San Diego with The Berries

Happy Birthday Chris!

Continuing the tradition we started last year, we flew to San Diego to continue Chris’s birthday celebration! This year we went with Chris’s family and Chris’s mom, Melinda, rented the perfect house for everyone to stay in. Melinda, Jack (Chris’s dad), Douglas (Chris’s brother), Austin (Chris’s sister-in-law), and Declan (Chris’s nephew) drove from Arizona. They had been there since Monday and had already done the zoo and beach by the time we arrived on Thursday morning.

– – – Day 1: USS Midway Aircraft Carrier – – –

Per our usual flying method, we got up super early to be on one of the first planes out of San Francisco. This time it totally paid off! Adam Savage, from Mythbusters, was on our flight heading to Comic Con! Chris pointed him out and I had a giggle-fit-meltdown. (This is my second Mythbuster sighting since living in San Francisco. I saw Kari Byron at Reptar’s vet with her two french bulldogs.)

Once in San Diego, our first big destination was the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier.

The USS Midway Aircraft Carrier

Prepare yourself for a lifetime memory aboard the USS Midway Museum. You’ll explore a floating city at sea and relive nearly 50 years of world history aboard the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Admission includes a self-guided audio tour to 60 exhibits throughout the historic aircraft carrier and 25 restored aircraft.

Inside the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier

The audio tour started in the bottom of the ship and walked you up and around to the flight deck. I don’t recommend going on a particularly hot day, because even on our not-so-hot day it was pretty stuffy in there. The flight deck was amazing, full of old planes with beautiful parts and markings.

Jet engine.

We soon learned that Declan has a pretty particular schedule that he likes to keep. He wakes up early and needs a nap by about 2:30/3:00, which means all of our big events had to happen in morning and when it was time to go, it was time to go. Bye bye Midway! (Declan’s schedule consequently resulted in me taking naps and going to bed early as well, which was kind of fantastic. I would even say it’s the most well-rested and relaxed I’ve been in awhile.)

– – – Day 2: SeaWorld – – –

Austin, Declan, and I love sea creatures, so it’s to no surprise that one of our trips was to SeaWorld. I was hesitant at first (because of The Cove), but Chris did a bunch of research. Long story short SeaWorld doesn’t support those practices and they are actively helping our oceans. So hooray! (However, I don’t support their admission fee – 74 freakin’ dollars?! For a one day pass?!) Moving on – Austin, Declan, and I also share some favorite animals. One of them being the Beluga whale.

Watching the Belugas.

We started in the Wild Artic, home the Beluga whales and polar bears. From there we went to see the One Ocean show and sat in the soak zone. Fortunately, none of the huge splashes hit us.

Killer whales!

Declan loved it.

After the show we grabbed a bite to eat and continued on to all my other favorite animals! Penguins, sea turtles, puffins, and bat rays galore!

Chris bought some fish and we got to feed the Bat Rays! It was magical.

Goodbye SeaWorld!

– – – Day 3: Girl’s Day – – –

Saturday morning the men woke up super early to go golfing for the day. The ladies had a great day baking and walking along the boardwalk. In the morning, Melinda made a black forest cake for Chris’s birthday.

Yum!

After the cake was in the fridge, we drove down to the boardwalk for a shaved ice and a good walk.

The boardwalk greeters.

View from the pier.

Although Karl’s cousin Carlos completely covered the sky, it was still warm and turned out to be the perfect walking weather. After we got our 10,000 steps in (I’m so proud of Melinda for walking that far with me), we returned to the house for some of Austin’s world famous enchiladas, Declan’s first spaghetti, and birthday cake!

The Berries.

Happy Birthday!

– – – Day 4: Mission Beach – – –

The next day Douglas, Austin, and Declan hit the road relatively early. Chris and I surprised Declan with some early birthday presents from Sea World before they left. Happy 1st Birthday Declan!

He loved the polar bear!

We spent the remainder of the day at Mission Beach. Thankfully Carlos FINALLY left and it was super sunny!

Jack watching the waves.

Beautiful day!

Awesome birds! Does anybody know what kind they are?

Being adorable.

All in all our vacation was perfect. I loved hanging out with Chris’s family, getting much-needed rest, and soaking in the sun. Thank you so much Melinda for planning the trip! :) If you’d like to see all of my photos, please check out my flickr set. (I’ll post Chris’s flickr set as soon as he puts it up.) Hope all of you 99ers are enjoying the summer and I can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to.

Linzi

UPDATE: Thanks Michael! The birds are Snowy Egrets!