Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 11 - A little of this and a little of that

We headed north today... which means we are more than half-way through our trip.
Breakfast was from the bagel place again this morning... it went much better to take kids with when picking items for them to eat. 
We ate in the room and packed up. Loading the car is turning into bit of a puzzle... things need to fit in just so. But its working out. 
Once we checked out, we headed to Seaport Village to take a Seal Tour.

The tour was great. A bit on land and a bit in the water. The kids enjoyed it... our little lady got a bit bored towards the end.. and she might have been getting a bit queezy. But we saw sea lions, pelicans and even a dolphin. 
After the tour, we hit the road. 
We lunched in the car as we drove north and got into Torrance around 4:30. So... what to do, what to do? 
Well, we found something to do! 
Have you heard of SkyZone? Well here, check it out...

We had a blast! And are totally exhausted. I mean really really tired, red faced, dripping with sweat. And that was only a half hour of jumping! Who would have thought that jumping on a trampoline would be soo tiring? But its also CRAZY FUN! I mean laugh out loud, don't even realize you are doing it, fun. So, now we are going to start going to the place like this near our house... it's kind of mandatory now. 

We decided to eat in our comfy room, so we hit the food counters at Whole Foods and brought it back to the room.
I am not sure if its all the sun, all the dining out, or maybe a half hour of bouncing... or it all combined, but I am feeling slightly off this evening so I am a bit of a party pooper to do anything else tonight. Sleep sounds good :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 10 - about town

Another mellow morning without setting the alarm.... lovely.
We splurged and ordered room service for breakfast, which made life really easy.
After breakfast it was time for the pool.
The hotel has 3 pools in their pool area. One has a small water slide entering it, one has two medium size slides, and the last pool has no slide. But it was the only one with sunshine this morning... brrrrr.
We got our water slide and chlorine fix for the day - kids loved the slides and we adults would have probably stayed longer if the sun had been a bit more present. We were very cold.
But the rest of the day was ahead of us and we were off on a Trolley tour of San Diego this afternoon. We lunched in Old Town at Cafe Coyote, which was really good. Then walked up and caught our Trolley.

waiting for tour to start
famous ship... the Star of India... I don't remember why, you'd have to look it up :)
I did this same tour just over a year ago and very little has changed with the format or route of the tour. We got off for a little snack on Coronado, then back on to see the rest of the town.

from brigde to Coronado
The full tour was about 2 hours and we decided to drive back to the zoo area to hit the railroad and carousel instead of navigating the Balboa park bus system.

After all the fun, we had a light dinner (I think all our meals out are getting to me), then back to the hotel.
On an odd note of symmetry, we started with a mellow morning (note from my first line today) and we ended with Marshmallows! (mellow/mallow... Clearly I have had one s'more too many :)
The hotel sells s'more kits and we decided to give that a go. We lucked out and found a fire pit no one had claimed yet and indulged in s'mores. We met a lovely family from "a small village just outside Kent" (in the UK) according to the darling little daughter, who were having their first s'mores ever. Hopefully our sugar high kiddos didn't scare them too much. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 9 - The World Famous, San Diego Zoo

We enjoyed a lovely lazy morning today.
The hotel has a bagel chain store in it, and we had the brilliance to pick up a few gift cards for them before our trip. When I went down this morning to get some bagels, etc. for breakfast in the room.. I was politely informed that since they are a hotel location (run by the hotel) they don't accept gift cards... ah, the best laid plans :) Oh well, we will use them another time. 
Once fed and ready, we headed out to the zoo.

It was my second time and I still get really turned around in this place. Not only is it huge, but it's layered... we were walking along, enjoying the animals and there is a whole separate walking path viewing other exhibits below us... how do we get there?
sporting a fabulous sun hat
Okapi, a personal favorite
sleepy panda
having a snack 
waiting for sister
We took advantage of the buses inside the zoo and covered a lot of ground that way. 
We didn't close the place down, as the zoo is open 9 to 9 for the summer, but we stayed til dinner time and saw a lot of wonderful animals. 
We all had spots of pink from yesterdays sun, so we were very thorough with sunscreen application this morning. We also added a few hats to our sun plan, and I think we did better today, although I am developing a very funny tan line on my feet, as I keep forgetting to put sunscreen on them, and I switched from Mary Janes yesterday (with a strap) to flip flops today, so I have a little triangle forming on the top of my foot... tee hee :) - cracks me up. 
We went to Scholotzsky's for dinner, which we haven't been to in years and it was tasty. Even the kiddos enjoyed it. 
Now we are settling into a mellow evening in the room and maybe a spot of laundry.

view from our room
enjoying our little balcony

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 8 - Legoland

Here we go!
Today was our first full day on our feet... ouch.
Us girls seem to be feeling it a bit more than the boys, not sure why that is.

We grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel before packing up and heading to the land of legos.
We found out that they open a bit early for certain rides, so we decided to get in on that, and get those rides out of the way early. This plan worked very well for us. Overall we rode more rides than we have on any previous trip to Legoland.

Lego Safari

pedaling on sky-cruiser
sky-cruiser track ahead of us
boys coming around behind us on sky-cruiser
getting her Lego driver's licence.... clear the roads ;)
Jousting ride
this is a favorite ride for a certain boy (click on pic to see it larger)
Overall the day was great. We all got a little sun, but not much and it's so rare for us to see it so consistently we forget sometimes.
The park has changed a bit since our last trip. Lots more to get wet on, which a little girl loved. And new lands in the mini-land area.

Ice Cream break
A full day out means lots of fun and a few melt downs.... we had both.
We found our hotel in San Diego and are settling in.
The next few days should be a nice medium pace for us. Yay!

Bonus Picture:
Does this even need a caption?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 7 - Drive

Today was spent on the road.
I think it's funny that you can get through Oregon on a tank of gas, but we had to fill up twice today.

We packed up and left our wonderful rental house by 9:30.
The house worked out really great and we are so glad we found it.

About an hour down the road we stopped at a Ghiradelli Factory Outlet for... chocolate. No seriously, we mainly stopped out of curiosity - it's not a working chocolate factory location, just a store and soda fountain, but we were happy to stretch our legs and pick up a few things for the road.... salted caramel hot chocolate anyone?

Then back on the road.
Next stop Santa Nella.... Andersen's Pea Soup.
I hadn't been here in forever, it was before we were married that we last went. And it all looks the same :)
After lunch we got back on the road. (are you sensing a theme for the day?)

Next stop LA - and dinner.
We stopped at Ernie Jr's, for dinner. Its an old family favorite and the timing worked out perfectly.
Until we were done eating and had to get out into traffic to head south. Eeks.

Our drive from LA to Carlsbad was about 45 mins longer than we were hoping for, but we got there all the same. It was a LONG day on the road. We listened to lots of music and some books off
But it's time to sleep, the Legos call tomorrow.

Bonus: A few extra pics of the kiddos at the park near the rental house the day before :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 6 - A lazy day

Today is our last full day in Roseville. And we decided not to plan any big activities for today.

Our "maintenance required" light came on yesterday (as it does every 5000 miles), so we decided to hit the local dealer for a once over before we head out tomorrow. So the boys ran over and took care of that first thing this morning.

A quiet breakfast with grandma
I was allowed a lazy morning, which was lovely.
For lunch hubby and I got to go out, just the two of us - which is also a treat.
We also bought the most expensive souvenirs of our trip.
And we bought four of them.... big, black, new.... wait for it - TIRES!

In a rare moment of distraction, Hubby hit a curb in a parking lot at an odd angle, and the front right tire blew out.  And since our Highlander is 4WD and the tires were actually only 5000-10,000 miles until their end of life anyway, that meant replacing all four.  The timing of it was good... meaning, if we had to buy all new tires on the trip, today was the day we had time to deal with it... and it happened while just hubby and I were out, so we didn't have to test the kids patience. But it wasn't really something we were planning to do while on vacation, that's what makes it an adventure... right?

My mom brought several crafts with her, so the kids have a collection of newly created bookmarks, and Perler bead creations to take with them :)

being crafty

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 5 – Jelly Belly Factory Tour.... or our own mini version of “Some Assembly Required”

If you know the show “Some Assembly Required” or know how much our son loves this show, then you will know why going to this factory is so super cool. The kid was bouncing off the walls with excitement this morning. We arrived before the big crowds and were on the tour within 20 minutes of walking in. Sadly no pictures are allowed on the tour – so sorry, but the tour is free, so next time you are in Fairfield, swing on by. Or Netflix the “Some Assembly Required” episode. Who doesn't love Brian Unger, right?
giant flying Jelly Belly
Jelly Belly art
She was actually more excited than she looks :)
Anyway, we saw the factory in person and got a feel for the process. We also got our fair share of free samples. Hubby tried the Chili Mango flavored Jelly Belly and was truly surprised by the kick.
We also bought a number of Jelly Belly related items... cause really, where else are you going to find them? We had a great time and would go again.
After lunch in Vacaville, we headed home. The afternoon was spent doing crafts and playing at the house. With pizza from Zpizza for dinner.... yummy.   

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 4 – Wiemar and some quiet time at the house

My mom has been living up in Wiemar for the past four years and today was our first chance to really see it. The drive up from Roseville was only about 40 minutes, and a friend of hers lent us …. well, it was made by John Deere... and it was bigger than a golf cart... we used it to drive around the campus and see where she lives. Its a lovey place and I can see why she likes it.
On the way home we stopped at Ikeda's for peaches. As a kid my family would stop here once a year on our way to Tahoe. So going back with kids of my own was a total kick. And the peaches are still awesome. We got a few other things... hint, we will be having strawberry shortcake after dinner tonight!

Moses Rock

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 3 – it's a hot day

First stop today is Old Sacramento and the California Railroad Museum.

Kiddos with Grandma, waiting for the train
We started the fun with a short ride on the Sacramento central railroad, down the river a bit. We splurged for the first class cabin, which put us in the last car of the trip for half of the trip... then.... the engine uncoupled and came along the siding and suddenly we were the front of the train! Which was super cool, for the train lovers among us.

Chatting on the train
waiting for the engine
Here it comes!

After the ride we hit the Museum. Which has a really nice display of trains, both real and toys.

Ok, what were we thinking coming to the Sacramento area in the middle of summer?
Its CRAZY hot!

You've got to be kidding me!  
We were brilliant enough to make popsicles the night before so the kids had a cool afternoon treat.