We arrived in San Diego Thursday for our home-away-from-home summer vacation, sadly minus Hal who is still working as I type this on a Saturday night because that’s how he rolls and we all cry because we miss him like mad.
We traveled south to my parent’s house because it’s summer and we don’t quite have the funds to hop a plane to Hawaii or Amalfi or anywhere that isn’t free. Archer has ten days off between the last day of “junior preschool” and the first day of summer school which meant
HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO ENTERTAIN TWO KIDS FOR TEN DAYS ALL BY MYSELF? VACATION TO GOOEY AND PAPA’S HOUSE!
So here we are. And it is lovely. I thought it might be kind of fun to blog our to-do every couple days here on SFTB as kind of an impromptu what-do-do-in-San-Diego list I decided to put together in the last two minutes of writing this sentence.
As you may or may not know, I grew up in north county San Diego and regularly spend time down here with my family and old friends. I’ve written lists of my favorite things to do in Los Angeles, my home of ten years, but never written a cohesive list or reference guide to my favorite San Diego activities. So here is a calendar of awesome summer to-dos in real time.
Day One: Friday: SeaWorld
SeaWorld was kind enough to comp a trip for the kids, my parents and me, and it was awesome. It was also the first time I’d been to SeaWorld since I was fourteen. We went all the time as kids but it was especially fun returning as a parent. And a trip to watch Archer scurry down the rabbit holes of my childhood.
Whereas, I always loved Seaworld for its sea creatures (specifically petting sea cucumbers in the tidepools so fun) Archer was more interested in rolling down grassy knolls with my dad:
… Dancing around picnic tables for an hour:
…and of course, riding the “boxes in the sky” over the bay:
He also enjoyed dining with shamu…
…and OF COURSE the kid’s play area formerly known as Captain Kid’s World:
So much fun and yet… the “boxes” were BY FAR the high point of Archer’s afternoon:
(In fact I’m pretty sure shamu was the only animal Archer cared about
and he cared for all of three minutes. Needless to say he’s not the
animal person his mother is…)
All in all, SeaWorld was pretty badass but the crowds were kind of annoying. Also can we please talk about how many bad tattoos exist in theme parks? Seriously, people. The Calvin and Hobbs pissing on a Chevrolet sign on your shoulder? Might want to wear a shirt sleeve on that arm no offense.
Located in my hometown of Encinitas, this is by far the coolest place I’ve ever seen, maybe in my whole life. I grew up going to Quail Gardens and have probably been there a total of 6787329273891 times. At least. But the Hamilton Children’s Garden is BRAND new. Just opened and might just be the greatest outdoor kid’s space in the entire world. I’m not kidding. It’s completely unbelievable. A fairy land in paradise complete with Swiss Family Robinsonesque treehouse, maze, stream, musical garden, butterfly garden, art gallery, area for building so your kids can engineer their own forts and playhouses and a thousand little game areas (Archer loved the giant tic tac toe game) and gardens (including one boasting veggies.)
We spent four hours there today and will likely be there every day for the rest of our stay. It’s THAT amazing. Why go anywhere else amazing. No lie. The only thing that sucks? Very little shade so bring lots of hats and perhaps even a parasol? Also highly recommend purchasing the year-long family membership pass. Most bang for your buckage.
(this list to be continued. In the meantime, what are YOU doing with your summer?)