Sunday, April 1, 2012

San Diego Highlights

Our family spent last week in sunny San Diego.  Some highlights:

*visiting with my dear cousin Amelia.  No photos from the visit because we were too busy yakking and eating.  Thanks for a delightful meal and a fun catch-up!
* We saw the Muppet movie.  So cute!  

* We finished listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and started Harry Potter and
the Goblet of Fire together.  By the way, check out these cute peg dolls I made for Ellie to play with in the car:

{can you tell who they are? please say yes!}

*The kids have never seen the ocean.  It was love at first sight and we spent a lot of time at various beaches

 * Sea World!  We have been counting down the days (literally) til our Sea World adventure and it finally happened.  Ethan was so excited to see all the creatures he adores.
*We saw everything on Ethan's list: beluga whales, polar bears, walruses, dophins, orcas and starfish, plus much more.
 *Ethan was not able to feed and/or pet a dolphin (one of his goals for this year) because that exhibit was closed on the day we visited.  Bummer!  But he was thrilled to be able to see them in person, even if it was from afar.

 {This sea lion was hilarious.  He tried to convince us that he was starving by bellowing a very elongated "BAAAAAAAAAAWW!!"  repeatedly.  Judging by the line of people buying fish to feed these guys, I'm pretty sure he's doing fine.}

 * We visited La Jolla Cove twice.  We were delighted with the abundance of wildlife there: sea lions, hundreds of birds, pelicans and even dolphins!
*Ellie made friends with a cute girl at La Jolla Cove and they constructed a sand city for her toy seal .  (They named the seal Celia.  "Get it mom?  SEAL-ia?!")

* Tide pools.  We saw hermit crabs and sea anemones, which the kids enjoyed poking for a few minutes.  Then they went right back to playing in the sand.

 {see the dolphins?}

{Coronado Beach}
* Despite the very cold water and breezy conditions, the kids spent hours running in and out of the waves.
*We drove over the San Diego-Coronado bridge.  Beautiful!

* We visited the Mormon Battalion Historic Site and got a personal tour from two sweet sister missionaries. They took extra time to answer Ellie's plethora of questions about the various artifacts. It made me miss my sister,  Lindsay.

 {Ethan driving our covered wagon. Westward ho!}

{Ethan, delighted with his "gold"}

 *The kids learned to pan for gold, got water from a pump, and pretended to drive a covered wagon.

 {Ellie and one of the missionaries}

 *We visited the Fleet Science Center and saw the Imax movie "Born to be Wild".
*Balboa Park is incredible!  I feel like we could have spent two full weeks there, and with our short visit we only scratched the surface. But we enjoyed the museums and parks/trails we were able to experience.

 * Lots of sleep!  We all shared one hotel room, and the only way we were able to get the kids to settle down was for one adult and one kid to share each bed.  We turned the lights off around 8:30 each night, fully planning to turn them back on once the kids were asleep so we could read or chat.  More often than not, we both fell asleep with the kids and didn't wake up til 6:30 or so.  Nice!

 {isn't he cute?}

 *Lots and lots of time to play in the sand and water.  One night I asked Ethan what his favorite part of the beach was.  He said, "hmmm...the sand...and the water.  The water and the sand together."
* We cooked dinner one night over a fire at the beach.
* We stayed in Las Vegas our first night and rode go karts together at an amusement park near our hotel.  Jason and Ethan are now dreaming of building their own.  Ethan says it will be blue and have a 3 on it.


*It was a relaxing, slow-paced, rejuvenating trip.  But, as always, it's good to be home.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets very used to hotel living. We were only gone for 6 nights, but I feel like I've spent most of the weekend remembering what real life is like.  You mean we're supposed to do laundry AND dishes?  Next you'll tell me I have to make my own bed.  Oh...dang.

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