've ever heard. It was so jarring and bizarre a noise, most people would throw their fish to him. We wondered how long it took him to figure out, if I make this noise, I get more fish. He was too funny.

We saw the Pet Show, which has dogs, cats, pigs and birds. How they train cats to do anything, let alone run around on a stage with all those animals is beyond me. Parker watched all the shows with her hands firmly planted over her ears.

Beluga whales. I think this Arctic Exhibit was my favorite animal exhibit. So cool to see the whales swimming around from above, and then below.

Parker trying to show the polar bear her tiny toy penguin. Fin wouldn't get anywhere near the polar bear.

Family picture in the Arctic.

After traveling through the Arctic Josh, Mimi, Fin and I all waited about an hour in line to ride the roller coaster Atlantis. Fin didn't complain once while waiting in line, just every once in a while would look at me and say, "are you sooo ess-cited??! 'cause I'm sooo ess-cited!" When you look at the ride, it looks pretty mellow, there's a big drop into water, and a few smaller drops. But oh. my. goodness. Its crazy! *spoiler alert-if you want to experience the surprise of the ride on your own don't read further* The first thing you do is come down a huge drop (about twice as long/fast as splash mtn) As you round the corner, spectators can pay a quarter to try to squirt you as you go by. I made it out of the fall perfectly dry only to get hit in the side of the head by a blast of water. Cheaters. You then enter a tunnel and stop. We're sitting there watching the boat ahead of us when-whoosh!- the boat in front of us flies straight into the air! Yeah. The track separates and you get rocketed up into an elevator shaft! While you're going up seven stories your boat is slowly tilting left, then right. Then you rocket out into the next few drops and turns. It was fantastic. When we were all shrieking and freaking out about the boat in front of us going up the elevator Fin started shaking like a leaf. But when we finally came around the last turn into the dock, Mimi was trying to talk to him, and he finally turned to her and said, "Mimi! I'm twying to see the track right now!" hahahaha! He wasn't scared at all once it was done and of course, hasn't stopped talking about it since.

Shamu Rocks show. Nanny bought the kids glow sticks. This show was at 9:30 and Parker almost nodded off several times, but she hung in there.

Nanny and Fin's "evil" faces:

On Saturday we headed downtown to go The New Children's Museum, we took the trolleys to both kids delight. Wish we had good public transit up here!

Nanny and Fin waiting for our transfer:

The New Children's Museum. Every exhibit is curated or created by an artist. The whole place was amazing, with all sorts of great stuff for the kids to do. They had a blast.

Building a "tent city":

The tunnel that led to "tent city":

Lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Gas Lamp:

Riding on the trolleys:

Parker figured out I was taking pictures and started posing. This is her pose:

Fin's pic of Daddy, Nanny and the hotel:

The first night we were in San Diego we went to this place next to our hotel called the Valley Kitchen Family Restaurant, and the people who worked there were so amazing with the kids we went back again. Its just a semi-shabby diner like place, with nothing incredible on the menu (though the french fries were amazing) But they went above and beyond keeping the kids occupied, giving them the usual crayons and paper, but then later coming by with some oyster crackers, and small plastic cups for the kids to play with. Parker was exhausted and started crying and out of nowhere the manager came by again with a straw stacked with maraschino cherries and a fruit plate. Everyone was just so happy and helpful we were all kind of shocked and really pleasantly surprised. I'm sure they see a lot of exhausted kiddo's traveling with their family, and it was so nice to see them trying to be helpful instead of sighing and being condescending.

Doesn't Parker look like she's going to cut someone if they try to steal her mashed potatoes?

Fin and I having an important discussion about Atlantis (the rollercoaster at Sea World):

Parker and Daddy took a dip in the pool Sunday before we headed to Balboa Park:

Sunday after checking out of the hotel we headed over to Balboa Park, which was so amazing. I'd never been there before and the sheer amount of cool stuff in there was mind boggling. Tons of museums, gardens, beautiful buildings. You could spend all week there and not see it all I think. But the ultimate (for Fin at least, and by proxy, us to see him so excited) was the Model Train Railroad Museum. It houses the largest model train exhibit in North America. It's like Mecca for Fin. When he first entered he was like a bee running from one side to another, breathlessly asking can we see this can we go see that? I had to stop him and say, duder, take a breath, we'll take as much time as you want, you can see everything. He loved it all.

Parker flying like a butterfly in Balboa Park:

Carousel at Balboa Park:

The weekend really was all about the kids, but we all had so much fun. And Mom and Dad and Mimi got to go out dancing Saturday night in Gas Lamp, so I guess it wasn't all about them ;) All weekend both of them were so good, even when they were tired and hungry and hot. We're so lucky to have kiddos like that and so lucky to have family like Nanny and Mimi who love them for who they are as much as we do.

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