Tuesday, October 16, 2012

San Diego Getaway







Now that we are back in SoCal we wanted to make the most of the surrounding area and see some sights we never had time for when we lived in Seattle. Thanks to my cousins for planning their daughter's BatMitzvah for this October we had just the excuse we needed to take a long weekend down to SanDiego. I can tell you we had several "why didn't we move here?" moments. We will definitely be back for more fun!

We drove down Thursday after work so we could be up bright and early for Sea World on Friday. We thought the girls would enjoy it and I remember going about 15 years ago and having so much fun.
 Gemma has some serious movie star qualities and she does not like to be photographed by the paparazzi while on holiday. We got there just as the park was opening so NO LINES! Actually we had no lines all day. Lily had been watching you tube videos of the rides all week and had her heart set on riding Atlantis. Alex took her on first thing. It is a really big roller coaster! She made it through just fine and said it was the highlight of the day. She also said that did not mean she wanted to ride it twice.
While Lily was on roller coasters Gemma and I hit up the kiddie rides in Elmo town. This was right up her alley. This was the dumbo ride made into elmo animals. We rode three times.

 Then we rode the Abby Cadabby tea cups ride, again twice.
 We rode the Oscar the grouch make you feel ill and dizzy ride just as Dad and Lily arrived. After the roller coaster Lily decided she did not want to spin around so Gemma rode this one with Daddy solo.
 Now enough of the rides it was time to see some fish! We headed for the shark encounter. Yikes!
 Followed by the sea turtes, which I prefer to teach my children to call Honu so they sound cool in Hawaii.
 Then it was on to catch the Shamu show!! I remember loving this when I had been here years ago. It was so cool. Let's just say after the horrible "incident" in 2010 at Seaworld Orlando the show is much more subdued. The trainers do not get in the water and mostly dance along the side of the pool and give hand signals. I am by no means saying they should get in the water with the KILLER WHALES but I have to say, the show is really lame now. Did I mention it was hot out? We should have gone with shorts that morning but I guess we were fooled by the fact it is October!
 They are still impressive and amazing creatures.
 After Shamu we got some lunch and met up with a bunch of my cousins who were at the park as well. Of course with 9 little kids and 6 adults making our way through the penguin and polar exhibits there were no free hands to take even one picture. By this time it was Gemma's nap time and so she turned into human energy ball. She was a running wild woman and it was hard to keep track of her in the sea of people. We also slipped into the pets show which involved all kinds of furry household pets. It was very entertaining but not sure what it had to do with sea life?
 One show that certainly did not disappoint was the dolphins. They have made this show into a sort of cirque du soleil type show. They had dolphins and all kinds of sea mammals swimming and splashing with trainers as well as acrobatics.
 This is exactly why we don't sit in the splash zone!
 How would you like to surf a pilot whale?  I guess these guys are safe because there were a bunch of trainers in the water here!
I think Lily was thinking, enough of these water shows...let's go play. So back to the bay of play it was. She was all over the jumpy balloon. Lily would have been happy to spend all day here. Gemma was too small to get in this time.
 She was not too little for the huge climbing structure. With Alex's help of course.
 We had a fantastic day and were thoroughly wiped out!

On Saturday we headed out to Balboa park to meet up with a friend of mine from the Hawaii days! She and her husband and son have recently moved to SanDiego from the east coast! It was just our luck that we were both now on the west coast and could get together. We let the kids play on the playground while we caught up and then headed to the puppet theater for a show.
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It was seriously hilarious and a bit odd at the same time. Lily enjoyed herself and is still talking about it so I guess it was a hit with the target audience. I wish I had taken pictures with Jill, Lee, and Jake but we were too busy catching up. I guess it is another excuse to see them again soon.

We thought we were returning to the hotel for a nap but the kids had other plans. Gemma took a 15 minute power nap and thought she was good to go. Oh well, we hit the hotel pool with Rory and Cael! Way more fun than sleep. We did manage to get Gemma down later but that really only served to confuse her. I think she thought it was night time so when we woke her up to go to the party she was out of it.

Later that night it was time for the real festivities. We were here for Rachel's BatMitzvah after all!! We were unable to attend the service at the temple due to our loud children. The evening was amazing. Everything was so beautiful. Gemma ate her weight in chocolates.
 Lily was a dancing FOOL!
 They had a photo booth. I seriously want to use this one as our Christmas card.
Then Lily and Dad did this one. We have plenty more. How much time do you have?
 Gemma and Rory share a chair and some iphone. It was hard work being the kids who didn't go back to the hotel to go to bed! They had to party hard like their parents!
 Lily dragged Grandpa Lee out on the dance floor too. Maybe that is where she got her moves?
 After the glow necklaces, hats, and maracas were passed out she no longer needed a dance partner. She was a one woman dancing machine.
 They played the sweetest slide show for Rachel and Lily sat right up front with Rachel and all her friends.
 Finally after the ice cream sunday bar opened and we had been dancing all night we dragged those kids home at 11pm. The fun wasn't over yet. We woke up the next morning (at 6:30, thanks to Gemma) and after a quiet morning went to Bob and Audrey's for lunch and fun! Gemma, Reese, and Maya on the play structure. It was so fun to spend more time with cousins, kids, Aunts and Uncles. Every day is a party!
The fun didn't stop there, we had to get home to go meet our new baby cousin Ben!!

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