We're off to the San Diego area for Spring Break 2014!
Panorama view from our balcony
This trip is going to be all animal themed. On the itinerary, we have a trip to the Safari Park in Escondido, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. All animals, all the time! Harold is gonna absolutely love it! He is SO into wild animals and sea creatures, he may just find his calling during this trip!
Today, the cab arrived at our house at 6:20AM, right on time. The driver whisked us to SJC, and we easily caught our 8:30AM flight to SAN. At the other end, after a bit of haggling at the rental car counter (apparently, you can't combine discounts and deals together online at the Hertz website, even though their site lets you do it), we were off to Oceanside.
Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center
Since it was still early, we stopped by the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center in Carlsbad. What a nice little find! We saw lots of animals, penned (as in, caged) and in the wild (in the form of a snake crossing the path behind the Discovery Center's building), beautiful views of the lagoon (with a smokestack in the background framed by highway 5), and we learned a bit about the local ecology. Rita was considering going to Legoland today, but this place was a much better use of our time. It's educational, free from rampant commercialism, and free (though I did leave a healthy donation in their contribution vessel). Recommend for families with little kids!
Friendly reptilian resident!
The view toward the ocean.
Harold petting the snake.
Afterward, we got to the timeshare/resort/hotel/place-we-are-staying, and though it was still early and our room was not ready, the staff allowed us to have use of the pool. Weather was great, not too hot, but sunny and warm, and the kids dove right in. After a while, that is, after I got my head around changing into my swim suit in the cabana's bathroom, I joined the kids in the pool. They love playing 'surfboard' with me, which is where I go horizontal underwater, and they stand on my back, pretending to surf. I didn't have goggles, so my eyes quickly started to burn a bit, so I had to do the best I could underwater with my eyes closed.
We got the call after an hour that the room was ready and inside we went. Cleaned up, then headed up to cousin Ted's and his family's house up the 78 in Oceanside.
Ted, just where I like to see him!
Had it been THAT long since we had been to their house?!? They had done some serious remodeling, opening up the family room space and moving some things around; it looked great! Ted was making burgers and since it's well known that I do a good burger, he asked me to patty up the meat and toss them on the grill. And what a grill it was, Ted shelled out some bucks on a new grill, what a beauty! Today was also cousin Claire's birthday, what a great coincidence, so we got to celebrate with her!
Penny, Mom Vicky, and birthday girl Claire.
After some good visiting, we remembered it is a Sunday night, and Ted has work the next day, Claire has school, so we said our see-you-tomorrow's and departed, back to our place near the Oceanside harbor. Tomorrow is a zero day, and I'm meeting up with a local buddy, and we're going to lunch at a brewery nearby.
It was a long day, but a good start to Spring Break!