(A travel log featuring more photos of the Kennedy family than you ever wanted to see...)
The kids had school off this past week for fall break, so we took them on a little vacation to San Diego to visit Sea World. Nate found a deal that included a hotel room and tickets to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and the Wild Animal Park.
It's about a 6 1/2 hour drive from here for us, and we left in the afternoon after the kids' soccer game, so by the time we got to California, the kids were wiped out. We ordered pizza because we were too tired to go out, and we couldn't even wake them to eat the pizza once it was delivered.
Doesn't Zachary look much older here? Weird.
The first day we went to Sea World. Nate totally mocked me for wearing the rain poncho on this ride, but after he got totally wet himself, he ended up putting one on for the next ride. He ripped it off before this photo, but he was still drenched.
This was right after the Journey to Atlantis ride, which the kids were begging to go on all day. Turns out it was super fast and scary and the kids were crying and begging to get off halfway through the ride. Noah looks extra thrilled, doesn't he?
Of course, one of the best parts of Sea World is all the shows. The kids really liked seeing Shamu, the sea lions, and the "Petz Rule" show, which featured a bunch of different animals like dogs, cats, a pig, and ducks performing tricks.
Here are some dogs jumping rope.
Noah's making his dolphin swim here.
I really don't do well on any of the spinning rides, so it's Nate's job to take the kids on those. hee hee...
Zachary really wanted to try out this bungee jumping ride, but when he saw how high some of the other kids got, he kinda freaked out. He got going pretty high himself, and I was worried he was getting scared until he blurted out,
"Hey, are these pictures in focus?!!"
And, because I'm a dork, I had to take a picture of this sign because I thought it was funny with the two strollers parked in front of it.
Noah seemed tired and kind of lethargic the whole day at Sea World and we'd given him a hard time about not eating his $8 kid's meal, so we felt pretty bad when we realized he was sick.
And not just a little sick, but actually 'hurl over the side of the top bunk bed, onto the bottom bunk bed and floor below' kind of sick.
In our experience, barfing tends to put a damper on family vacations.
Much of the second day was spent holed up in the vomit-scented hotel room trying to figure out if Noah was feeling okay enough to go anywhere. He seemed okay, but we didn't want to get into one of the theme parks only to discover he wasn't, so instead we planned to head to the beach.
The kids love the tiny little crabs you can sometimes find at the beach. Luckily, we found one!
We felt bad for whoever was going to have to deal with our hotel room mess that day, so before we left for the beach, Nate found a maid, asked if she'd be cleaning our room, explained what happened, and gave her a big tip.
After the beach, when we really wanted to take showers and get cleaned up, we returned to find the room was still a barfy mess, and our nicely tipped maid was now nowhere to be found.
We decided to take the kids down to the pool instead.
Zachary, curiously crazy kid that he is, put his hand on the elevator door while it was opening and it got sucked in between the door and the wall. His blood curdling screams echoed through the elevator and could probably be heard within a 10 mile radius. Really. Envisioning my little guy going through life minus his digits, I completely panicked and starting whacking buttons on the elevator. Eventually the door stopped and with great effort, we were able to pull his hand out. When we finally got to Nate, who was down waiting by the pool, I flipped out on him and asked why on earth he didn't come running when her heard Zach's petrified screaming.
Nate's response was,
"Well, he does that a lot."
And actually, he kinda does.
At this point, I was shaking like a leaf and burst into tears, then asked Nate where the ice machine was. He questioned if I really thought we needed to ice Zachary's hand, and I sheepishly held up a warm can of Diet Coke I'd been carrying and showed him what I really wanted the ice for.
The kids totally loved that they were able to be in the hot tub at the hotel, something that's not allowed anywhere else we've been.
Here's a mellow Noah hanging out with Nate.
By now we were sure Noah was feeling better, but it was evening, and we had no plans, so we found a nice park for the kids to play in.
The next day we headed to the Wild Animal Park. It was kind of overcast and cool and the park wasn't very busy at all, so it was perfect.
Nate and Noah waiting for the bird show to begin.
This explains a lot of Nate's behavior, doesn't it?
The Wild Animal Park was great because the animals are in fairly 'natural surroundings', and yet you can actually see them up close.
And even feed some of them!
Here we are ready for our "4D" dinosaur adventure. We weren't that impressed, so I think the 4 D's really stood for:
If you happen to visit the Wild Animal Park in the near future, skip that part.
This is Nate feeding nectar to the lorikeets. I think he had eight of them perched on him at one time. I thought they were super creepy, which they could probably sense, because one of them bit me.
There's a hot air balloon there that you can pay big bucks to ride in. We passed. But it's cool looking, isn't it?
Nate and Noah on the merry go round. Seriously, what kid picks the stationary bench to sit on?
A kid getting over the flu, I guess.
One of the highlights of the trip was getting to meet one of my 'online friends', Cindy. We've been talking on a rubber stamping website for a long time, and I finally got to meet her in person and see her amazing 'stamp cave'. How fun is that?! She showed me some of the amazing projects she's been working on, and she's super talented!
The last day of the trip we planned on heading home before it got too late, but we had time to run to the Maritime Museum and tour some of the old boats and go on a harbor cruise.
They told us this ship has its 'haunted' sails up for Halloween.
We all loved our trip to San Diego, (well...most of it at least) and can't wait to go back!