Oct 27, 2015

June 2015 - San Diego

At the end of June Reagan had a pharmacy conference in San Diego. Sara Madalin and I tagged along to see what kind of fun we could find. Every time we travel our girl is more independent. It's becoming easier since she's able to be responsible for her own carry-on. She also pulls her own luggage to the check-in counter, and from baggage claim to our rental car. 

We arrived at our hotel mid-afternoon. Reagan went to check-in at his conference and register for any lectures or classes he wanted to attend. SM and I headed down to the pool. 

While at the pool, a group of boys (about 3-4 of them) ganged up on SM and started trying to dump water on her from cups. They had NO idea who they were messing with. Before it was all over, she had every one of those cups and those boys didn't bother her again. 

The next morning, Reagan had a little time before he had to be anywhere, so we walked over to a local restaurant for breakfast. Evidently, the place is a pretty big deal. We waited in line for about 30 minutes. Someone in line behind us said that often on the weekends, the line for breakfast and brunch stretches down the block and around the corner. It was worth a 30 minute wait, but I can't say that I'd wait much longer than that, especially with a very antsy 7-year-old. 

Our hotel was located on the marina. After breakfast we walked around looking at the yachts.  We also took a few pictures along the way. 

We dropped Sara Madalin off at the camp being hosted by the company holding the conference. I attended a couple lectures with Reagan, then we had a late lunch in the Gaslight District of downtown San Diego. 

This next picture is out of order, but after breakfast, Sara Madalin took a quick nap before heading to the camp. 

For dinner we walked back to the Gaslight District and had burgers. Sara Madalin picked the place. 

She wanted a little candy for dessert.

I'm not sure if I have the rest of the photos in order, but I'll discuss what we did while there. 

The San Diego Zoo is famous, but there is also a Safari Park associated with the zoo. It is located in a more remote area outside San Diego. We visited it one day while in San Diego. We had given Sara Madalin a choice of several things to do while there. She chose this park and a tour of their renowned vet hospital. They specialize in caring for exotic and endangered species. They help with reproduction as well. As we toured the park and the hospital we learned how they help to keep many zoos populated and how they are also a huge resource for research when it comes to many animals in the world. Sara Madalin and Reagan LOVED this tour and visit. 

While Reagan attended seminars and met with other pharmacists, Sara Madalin went to the day camp hosted by the organization putting on the convention. Every afternoon, I'd go get her and we'd walk over to find Reagan, usually on the trade show floor. Once afternoon she was able to stuff a teddy bear for herself, and a puppy to be given to a child with diabetes.

Here's a shot of her another evening as we headed over to meet Reagan. 

While we were walking to dinner, we spotted these people dressed as Star Wars characters. Sara Madalin had no idea who they were (at the time) but she was a good sport and took a picture with them. And then we paid them. 

We allowed her to have some ice cream for dessert that night. Not sure if you can tell, but she really enjoyed it. 

One evening we went on a cruise/tour around the bay and saw all the ships docked there. We also saw the bar/restaurant where parts of Top Gun were filmed. 

The U.S.S. Midway, a retired naval aircraft carrier.  We went a dinner party there the next night. It was HUGE. 

Here's our girl at the dinner party. She loved touring the ship and seeing the planes that were on the deck. 

Coronado Beach was just across the bay from our hotel. We drove over one afternoon so SM could play in the water. It was cold. The weather while we were in San Diego was much cooler than MS at the same time of year. After visiting the beach, she was excited to say that she'd been in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. 

We were about an hour from Anaheim. Which means, we were only an hour from Disneyland. We couldn't be that close to the Mouse and not pay him a visit. We had set aside one day to play there. We didn't tell SM until we headed out that morning. She was excited. 

While we had fun, Disneyland is quite different from Disney World. For one thing, it's much smaller. It was also hotter. Whereas San Diego was much cooler than MS, Disneyland was like we'd never left MS. We stayed for the evening parade, then headed back to the hotel. 

Our last day, we went to the San Diego Zoo. We were able to attend a private tour and see several animals up close. I can't remember all the animal names, but there are two people in my family who had a great time seeing them.

I do remember that the next animal is a WOLF.

And this is a real Cheetah. She has a therapy dog that she lives with. When the Cheetah is brought into the presence of people, she's learned to act as she sees her therapy dog. It was interesting to hear how they are matched and how the dogs help the Cheetahs. 

The animals I wanted to see most were the Pandas. That was our last stop and they were beautiful. 

This last photo says so much about our girl.

She had brought some of her own money and we allowed her to buy a few things throughout the week. She had bought a couple small things at Disney. She searched all day that we were at the Zoo, and just before we left, she bought that book. I can't even read it. 

We love a good vacation. But we also love to go home. Here we are before boarding our plane to head back east. 

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