Friday, October 22, 2010

Vacation Pt. 3 - San Diego Trains, Gaslamp & Sea World

Day 5, Wednesday

After racing around each day to get to a theme park we needed a break from that. We slept in and took more time to get moving. We decided to eat breakfast at the Red Marlin, the hotel restaurant. We missed the fact that they had a buffet and ordered off the menu. We all liked our breakfast, even though it was pretty expensive for omelets and pancakes.

We were low on a few things so we headed over to Target after breakfast. We weren’t able to do laundry at the Embassy Suites so we were going to run out of socks for the boys and Mike didn’t bring many long sleeve shirts for the cooler weather.

After our shopping side trip, we headed over to Balboa Park and spent a few hours at the train museum. Nicholas really enjoyed all the miniature trains and Mike really enjoyed taking him there. 

When Nicholas sees a railroad crossing sign (he calls them traffic lights) he gets really excited, so he was super happy to get to see one up close.

Jackson and Nicholas played with the kids trains for a while too.

Mike showed Nicholas the Tehachapi area, (Nicholas even know what that is from watching videos of trains going through there). Someday we will take him there. 

In the picture it really does almost look like being there.

We spent a lot of time in the room with all the little town replicas. I loved to see all the details, like the cars driving through the McDonald's drive through (they really moved).  

And how they had incorporate Halloween throughout the display.  They even had a candy train that had cars carrying candy.

It was getting late and we hadn’t had lunch so we headed over to the Gaslamp Quarter.

We ate lunch at Tin Fish a restaurant we stumbled upon right on the train line next to Petco Park.  Nicholas and Mike could watch the trains while we ate. The food was good.  I had fish and chips which were really good, the boys had a quesadilla and Mike had fish tacos. The Landshark beer was perfect to wash it down.

We had a few birds eat with us. They could not be shooed away.

After lunch we walked around the Gaslamp Quarter. 

And watched a few more trains

We headed back to the hotel around 5:00.  This was the view from our hotel room. We were right on the marina. We only had a bit of sun on Wednesday. The rest of our time in San Diego was overcast.

We headed to dinner at CafĂ© Japengo in La Jolla for sushi.  I hadn’t been there since I used to travel to San Diego for work a few years ago. There was a bit of a wait, but the boys were pretty patient. Fortunately, they did have a kids menu, so the kids had their usual chicken fingers and fries. Mike and I started with Duck Potstickers and then shared a few sushi rolls (Fifty-fifty roll, Hawaiin Special, Spicy Tuna and Philadelphia Roll) which were all yummy.

And here is my favorite face again...

The boys fell asleep on the way back to the hotel and went down to bed easily.  Mike and I didn’t stay up much later either.

Day 5, Sea World

A really nice thing about the San Diego portion of our trip was that we didn’t feel like we had to rush out of the room in the morning. We slept in a bit and got ready.  We went to Einstein’s for bagel sandwiches and coffee for us and muffins and milk for the boys.

We were on our way to Sea World by 9:30. Our hotel was pretty much right across from Sea World and we easily made it by the 10:00 am opening even after getting turned around finding the entrance.

Mike and I hadn’t been to Sea World in about 20 years so it was like being somewhere for the first time. We saw the wild artic exhibit with the polar bears and walrus's  

This bird was riding around on the walrus's backs.

I love this kid....

The penguins were awesome to watch..

In the shark encounter Nicholas kept shoving me to keep moving when I was taking pictures. Without a flash and low light most of the pictures didn't come out great, but I did get a couple.

In the next aquarium exhibit, these frogs were cool, but the glass was so fogged up it was hard to get a great picture of them. They looked like they were wearing some cool wet suits.

We headed to our first show, with the Sea Lions

We weren’t sure how Jackson would do at the shows since sitting still is not something he is interested in.  But it wasn’t crowded so we waited until it was almost show time and got a seat. Once the show started he was fine. The show was cute, with just a lot of little skits.

We took a popcorn and pretzel break after the show and then it was time for Shamu. This show was a bit more crowded. The boys did fine; Nicholas needed to sit on my lap to see. He seemed to enjoy the show. We all really enjoyed the Shamu show. It is just incredible what these whales are trained to do. And I was so happy I had bought my zoom lens before this trip, or I would never have gotten shots like this from as far away as we were.

After Shamu we wanted lunch but so did everyone else, so we went to the star fish area and then through a couple of the aquarium exhibits hoping the lines would go down. Nicholas would touch the water but not the star fish. He is hit or miss on this, sometimes he will at the aquarium we go to by home, but not today.

I had a fascination with the turtles on this trip. They were amazing to watch swim.

Of course what would a fish tank be without Nemo? Nicholas loved this.

I just loved the colors of some of the tanks. I was playing a lot with the camera settings to try to get them right for these conditions. Some turned out much better than others.

The lunch lines didn't diminish so we finally braved the lunch line.  Mike took the kids to a table while I waited in a really, really long line. Right when I was at the front waiting to get the last of our entrees, Mike came to find me and told me we had to leave. Nicholas had dumped lemonade on himself and was having a complete meltdown. He was crying and saying he was sorry, and wanted to be changed. We haven’t had to change the kids while we were out in ages, so we had no spare clothes. So I abandoned lunch at the front of the line and we went back to the hotel.

We were going to try the Corvette Diner for lunch, but then decided to just go to the hotel restaurant, the Red Marlin. It was almost 3:00 by this time.  We were able to sit out on the patio, and since it was so late Mike and I just shared some steamed clams and a cheese platter appetizer and had a glass of wine for me and beer for him. The boys nibbled on their kids meals.  It was actually a nice break from the park and much better food than we were going to have at Sea World.

We headed back over to Sea World about 4:30. The park was only open until 6:00 and it was emptying out. We missed all the rest of the shows, but we managed to get through all the other exhibits.  We spent some time at the dolphins, and I even got to pet one.  

We visited the batrays/stingrays and Morrey Eels. Mike pet a batray. Nicholas remembered getting splashed by one at the Phoenix Zoo and wanted nothing to do with them. There was a cave to walk through with the eels and they were quite strange looking. Fascinating and creepy at the same time.

We watched the sea lions get fed and bumped into Jackson’s speech therapist, Jill and her family.  The sea lions were super loud and entertaining.

We finished up by walking through another aquarium then headed out. Boys were done. And yes, it was cool and Jackson refused to wear shoes and socks. After putting them back on about a dozen times all week, we had given up. If he was in the stroller the shoes and socks were off. If he didn't fuss we figured he wasn't cold.

We thought we would try Phil’s BBQ tonight, but again the wait line was huge.  So we decided to head over to La Jolla and have fondue at another place I had been to a few years ago, Forever Fondue.  This one was a bit tough on the kids. They both had fell asleep in the car and were a bit sleepy when we first got there.  There was no kids menu for our picky eaters. So we had to make due for them with the snacks we had in our bag and a basket of tortilla chips the restaurant provided.   

My favorite part of eating out for fondue is the appetizer and dessert.  Mike likes the main course because of all the sauces.  We started with salads and then shared Cheddar and Smoked Gouda Cheese Fondue.  Our main meals were a mixture of seafood, chicken and steak and vegetables.  For dessert we had Milk Chocolate Fondue, Nicholas did like the pound cake that came with it, but not in the chocolate (he doesn’t know what he is missing).

The kids fell asleep on the way home and were again easy to get to bed.

Next up the San Diego Zoo and coming home....

1 comment:

VanessaB said...

your camera is awesome! great shots!! i'm so envious. i even have a photo of jack under that same RR sign and it's dark and i can barely see him. :( so glad you had a wonderful vacation!