As you'll recall from this post, I selected the San Diego option for our five year anniversary trip. The trip was delayed for a few weeks, but it was good timing as temps in the Phoenix area had reached a steady 100+ degrees and we were longing for some cooler air.
The drive between our house and San Diego is about five hours. I was't too sure how our Boy Wonder would do, as it's been about a year since our last roadtrip, but he handled it like a trooper (sure, Mommy had to hop in the back seat and read the same book over and over and over again ... but, whatever it takes).
We stayed downtown at the Manchester Grand Hyatt which sits right on San Diego Bay and were blessed to have a suite (a must-have for young children, in my opinion) and get a free breakfast each morning (a mighty fine buffet that rivals the buffets in Las Vegas).
Our adventures included several trips to the nearby "Seaport Village", a tour of the famed U.S.S. Midway Aircraft Carrier, a day at Seaworld, and an cool afternoon at Coronado Beach.
Seaport Village was filled with lots of shops and restaurants, which is why we were there quite a bit. There's a nice pedestrian walkway that goes along the waters edge filled with people walking, running and biking. From there you can see all of the activity in the bay, includig the Naval Base across the bay. It's really amazing to see those huge vessels in the distance!
We took a tour of the U.S.S. Midway. We'd never been on an aircraft carrier and were amazed at the sheer size of the ship. Christian loved to see all of the aircraft on the top deck (okay, we did, too!). Most of the ship is opened to tours and we got to see quite a bit. However, when you have a toddler in tow, it just isn't possible to see everything in one visit. It would be nice to visit the Midway again in the future and see some more.
Seaworld was an interesting adventure! I had never been before and didn't realize it was an entire theme park (I had assumed it was just a whale show or two).
Christian enjoyed Seaworld until ... Cirque de la Mer. We were sitting in the stands waiting for the show to start when a couple of weird clowns came out to interact with the audience. Christian bolted and Jonathan went after him ... and they watched the show from the most remote location in the stadium. By the time I got to them after the show, Jonathan - who had been holding Christian in his lap - discovered that Christian's diaper had been leaking. So, I had two wet men on my hands. And I only had an extra shirt for Christian ... no extra shorts.
Fortuantely, there was a Sesame Street store nearby and we soon had Christian in new shorts ... and Jonathan just air dried.
After that ... we headed to the new Blue Horizons show. We arrived and the stadium was filling up quickly, so we were delighted to see there were a couple of seats still available right in front Boy, did we feel fortunate! Christian would have seats that were eye level with the tank (ahem ... remember, I had never been to Seaworld before and was unaware of what would happen in that front row).
We sat there waiting for a few minutes as the stands completely filled up. Vendors walked past us announcing towels and rain ponchos for sale. I thought to myself, "Geeze, everybody's gotta make a buck, I guess."
A voice came over the loud speakers, "The first 12 rows are the 'Splash Zone' and you WILL get wet." Jonathan and I both looked at each other. I said, "Well, if we're at the bottom of the first 12 rows, maybe the water will go OVER us and hit the rest of the rows."
Within minutes of the show starting, a nice little dolphin swam over to our section ... and right in front of us, lifted its tail and, "SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH!!!!" We were soaked and Christian was very unhappy. He tried to get down and leave, but we held onto him tightly, for getting up during the show was a no-no.
I had hoped it would be the one and only splash, but no such luck. We tried to keep Christain dry through the second wave that hit us a few minutes later, but it was hopeless. Christian was hating it. We had put his little windbreaker over his head to keep him dry ... and he kept that jacket over his head for the rest of the show. We tried talking to him with happy voices and taking the jacket off, but he'd have none of that. Well, at least he was able to create his own little "comfort zone."
Another lesson learned: sit higher in the stands for shows involving large swimming mammals.
There is just too much to see at Seaworld, and we missed out on the Shamu show and other shows. But there's always next time.
The trip was short ... we were only gone Thursday - Sunday. We were sad to leave the cooler temps of San Diego. As we left the shore and headed inland, Jonathan called out the temps as they got higher and higher. By the time we got home five hours later, it was a sizzling 109 in the Phoenix area.
Great time, fantastic memories and lots of pictures to show Christian when he gets older!
Enjoy some of the pics below.