The Blog is Back, All Right!!

January 5, 2010

Well, well, well, holidays 2009 have come and gone and here we find ourselves on the cusp of a FANTASTIC 2010! Let’s give ourselves a big high five everyone! (Insert virtual high five here.)

Hope you all had a wonderful break, however you chose to spend it. We packed up the kids and headed west to sunny San Diego. It was so nice to shed our winter coats, put on some t-shirts and just have fun. Little did we know that while we were taking off to go to our destination, some creep was in the air on another plane approaching Detroit attempting to light his underwear on fire and bomb the plane. Merry Christmas! Anyway, luckily we all were safe and sound.

One of the beautiful things about San Diego is that planes literally land downtown, so it took about 8 minutes to get from the airport to our hotel. We rented our car from Avis and the reason I’m mentioning it is that they were particularly nice in this office. I don’t usually rent from Avis, but they were very helpful — to the point that when we returned the car, the woman found someone to drive us over to the airport in our rental car so that we didn’t have to unload all of the luggage and the kids and get on the shuttle bus. So big thumbs up to them.

Beautiful La Jolla

Beautiful La Jolla

San Diego is a great trip for the kids — there’s lots to do to keep them entertained. The world famous San Diego Zoo really does deserve that moniker — it’s clean and beautiful, and the range of animals is terrific. My favorites were the koalas and pandas. It can feel overwhelming to begin with, so I recommend taking the 30 minute bus tour when you enter — it gives a nice overview. For lunch, the al fresco restaurant by the elephants is a nice, scenic spot. Make sure when you buy your tickets you get the all-inclusive one. You’re going to want to take the buses and sky trams, and they charge a la carte if you buy the wrong ticket.

For the sheer beauty of the pacific, La Jolla is gorgeous to walk around. Check out Seal Beach, a spot where the seals come ashore to rest. Coronado is also one of the best beaches in country. Just wide expanses of soft sand and beautiful blue sky. The Hotel Coronado makes a nice beachside stop for lunch or a drink.

Austin’s favorite was Legoland. I don’t love theme parks, but it was cute and I did like Mini-USA, where they built New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas and other cities all out of Legos. We also hit Sea World. If you go, I would spring for lunch with Shamu. It gets you out of the crowds for a nice semi-relaxing lunch, with an almost private show with Shamu and his trainer. Of course, we were so close that when Shamu came over to us, Austin dove under the table so we couldn’t get any pictures of Austin and the killer whale. But we did get some cute ones of Addison and her Shamu cookie! My aunt had been to Sea World with my little cousin a bunch of times but had never done the lunch, and she loved it so much she said she couldn’t imagine not doing it next time.

If you do go to the theme parks, I found this site,, that lists all of the discounts available. This was very helpful in that these places are not cheap, so even a buy one adult, get one kid free offer saves close to $60. (And kids under 3 are free everywhere — genius!)

Of course I had to do a little after-holiday shopping, and the Fashion Valley Mall was the place to do it: Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus, plus a host of boutiques and the Cheesecake Factory, all in a lovely outdoor setting. It was crowded but that couldn’t dampen my spirits!

One morning we came back to our 9th floor hotel room to find ourselves in the midst of an earthquake. The funny thing about earthquakes is that by the time you realize you’re in one, it’s almost over. I was trying to figure out why the TV armoire doors were banging and Ken was trying to figure out why the toilet water was swishing violently and then — light bulb! — we realized it was an earthquake. All was fine after it ended but poor Austin, several minutes later, was like, “My legs are still shaking!” And then the rest of the trip he qualified every “I love San Diego” statement with, “except for the earthquakes.”

We didn’t really go to San Diego for the food, but the Tea Garden in Balboa Park is a nice spot for lunch, and Filippi’s has great Italian food — I recommend the linguini with white clam sauce. And hot fudge sundaes at Ghirardelli’s is a must! Our friend Roby also had us over for dinner one night, which was really nice — always comforting to have a home-cooked meal and just hang out.

And then, just as quickly as croissants with raspberry jam daily for breakfast came, it slipped away, and before we knew it we were on the packed plane home, and Austin got a nosebleed. So bad that no tissue could contain it, and it was dripping everywhere, including his pile of books. And Addison, fascinated by this red substance, dipped her fingers in and started eating his blood. EATING HIS BLOOD!!! But I would not let this minor setback ruin my vacation buzz. Oh no. I simply continued to hold Austin’s head back, squeezing a new tissue, and calmly said, “Don’t eat his blood, Addison. It’s not good for you.”

And for once, the little vampire listened to her mother.


Happy New Year! See you all back tomorrow for Family Favs’ one year anniversary!


2 Responses to “The Blog is Back, All Right!!”

  1. Roby Says:

    Cheryl, that is so funny about the earthquake – I was actually talking to a friend in Dublin on Skype when it happened. Of course, I played it off like a cavalier, cool Californian…it scared him more than it did me!

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