San Diego Sunshine – Or Rain

For a while we knew that David had been asked to speak at the PAG conference in San Diego in January. And we immediately decided that it would be a perfect time to make a family vacation out of it (get out of logan in January? Yes please!). We put it on our calendars and then as the time drew near we started planning. It wasn’t my intention to but I even went as far as making a pretty detailed itinerary in a chart with restaurant ideas and driving times etc. that I shared with those also coming on the trip (my parents and my brother). I’m such an all or nothing person. If I start planning, I’m going to do it all the way.

Well as the time drew even nearer we discovered that the weather was supposed to be rainy every single day we were there except for maybe one. We continually checked the weather and it only looked more grim. I thought for a minute that we should probably cancel the trip and use any credit for another time when we would really be able to enjoy ourselves.

But some familial prompting and time to ponder made me realize that would just be ‘chickening out’. So we plowed forward. We made some last minute runs to the store for a DIY rain cover for the stroller, ponchos and switched out tennis shoes for boots in the luggage. We were going to have fun in the rain! It wasn’t going to be cold anyway, still in the 60’s! I’ll take that over snow and ice anyday!

It turned out to be a wonderful trip. The rain seemed to stop at the most ideal times for us and the sun still shone warm at times and when it did we appreciated it all the more.

We were able to experience new and exciting things, grow (me especially) and spend time together as a family.

The airplane ride to San Diego was a bit stressful for me. With my emetophobia, being on a crowded plane with people all around me who may experience motion sickness (myself or husband or kids included) was just a bit stressful. But I think I handled it pretty well. I don’t think anybody else could tell that I was stressed. And all was well. The kids loved the ride, mostly because of the tablets in front of them where they could play games and watch shows. We had to remind them to look out the window. When we first got up into the air Ben’s expressions were the best. He kept saying things like, “Whoa! This is crazy! This can’t be real life!”

I have to admit, flying has that effect on me too. It doesn’t seem real that we can board a flying bus and all the sudden we are above the clouds and hours later we are halfway across the country. It seems sort of like cheating reality.

When we landed it was raining. When we got our 8 passenger suburban it was raining and when we drove to the Safari Park it was raining. But as we parked the black whale and got ready, the sun came out and the raining slowed down a bit and seemingly altogether stopped! As we walked into the park after buying our tickets it really had stopped and we could feel warm sun on our skin. Wonderful!!

I am glad we chose to do the Safari Park instead of the Zoo. We couldn’t afford to do both and this experience was just a bit more… well an ‘experience’…instead of just another zoo. Don’t get me wrong.  I know how amazing the San Diego Zoo is. But here felt more real and exciting.

The only thing we were bummed about was missing the Cheetah run. Normally they let out a cheetah and with something enticing it runs full board in front of you. It was too slippery from the rain that they didn’t want to risk injuring him. Understandable but still sad.

Everything was so green and beautiful!

We were grateful the lions decided to lazily sleep right next to the glass. What magnificent creatures!

The Aviary!

The past year or so I’ve had a growing obsession with birds. I could easily see myself becoming a crazy bird lady when I’m older….or now. I just love the way they look, how graceful they are when they fly and their sounds!

This was an area where you could go in and feed these beautiful birds! They would fly and land on you and drink out of the little cups. So cool!

Unfortunately we didn’t see the entire park. Yes, I’d go back again someday. Not sure that will happen but we had hungry, tired boys and so much more we wanted to see and do.

In line with what we did in Yellowstone, we went to a tourist place in the ‘off’ season and we liked it. A lot.

On the way to check in to the airbnb we stopped briefly to see the ocean.

Oh the ocean. It’s sounds and smells….so therapeutic.

The next day was Sunday where we planned to go to a local church for sacrament meeting. In fact we were all dressed when my dad got a phone call from the whale watching company. They were cancelling our trip due to weather. 🙁

But fortunately they said that if we could make it on short notice they would take us out that day!

We quickly changed our clothes. We were due to pick up Clark from the airport and had to be at the marina a half hour before boarding. It all worked out perfectly.

With the weather on Sunday being so sunny my dad and I who were previously planning on not going on the excursion (me because 4 hours seemed like a long time for a baby on a boat, my emetophobia and my thalassophobia  (sheesh I am a basket case!) and my dad simply because he does experience motion sickness sometimes and was worried about feeling awful the whole time) changed our minds and decided to go! The waters we assumed should be calmer with calm weather and they said they would allow me to take my carseat on which would increase the chance of Henry sleeping! So we went!


Once we boarded the BEAUTIFUL sail boat my nerves started. I tried to distract myself by taking pictures of the ships around us.


And we were off!

Once we were out of the bay the swells that we experienced were quite big! I didn’t know whether to squeal with joy like my boys or scream with fear. I’m weird. Everyone else was enjoying themselves.

David was running around with Henry trying to entertain him, feed him, make sure he didn’t hurt himself. But too much looking down and not out at the ocean will cause you to get seasick which is what started happening to him so I quickly relieved him so he could focus on the horizon. A few minutes later he was fine. And Henry and I read a book.

It got pretty dang cold out there. But the crew had blankets and hot chocolate and it was still very much worth it.

We were out there for a while it seemed before we saw the spews of the whales! We sailed over towards them and stayed with them for a couple miles I’m sure. They would come up and go down and then dive deep which is when we saw their tails. They would be down there around 7 minutes before they would come back up! It was really cool.

And baby Henry slept.

This period of the excursion was the hardest for me. My fears are lessened or more easily forgotten when we are moving fast through the water, kind of like it is when I’m jet skiing or wakeboarding but the moment the speed stops and we just quietly bob in the water I start to shake and freak out.

Pictures won’t do it justice. Here’s some video!

We saw dolphins too!

So exciting!

As much as I was a ball of nerves and anxiety inside (even watching the videos gives me the heeby geeby’s) I was grateful for the experience and it was so beautiful.

It seems as though I didn’t pull my camera out for another day or so after this so I’m glad I can rely on my mom’s and my brothers pictures.

After this we went to dinner at a dark and delicious pub place where they served hamburgers and truffle fries. Mmmmmm. Then sleep.

The next day was the Mormon Battalion Historic Center which was pretty cool. We even panned for gold!

After a delicious lunch in Old Town we were off to the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier! This was the portion of the trip where it rained the most which was OK because the majority of the time we were inside! The time we went to the top deck we just put our ponchos and and enjoyed the puddles! It was amazing! The boys loved it. Everyone loved it. The highlight was the flight simulators that David and the boys and my mom and Clark went on. Wow.

We quickly drove to Coronado to check out the hotel and the beach in the dark.

The last full day was spent in La Jolla. The beach. The tide pools, the sea lions, the scooters and the sunshine. All of it and it was beautiful.

This day we felt silly walking around in snow boots…they eventually came flying off! In Williams case..all the way into the garbage! (they were so sandy and wet and smelly)

If you live under a rock like I do then you’ll not have heard about these cool scooters that with an app you can pick it up anywhere you find one and drop it off anywhere you like! It charges you for the time you used and that’s that! So we did it for a bit. Very fun!

Love these two.

It was a wonderful trip.

It is invigorating to step outside your comfort zone and see and experience new things. I’m glad we did.