Thursday, October 11, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 11: San Diego! (1 of 3)

It's day 11 for my NaBloPoMo and I have decided to write about our trip to San Diego that took place between July 20th and July 29th, 2012.  Since this has taken much longer to write than expected, I'm thinking this will be broken into three blog posts.  My NaBloPoMo's theme for this month is "past adventures that we haven't been able to blog about as well as what's happening currently."  I originally had this post broken into about seven sections but I'll put in bold which sections the current post will be about.

July 20-21 Las Vegas and driving
July 21-22 Pacific Beach and SeaWorld
July 23 San Diego Zoo and Pacific Beach
July 24-25 SeaWorld (visit 2), Seaport Village, and San Diego Zoo (visit 2)
July 26-27 SeaWorld (visit 3) and San Diego Zoo (visit 3)
July 27-28 Coronado Island and Pacific Beach
July 28-29 Las Vegas and driving, again

This year my company sent me to San Diego for the annual ESRI International User's Conference.  I hadn't gone to this conference since 2006, when I went the first time.  I really wanted to take the family but Lisa wasn't sure what her and the kids would do while I was at the show and how she would handle the two crazy kids without some extra help.  So she actually got her mom to come with us.  Olsen was pretty excited about this because he loves his Grandma.

July 20-21 Las Vegas and driving

Olsen's Grandma flew into SLC to come see us a few days before our trip.  Then we all hopped in a car and drove down.  It's a long drive so we had to break it up into two days of driving.  The first day we drove down to Las Vegas.  This took all day with stops in various places.  I found a pretty good deal on hotwire for a Holiday Inn Express near the strip.

When we got to our hotel, we settled down a bit then decided to go check out the strip (Lisa's mom had never been to Las Vegas).  It was crowded and really hot.
Jovie on the strip

We had never been to the M&M or Coke store before and decided to go check them out.
Olsen dancing with the Green M&M

The Polar Bear was smiling

We wanted to make our way down to the Bellagio fountains.  The Strip was just super busy with tons of stuff going on.  It was a Friday night
Olsen and Grandma on The Strip

Jovie and Momma at the fountains

Grandma holds Jovie

It was so unbelievably hot for how late it was.  I think it was past 11 PM and still well over 100 degrees outside.  We spent as much walking time as we could indoors and found a few misters to stand in front of.  Olsen found a giant shoe to get in.
Olsen in a giant red shoe

Olsen loved the Cool Zone fans

July 21-22 Pacific Beach and SeaWorld

We finally got back to the hotel and got to bed.  We ate our continental breakfast with a ton of other people and got back on the road.  We stopped in Victorville, CA to eat at Chipotle (we ate there last year too and Olsen remembered).  For staying in San Diego, I really wanted to get a place where we wouldn't bother too many people in case Jovie wanted to have a good scream session.  So basically a stand alone place, like a vacation house.  But it had to be reasonably priced.  I also needed it to be somewhat near the San Diego Convention Center and I wanted it to be near a beach.  This wasn't an easy task but I found an amazing house in Pacific Beach that was just 1 block from the beach.
Our beach house!

Olsen showing Momma the beach house

We had to go check out the beach since there was still daylight out.  We also saw a huge pig at Palisades Park (which was right next to the beach)
A huge pig at Palisades Park

Running Olsen

The Beach Boy

Here comes a wave

The sand boy

The next day was Sunday and my conference didn't start until Monday so we had to whole day to do something.  We decided to spend the day at SeaWorld.  I had gotten a season pass to SeaWorld and everyone else got a week-long pass to SeaWorld, the Zoo, and the Wild Animal Park.  The first thing we went and saw was the dolphin show.
Jovie at SeaWorld!


Dolphin in mid-flight

Dolphins all jumping at once

The dolphin show did not seem as good as the last time we saw it (like in 2006).  This show had acrobats and birds and not as much dolphin action.  They did still have the Pilot Whales (apparently the only performing Pilot Whales in the world).  Jovie got super tired at the show and fell asleep.
Pilot whale jumping

Jovie fell asleep at the dolphin show

After the dolphins, we went to see the Shamu show.  Lisa can write all about how awful the Orcas are treated at SeaWorld, I'll save that topic for her...  Shamu was pretty entertaining
Shamu doing a flip

Shamu in mid-flight

Shamu saying hello

Some people got pretty wet sitting in the splash zone.
The splash zone!

After Shamu we went and checked out the tide pool section where Olsen to got to pick up some seastars.
Olsen checks out the sea stars

Olsen looking at the sea stars

Lisa holds a sea star

The next show to check out was the Pets Rule show.
Pets Rule Show - SeaWorld 1 Pets Rule Show - SeaWorld 4 Pets Rule Show - SeaWorld 5 Pets Rule Show - SeaWorld 7 Pets Rule Show - SeaWorld 11 Pets Rule Show - SeaWorld 14 Pets Rule Show - SeaWorld 16

After Pets Rule, we went to the Sesame Bay of Play area so Olsen could go play on the jumping mat and climb the ropes and Jovie could crawl around in the baby area.

Olsen jumping

Olsen in the punching bags

Olsen got stuck

Jovie with an orange block

Jovie with big blocks

After playing at the bay of play, we took a Skytower Ride then checked out some of the other animals.  After a long day we finally went home and just relaxed at our beach house.  The next two blog posts will summarize the rest of our San Diego trip.  I will leave this post with a picture of a gigantic rodent that really reminds me of Lucy.
Humongous rodent

Here are all the pictures from our trip to San Diego.

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