Just home from this year’s San Diego trip. We did things a little different again this year, foregoing the train trip and choosing instead to pack up on Father’s day and head to Disneyland. We spent the night there at the Sheraton Anaheim, a fine hotel where we had previously been with our friends the Wolfe’s–as an adult outing, sans kids. I’d always wanted to stay at this place ever since I saw it from the road going into the Magic Kingdom. So, I spent a bit of time pining, but in April, the four of us went and loved it. It’s grand!
This time, the whole family, Sue, me, Peanut, Sofie and Aunt Laurie all packed into the mini-van and stayed at the Sheraton. Sunday, Disneyland was relatively uncrowded and the temperature was right around 80 degrees or less. Evening cooled off nicely and wonderfully and we were joined on Sunday by the aforementioned Wolfe family and our pal Shawn. Rides were uncrowded, cool breezes, loads of fun. Peanut was in vacation heaven and we strolled through the Magic Kingdom without a care in the world. Slept wonderfully, awoke Monday and ate a great breakfast….
The heat set in early and it was fairly obvious that more was on the way. Monday was not nearly as bad as today. I’ll get to that. But the crowds were greatly increased and so we only stuck around until around 2:00 in the afternoon before heading south toward North San Diego County….OK. A word about that….
The US Open was being held at Torrey Pines and the result was hotel prices went up to a premium. Our usual 150 a night place was now 297. No, thank you. So, I Pricelined.
We wound up at a place in San Marcos called the Lake San Marcos Resort. Apparently in the 70’s, the place was a golf resort of some renown. Not anymore. It’s old, but clean. Simple, but with all the amenities–pool, game-room, poolside and room service. The only downside was that I slept in a roll-away bed which was designed by the Marquis de Sade himself. Oy. My back, my neck, my….everything.
Peanut slept in her own queen sized bed. Why? Well, it went like this: I snore. Loudly. In the past, my snoring has awakened the dead. It certainly can awaken a 7 year old on vacation. And it has. So, I acquiesced and put the Iron Maiden up in a fortuitous little alcove cut into the hotel room walls. It was where the closet was and it allowed me to be removed from the wife and child who, annoyed by my snorosity, appreciated that relief.
Pool, restaurant on the premises, sleeping in the torture chamber–all was grand. And then Tuesday…Seaworld.
We go every year and this blog is littered with pictures and comments about our many trips. Truth is, we’ve gone every year since Peanut was two. She’s seven now and still loves it so very much. She says it’s her third favorite place next to home and Disneyland.
We saw it all–Shamu and the dolphins, the Polar Ice exhibit and the Beluga’s, Polar bears and Penguins. We rode the rides, Atlantis and Shipwreck Rapids, and we saw the seals and the dogs and the cats. We did everything, basically. Oh–and Seaworld has really good food, too! So, we did that as well. Once again, we ate dinner with Shamu. They set up tables by the training pools and a trainer comes out and talks to you about taking care of Orcas. Meanwhile, the whales, there were two of them this time–Orcutt and Sumar, swim up next to you, make noise, splash and do some behaviors that are really cool.
By the time we headed back to the hotel, it was almost 10:00 o’clock and Peanut fell asleep in the car before we left the parking lot. It was an awesome day.
Sleep–and awakening to allow me to go to breakfast with my pal, Chris Ulm. Chris and I played in a band with our pal Edd some years ago and Chris and his wife and daughters have since relocated to Carlsbad which was right near where we were staying. So, schedules permitting, we had breakfast together on Wednesday and caught up on all the latest news. I miss the Ulm’s and wish I could spend more time with them.
Back to the hotel to pick up the family and headed over to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. It’s an interesting place; conservation, ecological and biological research-a kind of wild study zoo where the animals aren’t in pens. When you go to the park, you are sort of put out into the African desert and it’s just as hot. It was 104 degrees there and 96 in the shade. It’s hard to enjoy anything at those temperatures, but we managed somehow to do so and lasted until around 3:00 P.M. Right as we were leaving, though, Sue hurt her foot and aggravated what appears to be a soft tissue injury. She’s limping around like nobody’s business and she cannot seem to get it to heal up neatly.
Because of that, we headed back to the hotel, sat in the pool and had a couple of margaritas there. It was relaxing, if marred by Sue’s foot. Dinner was supposed to be at the Resort’s restaurant called The Quail. But, it was fairly apparent, though they didn’t tell us so, that we were not wanted. I even asked if we were under-dressed or if Peanut was too young, or whatever. What I got was the brush off…”It’ll be a small wait for your table.” Then, “It may take a little longer than I thought,” etc. Well, I got the message and we left. I understand they’re afraid of being sued for discrimination but A) I asked if there were problems, they could have simply answered and B) They didn’t have to lie and keep putting us off. It was absurd. That was my second complaint about the Lake San Marcos Resort.
We went to a local brewery, grabbed some dinner, back to the hotel and watched Hairspray. Fun–but not overwhelmingly good. Enjoyable.
We awoke this morning and headed back home with one more stop at Downtown Disney’s House of Blues to have lunch. I’ve eaten a lot of places in Downtown Disney–I think I like HOB best. Great food, very hip, yet timeless atmosphere and besides–Dan Akroyd was a founder. You gotta love that.
Home again as the heat wave has grown. Close to one hundred here in Camarillo, though the Weather Channel has us in the high 80’s. Trust me, it’s 10 degrees hotter. It’s supposed to last through the weekend, but then the cooling comes back, thank God.
And that, gentles, is that. It’s pedantic, I know–but the big issue here is that Sofie is leaving early in the morning. We’ll all go to the airport and see her off back home, but Peanut is sad, as can be imagined. She doesn’t want her big sister to leave and she feels a sense of permanence in it though we’ve discussed with her e-mail and SKYPE which we will use frequently. More on Sofie’s exit tomorrow…