Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Break San Diego - Day 6: Sea World

The final day of our San Diego vacation was spent in Sea World.  We got there before the park opened, so we spent some time in the front area petting some of the sharks and rays.  Kate was the one child excited to do so initially, though in later exhibits, everyone put their hands in.

The very first thing we did when the park was open was to go over to the Manta roller coaster.  Jared, Claire and Jacob got to ride the very first ride of the day!  It was a bit of a surprise the way it started, going 0-45 without any sort of hill, but Jared reported that Claire's yells and screams turned from surprise and fright to pure joy about halfway through the ride.  They took a shortcut and were able to catch the 5th train of the day as well, which both kiddos loved!

We went to the killer whale and dolphin shows not long after the Manta.  Claire was particularly excited for the dolphin show since she decided sometime in the months before the trip that dolphins were her favorite animals.

After the shows, we got to see the dolphin and killer whale tanks.  The killer whales seemed to be in a bit of a nasty mood, taking bites at one another and leaving one with a trail of blood from its fin.  The dolphins were fortunately in a much better mood and were quite playful.

Liam didn't want to leave the dolphin exhibit to go to lunch and expressed his displeasure in silent protest.

We visited exhibits that had turtles, penguins, antarctic sea life, and we saw the sea lion show (though our seats weren't very good!).  And we saw some fish and got an awesome picture of Jacob!

One of the most exciting parts of the day (especially for Kate and Liam - and especially for Kate!) was meeting Elmo and Cookie Monster.  Kate wanted to just hold Elmo for a few minutes, then have a little conversation with him.

Eventually, she was willing to turn around for a few pictures.  Liam, Claire and Jacob were pretty excited, too.

Then, she decided to give Cookie Monster a big hug.  She would've stayed all day if she could have.

After Elmo and Cookie Monster, Kate and Liam spent some time stacking blocks in the kids play area.  When they first got there, the blocks were spread throughout the area.  Then, the worked as a team to round up all the blocks and stack their own tower.  The power of being a twin!!!

The video was cute to watch, too.

The question for most of the day was how Claire would spend her $10.  She shopped on and off all day long.  Finally, at the end of the day, she had to decide and found her very own dolphin stuffed animal.  We got Liam a stuffed killer whale and Kate a little dolphin.  They named them Angel, Fishy, and Yoda.

The final stop of our trip was a short layover in the Salt Lake airport, which meant the obligatory trip to Cafe Rio.  It was a bit chaotic managing all the kids (and their potty needs!), food orders (and eating all of it), all on a short layover, but it was definitely worth it.

It was a trip that was packed with doing things together as a family. We had lots of car time, plane time, and together time doing lots of different activities.  We had a great trip!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break San Diego - Day 5: Temple and LDS History Tour

We were only minutes from the San Diego temple, so we decided to take a visit.

It was fun to walk the grounds of such a beautiful place and to talk about the importance of the temple in our lives.

After our trip to the temple, we went to the Mormon Battalion Museum.  It was a very cool depiction of the events of the battalion.  Afterwards, we were able to see the name of James S Brown, one of Jared's ancestors.  The kids also got to pan for gold,  

Liam practiced pumping water.

and Jacob practiced driving the wagon!

Spring Break in San Diego - La Jolla

We stayed in La Jolla for our trip.  La Jolla was beautiful!  We were able to walk to a couple restaurants, ice cream shops, and take nice walks.  Our hotel had a nice ocean view and was right across the street from an oceanfront park.

I love this picture of Dani!!!

We took walks in the park a number of times.

The hotel was perfect for us.  It had 2 bedrooms and a large living area.  We would have the boys and girls fall asleep in the rooms, then we would move the boys onto the fold-out bed.  When the kids would wake up, they would congregate in the family room and watch cartoons.  It was a great setup!

On Sunday afternoon, we made our way onto the beach below the boardwalk across from the hotel.

We ate breakfast on the room of the hotel each morning.  The first morning, a seagull came down and snatched a hard boiled egg off of a plate!  After that, the kids weren't nearly as interested in eating outside, but we made them anyways - it was truly beautiful! 

It was funny to see all the luggage piled up together.  We were certainly a spectacle through the airport and at the rental car place with all of our little people and big luggage!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Break San Diego - Day 4: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Day 4 of our San Diego adventure was a trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido.

There was an area where the kids could pet the goats.  Kate was particularly enamored with them.

The Lion exhibit was pretty awesome - and the lions were up and wandering around.  The male lion even let out a pretty nice roar, which the kids all loved!

We went on a tram safari through the plains.  It was pretty awesome to see hundreds of acres of open plains with animals including giraffes, rhinos, antelope, and many other types.  Kate decided it was a sunglasses day. 

The panoramic view from the elevator shows just how large and expansive the safari plains are.

At the end of the day, we got another view from the Condor Ridge area after a long walk up to the condors.  There was a lot of walking, and kiddos and pregnant Dani did awesome!

Of all of the awesome animals, the kids were just as excited to see the ducks in the pond after lunch!

The kids got to feed the Lorikeets nectar in the Lorikeet exhibit.

One of the highlights of the day was the gorilla exhibit.  The silverback gorilla was huge and impressive!  There was a little 2-year-old gorilla that was running around, playing with cardboard boxes, and seemed to be avoiding the punishment of the father gorilla.  It reminded us a little of our crew!  The other highlight was the new baby gorilla.  The baby gorilla was only 14 days old and had only recently been reintroduced to its mother, who was the first c-section gorilla births.  It was fun to see the excitement in the zoo workers and volunteers about the baby gorilla.

We took a break at the zoo's playground and hung out with the lions.

By the end of the day (and after a couple straight days of vacation fun), Liam finally was completely tuckered out.  Also tuckered out was the stroller, which broke coming off the plane in San Diego.  It was certainly inconvenient as the stroller was much harder to push and fold up.