David had two weeks off between his first and second years of residency last month and we decided to visit my dad's father in California who will be 91 this fall and has never meet David or my children. My dad's brother and his wife graciously offered to host us in San Diego for four days. My younger brother Brian came along as well.
We left from San Antonio and arrived midmorning at the San Diego airport where we picked up our rental car. Flying west is wonderful because we gained two hours. The kids are great flyers now and did wonderfully on the plane.
It was directly below the flight path and every time a plane came over it was so painfully loud I had to cover my ears. I'm sure the people who work there probably had hearing damage. Once I gave the attendant our reservation paperwork we were free to checkout any car in the lot that was the type we reserved. They all had the keys in them and then you hopped in, drove up the the gate and they checked you out.
We visited Cabrillo National Monument with my grandfather Saturday afternoon. He is doing incredibly for his age and gets around as well as many people in their 80s. The Hall men live along time and I hope he has many more years to enjoy life.
Sunday we visited a PCA church in downtown San Diego. We always enjoy worshipping at new churches when we travel. It's wonderful to see God at work across in country in different congregations.
After a quick lunch at In 'N Out Burgers we drove over to Petco Park to attend the afternoon Padres baseball game. We were able to get great seats with a Sunday military prices and enjoyed the perfect San Diego weather and a win by the Padres. David loves baseball and I'm slowly learning to appreciate it. I think I will find my self in the bleachers of many little league games in the not too distant future.
A trip to San Diego with kids isn't complete without a visit to the zoo. We got there midmorning and road the bus tour around the perimeter. The zoo is so huge you really can't see all of it in a day so we hit several highlights before heading home for lunch and naps. We went back after dinner but it seemed like many of the animals were asleep which I was somewhat disappointed by. All in all, it is a great zoo but I don't think it warrants the steep ticket prices and I will always miss the Colorado Springs Zoo.
On Tuesday we drove over the bridge to Coronado Island to spend a few hours at the beach. As the locals say "May gray, June gloom." and gloomy it was. By the time we headed home at nap time (my life is micromanaged around certain tiny people's sleeping schedules) the gray overcast skies had cleared to blue. Laura enjoyed digging in the sand and Daniel enjoyed eating it despite my best efforts to keep him on the towel.
Wednesday we rose early than should be allowed on vacation (3 am to be precise) and began our six and a half hour trip north to Yosemite National Park. The kids were amazing in the car and David did the majority of the driving.
Pictures of Yosemite cannot do it justice. Beauty this stunning always reminds me of God's incredible goodness, power and glory. Mountains and the outdoors are something I miss greatly after living in Colorado for a year. I might be a native Texan, but the Hill Country pales in comparison to Half Dome or waking up to a view of Pikes Peak every morning.
I was able to get away by myself for a few hours on a trail ride which I really enjoyed. There's no cooking allowed in Curry Village and all food has to be placed in a bear locker outside you cabin which is a major pain considering my kids want to eat every two hours. Our camping food wasn't hot or glamorous but we had full bellies. The Village has a very well stocked store as well as a pizza restaurant and cafeteria. I stumbled my way over to the coffee stand each morning and enjoyed my coffee in the cool morning and towering cliffs above me.
With my brother now in a wheelchair much of the time our hiking was limited to accessible trails and what we could see from lookouts along the road. Despite this, we were able to hit up most of the major views and take in the park from along the paved trails.
All in all, we had a great trip and it was a nice break for me from the endless cycle of dishes, dinner and diapers. I love my job as a mom but I was in desperate need for a change of pace for a bit. When we got back a friend told me it's not a vacation if your kids come along, she calls those "trips" and I heartily agree. David and I will celebrate five years of marriage this Christmas and we are hoping to get away for 24 hours for a true mini vacation.
|Seals at the Children's Pool in La Jolla|
|Tunnel View of the Valley|
|Grandpa Stafford and his great grand kids|
|Laura holding a picture of her late Grandma Margaret at age 3|
|Mariposa Grove of the Sequoias|
|Half Dome from Glacier Point|