Goodness I missed you guys! I feel like I haven’t written in forever!!! Life has been so hectic with my two kiddos that I have barely had time to breathe! But don’t worry, I plan to use this naptime to make up for it and hopefully knock out the three topics I had in my head for the last week and a half..ok,ready? Good! Here we go!!!
So in this class that Mr. Wright is taking, he gets 2 four day weekends, for us, that means two separate times when we can take little trips somewhere. Originally, we had planned to go to Phoenix which is a mere 3 hours away, but then my friend told me that San Diego was only 8 hours away and all the awesome stuff we could do there AND being that Mr. Wright is military, there were a few places we could get in for free!
Of course THAT was a no brainer, so Friday morning we set off with Tiny and Baby Giant in tow,to the lovely sea -side city of San Diego (say that 5 times fast, I dare ya!) Armed with the knowledge my awesome cousin Jet-Setter gave me about the lay of the land, and what areas would be good for kids coupled with my hotel- savvy I was confident we would have an amazing vacation. We decided to go to Sea World, and The San Diego Zoo, and to spend our evenings relaxing poolside at our 4 star hotel. (More on that later)
As we drove through the mountains I thought about how amazing this trip was going to be. Mr. Wright was pulling 18 hour days at school and finally I would have him to myself for a bit, not to mention some help with our two under two. Also, I couldn’t wait to see the look on Tiny’s face when she saw the animals, and the colors, and the OCEAN!
So the first day was Sea World, and since the night before was Valentine’s Day we had trouble finding a decent hotel in Mission Bay, so we opted to stay in Del Mar. I don’t know why they call it Del Mar, since the only view I had of the ocean was the painting in the hotel room, but whatever it was super nice and wicked cheap. So before we headed to Sea World we checked into the new hotel which I was excited about. It ended up being the Swiss Family W. $168 a night to sleep in a glorified tree house. I was so not impressed. I decided to let it go though because Tiny was going to love Sea World! THAT was why we were here, not so I could lounge around in a sleep number bed right? So off we went with our free passes that Mr. Wright had so diligently printed out the night before. Surely we just had to show those at the gate and be on our way right?
An hour or so later we were finally in the park. Baby Giant had to eat and Tiny was bored…and hungry….and bored. But after another half hour we were ready to explore the park! Off we went to the different exhibits and luckily BG slept most of the time. We decided to catch the 4:30 Shamu show rather than the 7:00 one, just in case the kids had had enough by 5. I couldn’t wait! I had never seen the show myself, but more importantly I couldn’t wait to see the reaction from Tiny when the Killer Whales jumped out of the water. As we and thousands of other people made our way up the hill, propelled by the momentum of the folks behind us (meaning there was no going back,) Tiny decided to wet her pants, and by that I mean her diaper leaked… There was no way to change her, no way to go back without being trampled by Whaleheads… So we pressed on finding our seats in the nosebleed section of Shamu stadium. As soon as we sat down, BG started shrieking, perhaps because he was hungry, or perhaps cause he wanted everyone to know that a 2 month old baby was within their immediate seating area. The show started and Tiny was amazed! For about thirty seconds…It wasn’t long before she was climbing all over the bleachers, touching the people in front of us, climbing all over me… anything but watching the massive sea mammals jumping 3 feet out of the water in front of us…Nevertheless, the first thing we did when we left was follow the throngs of other people into the Shamu Shop to purchase her very own stuffed Shamu which she immediately named “Whale.”
NOTE:Anyone planning a trip to Sea World should seriously consider watching the film, BLACKFISH. Had we watched it before our trip we may not have chosen to go Sea World after all.
By the time we got back to the hotel, I was so exhausted, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. We all fell asleep at 8pm. So much for the hotel pool. The only redeeming quality about Casa Treehouse….grrr
The next “morning” we slept in and decided to grab breakfast at the hotel. It was OK. Then we climbed into the car to make our way to the San Diego ZOO! The best thing about this zoo for me was that they had pandas, which happen to be my favorite animal. The zoo closed at 5 so we figured that getting there at 12 would give us plenty of time to see things, though we knew we wouldn’t see it all..
After the one hour it took to get off the exit to the parking lot, and the 90 minutes we spent IN the parking lot trying to find a parking spot.. it was almost 2:30 by the time we got into the Zoo. Once again, everyone was starving, and tired, and wet, and soiled… and this time we were on the clock. ugggghhhhhhhh
Friends who have visited the zoo before urged me to take advantage of the buses that travel all around the property, and after going there I know why. The place is like the tough mudder for mommies. Some of the steepest hills I have ever encountered, I was petrified the stroller would just roll away! After a while, which exhibits we would visit was dictated by how far we had to walk to see them…
Lions? Oh they are way up there? Nah, let’s just look at the pigeons that are right here by this nice bench… and the water bubbler.
We ended our time at the Zoo in the gift shop, where we bought gifts for everyone and their brother and then decided to go explore the city in search of dinner. Surely a nice meal would be a great way to sum up our time in San Diego?
By the time we found a place to eat Tiny was asleep in the car and BG was starving. We got into PF Chang’s and waited an hour for our table. Tiny cried and BG screamed for a good 40 of those minutes so that by the time we got to our table my appetite was pretty much gone. Tiny was starving and BG was already ready to eat again and I was ready for bed. We got back to the hotel around 10, once again exhausted.
And that was that. Time to drive the 8 hours home.. Was it the amazing Disney World experience I had imagined with perfectly behaved and content kids the entire time? Not at all. Did we have a blast? You bet we did! Sure there were moments where I thought I might accidentally commit homicide if I heard my name one more time, but there were awesome things too! Way too many to list! The most important part though? Our family was together. The yucky stuff was far outshined by the delicious turkey leg, and the pandas, and the way Tiny got so excited when I made the whooshing sound with her stuffed whale.
Vacation, I learned, is no longer synonymous with relaxation. Now it means uninterrupted family time with all the same needs and wants of regular day to day existence. Babies still poop on vacation, they still whine about being tired, and hungry, and hot, and cold, and bored- no matter how many elephants or giraffes or killer whales you parade in front of them and you can choose to be upset about that OR you can roll with the punches. Just as I have had to come to terms with the fact that an 8 hour ride with children really means closer to 12 or 13, so too must I adjust for the inevitable mood swings of an almost 2 year old! Gosh did I just say that? Wow, Tiny is almost two…Where did the time go?