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February 13, 2003

San Diego Vacation Part II

One of the main reasons we chose San Diego for our vacation spot is because Jennifer wanted to go somewhere warm and sunny. Monday was somewhat sunny; Tuesday we had Oregon rain. Needless to say this dampened our spirits - especially Jennifer's. We had planned on staying near Carlsbad today - there is a children's museum here, Legoland is across the street from our resort, and there are several other museums in the vicinity. Because the weather was not what we hoped for we stayed in our room all morning. I worked on the first entry, which took long enough to write without the added problem of getting pictures into the entry, while Jennifer, Janet, and the kids played games.

We finally decided we had better get out of the room. Of course by this time it was noon and the kids were hungry. So we reevaluated and decided that Jennifer would stay with Emma and take a nap while Janet, Harrison, and I went out to run some errands. We were gone about two and a half hours (mostly spent scouting the area). When we returned both Jennifer and Emma were sound asleep. After waking them Jennifer and I ran to Costco to get the photos I had dropped off earlier. Since it was still pouring we decided to go to the outlet mall to get Emma a raincoat. We went back to the resort and got the kids and Janet and went shopping and to dinner. After a fiasco at the first restaurant we tried we ended up at the Outback. Harrison ate at least a third of my salmon. This was the extent of our rainy Tuesday.

The fun really started Wednesday morning. I was up until 1 am the night before trying to get the first entry finished. Harrison obviously didn't know this as he woke us up at 6:45 am. After an hour of being kicked, sat on, and generally pestered we got up and made breakfast. In spite of the weather (a 90% chance of rain was predicted) we decided we would go to Sea World. We figured of all the places we would go this had the most indoor activities. We got all packed up and arrived at the park at 10:30. Because the weather was poor attendance at the park was very light.

After a quick double shot of espresso for me and a hot chocolate for the kids we decided to go visit the dolphins and then watch the Dolphin Discovery show. We watched some people (who had payed $80 a piece for the Dolphin Interaction Program) while we were waiting for the show to start.

Once the show started we were amazed by the relationships between the trainers and animals. With simple hand motions they were able to make the dolphins do all kids of amazing tricks.

We especially liked when one of the dolphins snatched the hat off of the head of one of the "volunteers" from the audience (we soon learned he was actually one of the trainers).

Most impressive of all was the height which the dophins were able to jump out of the water (over 9 feet).

Just as the show ended the rain started. At first we had just a few light showers. We decided that if we went to Shark Encounter (which was indoor) the rain would stop in time for us to pursue more outdoor activities.

When we left the exhibit the first thing we noticed was how hard it was raining. Most people seemed to be heading for the exit; as this was nothing for Oregonians (and was sure to pass in a couple of minutes) we decided to go to the Sea Lion and Otter Show.

Half way through the show the rain had increased in intensity enough that our pants were starting to soak through. Just about when the dampness reached the skin on our legs Harrison needed to go to the bathroom. We waited for a good stopping point in the show but finally had to leave. By the time we returned to the show it was pouring. After the show we were all so wet we decided to visit the Anheuser-Busch Hospitality Center (it was indoors) for some bratwurst and sauerkraut. We ate and regrouped. Janet and I took Emma to the car for her nap and I returned to the park with some dry stuff for Jennifer and Harrison (they visited Penguin Encounter in my absence). Since the rain hadn't let up a bit we decided to visit the Wild Arctic Exhibit (indoor). We were shown a 10 minute movie about the exploration of the arctic and then led into the exhibit.

Our first animal here was the Beluga Whales.

We also saw the gigantic Walrus.

And then the Polar Bears.

Part of the Polar Bear exhibit included a walk in den complete with snoring bear sounds. As we passed through the den the snoring sound became a roar which frightened us (especially Harrison). As we walked away from the exhibit we heard many screams coming from the Polar Bear dens.

We decided that Harrsion deserved a snack before we continued in the pouring rain. We found a stand selling cookies an hot chocolate and tried to find a little shelter where we could rest.

Because we were about the only ones left in the park the keeper that was feeding the Bat Rays at Forbidden Reef let Harrison give them some food. He was a little fearful but enjoyed being close to the animals.

Our only opportunity to see Shamu Adventure was at 4:30. This was one of the things Harrison was looking forward to most; so we decided that in spite of being completely soaked we would join the remaining people in the park (maybe 150 at most) in veiwing the show. We went to one of the stores and bought a couple of ponchos to help keep the kids' legs dry (I got one too because non of my coats have a hood). Once again I set off for the car (to retrieve Janet and Emma). When we finally got to the show we were glad we had stayed. The rain tapered off to nothing just as the show started and it was quite spectacular.

Janet was on the Shamu big screen while taking this picture!

This is what we looked like after being rained on for 4 hours.

When we reached the car we all changed into dry clothes. We left Sea World and went to the airport to pick up Bruce (Jennifer's dad). After we picked him up we went to Casa de Bandini for dinner. The restaurant was in Old Town San Diego. We had a great time and good food. Even Harrison and Emma liked it!! By this time we were exhausted so we decided to go home.

Posted by jeremy at February 13, 2003 08:19 AM


Hey guys-- It's so fun reading about your (wet) adventures. The rains are starting to move in here in Canby, so at least that's some consolation. The pictures you've taken are fantastic! The beluga whale is my favorite sea mammal; we saw some amazing behavior from the small pod at the Vancouver Zoo in B.C. a few years ago. They're beautiful, like floating ghosts, don't you think? Hope you dry out-- Kris

Posted by: Kris at February 13, 2003 11:02 AM

Great report and pictures. BUT more grandkids and their mother and less animal stuff is in order.

Posted by: Dad at February 13, 2003 07:33 PM

And less Jeremy.

Posted by: J.D. at February 13, 2003 10:46 PM

hey now, JD- don't be dissin' my bro...

so, this is way the coolest! i'm just hitting myself for not having read it while you were actually there... oops! anyway, it's really fun to be able to see you all and what you're doing. thanks for taking the time to post it- i love you all, and i'll see you in about 17 days!


Posted by: Jennifer at March 2, 2003 06:03 PM