South To The Sun
"A Winter Break trip to San Diego"
We got up around 8am and slowly got every one moving. It's a gray
day, but the rain is suppose to hold off until tonight. Our
destination today is LegoLand.
During breakfast we enjoyed watching the dolphins
swimming just outside the break in front of our building. Now if
Hollywood Sam would finish in the bathroom we could leave.
We finally left the condo just after 10am. We
had to make a stop at a cell phone store so Hollywood could get a
charger for his phone. The drive up I-5 to Carlsbad was quick and
soon we were pulling into the LegoLand parking lot, $10 to park on top
of the overpriced tickets. Thankfully we got 3 Go San Diego cards
as part of the package for our condo so we only had to buy two more
We entered the park and turned right, because it just seemed
like the right direction. Soon we were having to stop and take
pictures in front of every great model we came to.
our way to Miniature land and spent well over an hour checking out
Washington DC, Vegas, New Orleans, and New York. They even had
Ferndale Washington complete with logging trucks.
Once done there, we left the Daytona 500 and headed to
the coasters in the 'Imagination Zone'. Unfortunately the one Sam wanted to ride was closed
for maintenance. He and Mike ended up taking a wild ride on the
end of a large robotic arm spinning and flipping over the water.
We caught back up with Dawn and Nick who had been panning for gold and
collecting shiny gems on 'Castle Hill'. From there it was up to the dragon coaster.
Nick elected to sit out while the four of us took the short but fun
We then went to the Knights BBQ and had lunch around
1pm. The food actually wasn't all that bad. The boys then
went to play in the big obstacle course play area for a while while Sam
and I checked out 'Pirate Shores'. We felt it was a bust so we skipped
that and all went to 'Fun Town'.
We toured the factory and the great
Egyptian and arctic exhibits. Then it was on to the Volvo driving
school where Mike and Nick both took their driving test and got their
licenses. There was a fantastic full size model of a Volvo
X-Country at this exhibit.
From there it was into the Technics area where we
pedaled the wacky cars high in the air and Mike and Nick worked the rope
climb. We passed safely through the dinosaurs and after a bit of
shopping were back at the entrance around 4:30pm.
We drove back along the coast and stopped at a beach
park just north of Torrey Pines as the sunset was really looking good.
After about 45 minutes of playing in the surfs edge while a sunset
happened we packed it in and headed back to Pacific Beach.
I dropped Dawn near the Ralphs store so she could get
her Hawaiian BBQ while the boys and I went to Fat Burger for some meat.
We all met up in the blockbuster and picked out a couple movies.
Back at the condo we enjoyed dinner and then settled
in for "Bourne Ultimatum". Mike got bored and went into the
bedroom to watch normal TV and build his new 'Indiana Jones" lego set.
Once the movie was over we pulled the pictures off the camera's and had
a slide show re-living the day.
It looks like the Baby Panda is out at the zoo from
9am to 11am so we need to make a early start in the morning.
Everyone is off to bed.
San Diego Zoo
We got up around 7:30 and managed to get out the door by 9am. By
then it was raining lightly as we drove south to Balboa Park and the
Diego Zoo. Thankfully the Zoo was also on our Go Cards and the two
more extra admissions weren't even half of what they cost at LegoLand.
We're on a mission to see the baby Panda which is out
for viewing from 9 - 11am. We found a path that took us down into
Panda Valley and went straight to the Panda house. We first saw
two of the older Panda's, one asleep in a hollow log and the other up
and wandering her enclosure. Going to the other side took us to
the baby and her mother, both asleep in their tree's. The baby had
his rump turned to the people and all that we could see of her was a
ball of black and white fur in the tree. The mother was at least a
bit more photogenic as she slept not far away. Apparently the baby
sleeps 20 hours a day and is most active at night.
We headed for the Panda gift shop and bought some
clear rain poncho's for the boys and 2 umbrellas for Dawn and I as the
rain looked like it was here to stay. It never really got heavy
but was more than wet enough to need protection.
We rode the moving sidewalk up the hill and spent some
time in the many aviary's. Being inside the bird cage is really
cool. We came upon the Orangutan enclosure and spent quite a while
watching the antics of a baby orangutan and a small black baby Siamang.
He was a bundle of energy moving non-stop up and down the many bamboo
poles. We had no luck at the Gorilla enclosure but did find a few other
less entertaining monkeys. Most of them seemed to be trying to
stay dry just like we were.
We finally ended up back where we started near the
Pink Flamingo pond. They are quite a strange bird. After a
couple of in-decisive attempts at lunch we settled on Nacho's and
Pretzels as a light snack. Mike was wet and wearing out and we
decided to just look at one more thing, the Reptile house.
After a round of snakes and lizards under the cover of
a roof everyone seemed up for one more exhibit. We took the walk
to the Koloa Bears hoping for lots of furry fun. There were a lot
of bears, all sound asleep in their trees. Wanting to see more
active animals we headed for the Kangaroo's, Wallabies, and Meerkats.
Most were hunkered down until finally, past the double hump Camels we
found the Meerkat colony. They were all out busy digging and
playing for our entertainment.
The rain was finally tapering off and the clouds were
clearing. We thought we could avoid going back the same way by
going down Cat Valley which would lead us back up to the entrance.
Turns out it was Elephant valley that would have done this. Cat Valley
actually led us right back to the Pandas where we had started early this
morning. We did however see some great big cats along the way.
We arrived at the Jaguar enclosure just as the
caretaker was hiding meat around inside. Once she locked herself out she
opened the door and a gorgeous huge black cat thrilled us as he hunted about
for his meal just a few feet away from us. There were two puma's out in their enclosure
and a great looking leopard calmly watch us pass by.
Looking at the map we decided to continue to the
Panda's and then take the other moving sidewalk up to the Polar Bears
where we could catch the Sky Safari trams back to the entrance.
Once we got there we found the sidewalk closed. This meant our
only choice now was to walk further down, then up past the Raptors to
the Polar Bears. By now the sun was out and it was a pleasant,
although up hill, trek.
After viewing the Polar Bears we boarded the Sky
Safari and enjoyed the view as we passed over all the exhibits on our
way back to the entrance. Mike and Nick went for some treats while
Dawn and Sam completed some final shopping in the gift store. We
left the zoo just after 3pm.
The drive back was quick even as we took the slower
route past Sea World and across Mission Bay. Soon we were back in
our warm dry condo. With all our blinds open we soaked in the now
sun as it sank toward the Pacific. Dawn curled up on the couch in
our room while the boys took the living room to relax in.
Around 5:00pm Dawn decided to take Sam and Mike out for a
few errands. Sam needs a haircut and the both need some additional
dry shoes. Sketchers is getting a lot of business from us this
trip. It was almost 6:30pm when they finally returned and we started
Dawn is making Pork Tenderloins and Potatoes this
evening. It's a bit after 8:00pm now and we're ready for
dinner. Mike as usual is wanting something else to eat.
Looks like once this episode of 'Extreme Weapons' concludes we'll watch
"Mr. Woodcock" and then call it a night.