Sunday, June 2, 2013

California, here we come!

The past week we had the opportunity to go to California.  We've been itching to go on a vacation that lasts longer than the weekend and a place other than Bear Lake or St. George so we bit the bullet and went to San Diego!  It was awesome, despite being nervous to travel 11 hours in the car with a two year old (props to my sister-in-law, who just traveled here, her itinerary - Spain to Travis Air force base (CA), then by car to Salt Lake, with three kids under three all alone!!!!)  Our trip was cake compared to that.  Especially since we combined it with stop-overs in St. George.

So, we started out on Thursday evening after I finished teaching my kickboxing class and headed down to S. Utah.  Pat worked on Friday so I dropped him off at the Dixie Regional Medical Center and Millie and I ventured out to Target and DI so I could pick up some inexpensive maternity pants (I left mine on our kitchen table, bah!).  Thank goodness for the DI and lots of cute pregnant women in St. George who like to look in fashion - I got a rather cute pair of jeans for $6.  After Millie's nap, we picked Pat up and headed down the street to the temple.  Millie was soooo excited to see the temple, we had to sing I Love to See the Temple to her the whole trip after that.  She liked seeing the temple, but she LOVED climbing up the big steps out front.  

After the temple, we went to a place called Swig.  They have the most delicious sugar cookies so we got a cookie to share and a shaved ice (I don't recommend the shaved ice, not really that great, not much flavor) and went straight to the Main Street Park where they have a splash pad and a little river for kids to play in.  Amelia loved it.  At first she was hesitant to go near the splash pad but soon she discovered that it was really fun.  We couldn't tear her away!  Of course we did, because we knew she'd like the river too, and she did.  It was fun to watch her play and climb.  She really got the hang of climbing onto the rocks and was daring enough to leap from rock to rock.  Watching her do it made me realize that she's not a baby anymore, she's a little girl!  It was a fun beginning to a vacation, or cation as Amelia calls it.


The next morning we quickly loaded up and headed out.  In Pat's family growing up they would get small presents every 100 miles or so on long road trips and he wanted to do that for Amelia, so I wrapped a few token treats up for her to open along the way.  She loved it and kept asking "How many more miles?"  She was so excited for each present and always remembered to say thank you.  The long trip to San Diego really wasn't too bad and we were pleasantly surprised by our hotel when we got there.  It was literally right on the harbor with the ferry to Coronado almost right across the street.  Way to go Price line - though bummer about having to pay a parking fee, I guess that happens when you stay in downtown San Diego.

Sunday was probably one of my favorite days.  We got up, went to church then drove straight to the San Diego Temple.  This time Amelia really was in heaven.  She adored it.  After the temple, we drove to La Jolla Cove to see some sea lions.  It is a great beach town, the weather was awesome and the sea lions didn't smell like I thought they would.  We wished we could have spent more time but we weren't planning on doing this in the morning so we hadn't packed a lunch and it was nap time.

After lunch and a nap, we went to the Mormon Battalion exhibit in Old Town.  I remember going when I was young but it's been completely revamped and is really cool.  We were trying to decide if we really wanted to take the 40 minute tour, the sister missionaries kept telling us it was so fun and we'd really like it.  Both of us were skeptical but we went for it.  It's definitely a must see - it was really entertaining and they make it for kids and adults.  Millie's favorite was panning for gold at the end.  We walked around Old Town a bit and then ate dinner at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, which is REALLY good and worth the wait to get into, though it took a REALLY long time for us to get our food.

Monday was Seaworld day.  I was so excited and really hyped it up to Amelia but really, it's probably not worth taking a two year old to.  She loved touching the animals - a tortoise, bat rays and a bunny but she didn't love the shows.  Bummer since, that was really all we could do since I'm pregnant and she's too short for the rides.  But, it was still a nice day and we got to see a few shows.  Plus, the beluga whales and the northern exploration exhibit were quite neat.  She also really liked seeing the big Shamu character, we lucked out because it walked out right when we walked by so no line for us.  She didn't want to leave him.  After naps, we tried the pool but it was just to cold, really shady in the pool area so we walked down the harbor and got dinner and ice cream.  Lot's of bums in San Diego, we think they might be professional because we kept seeing the same bums and this nicely dressed lady with them.  She came up in her car and started taking orders for dinner.  It was really strange.


Tuesday we went to the zoo.  I kind of liked it better then Sea World.  It had free parking AND you can take food into the park.  They just make it more visitor friendly.  Plus, it's set up so nice and has tons of shade.  It's lot's of walking though.  They had just opened the Australian outback exhibit a few days prior.  We got to see koalas and wallabees and I made Pat take this picture of a kookabura in a gum tree just for my dad.  There was a giraffe that was just 2 weeks old and the cheetah was moving about in his area.  Millie liked the turtles the best but a close second was petting the goats. 

 We ended the day at Ocean Beach.  I hadn't expected Amelia to like the ocean so much but we couldn't keep her from running deeper and deeper into the waves.  Luckily, the waves did a good job of pushing her back up the sand!


We only brought a swimsuit for Amelia, I don't know why.  I guess we were thinking we'd just hang out in the sand and that it would be too cold to get in the water.  Little did we know how gungho Amelia would be for getting in the ocean and that really it was warmer than the hotel pool!  Needless to say, I got a little wet rescuing Millie from a rather large wave!
Wednesday was another favorite.  We drove over the bridge into Coronado - um, it's beautiful!  We started the day renting bikes and going for a bike ride along the harbor.  Then we had lunch in a park and let Millie play.  After lunch, we got in our swim suits and went to Coronado Beach.  We couldn't have picked a better day.  It was gorgeous.  The sun was out, it was warm, the beach is beautiful and clean.  We loved it.  We built castles and dinosaurs, which Millie dutifully smashed within seconds and played in the water.  We saw a shark swimming along the shore - (I am pretty sure it was a shark, not a dolphin).  I LOVE the beach.  After the beach, nap and clean-up we went to a place called Slaters 50/50.  Um....the best hamburgers EVER.  It's half ground beef and half ground bacon - a heart attack of goodness in every bite.  It's a keeper of a restaurant.  The one downer of the day was that even though I was careful, as a pregnant woman, you are more susceptible to sunburns and I definitely got one.  But the time we got back to our hotel I knew that my legs hurt but later, I couldn't even walk on them.  My legs were swollen, my stupid varicose veins from being pregnant were popping out of my legs everywhere.  I was miserable.  The next morning wasn't better so unfortunately, we had to cut out going to the air and space museum (SORRY Pat, you know I would have loved to go too) and just drive home.  It was kind of a bummer way to end a totally fun vacation, but I'm feeling better now and we're really glad we went!

I think one of my favorite things about the vacation was seeing these two play together.  Amelia was so attached to her dad and he was the greatest!  He toted her along on his shoulders day after day and played with her a ton at the beach.  It's rather nice because now, she allows him to read her stories at night so I don't have to!  She really took to her dad this week which was a very nice break for me and very fun for her dad.


Joseph said...

Very cool trip... the Riches are aweseome! Their gift every 100 miles policy is very generous... we only got presents every 200 miles!

Melanie Herway said...

I have a brother-in-law that lives in Coronado...lucky right? So beautiful! I hear you with those varicose veins. They are the most painful miserable things!!

Mama Jo said...

What fun! So happy you got to have your trip! Next time, I'll treat and we'll wait for baby # 2!
Cute family, great blog!