San Diego always holds a special place in my memories.  It is the place I was able to get an escape from the very taxing daily routine of raising our first kiddo.  Since the company Justin worked for was based in San Diego, our oldest (as a baby) and I used to periodically tag along on work trips.  It always felt so nice to get out of the norm and see new things.  It’s also nice to come back to visit and see some friends Justin used to work with.  

Visiting friends gave us the perfect excuse to make 2 giant cookies first thing in the morning.  We wanted them to be fresh after all!  Our tiny convection oven isn’t space efficient enough to bake bite size cookies but it works great for making giant ones!  

Our friends were so gracious in welcoming us into their home and letting the girls play with all their toys.  Our friend made lots of really fun science experiments for the kids to play with like snow, lava lamps and play dough.  Thanks Jessica!  

Playing with baking soda “snow”

Exploring La Jolla 

Parking was a bit nutty but we ended up parking about a mile from the waterfront and exploring the little town as we made our way to the seals. 

Downtown La Jolla

Our oldests’ sandals were unfortunately falling apart leaving nothing but leather between her feet and the ground and our youngests’ bathing suit sun shirt was disintegrating from all the chlorine it had been exposed to.  So, we located a local kids consignment store and took a peak.  We stopped at Little Love and it was phenomenal!  The owner and her Mom were working there when we visited and both were so very sweet.  The clothing was in great shape and they had a huge variety!  Lucky for us we came on their annual tag sale day so everything was half off.  I found just what I was looking for for both girls and had a nice chat with the owner and her Mom.  Hurray for great consignment shops!!

We then went on down the little streets leading to the bay.  It was so cute!!  We were running late to meet friends so we passed by the shops but it was a really cute area.  There was one restaurant that was beckoning me to come in.  It was called the Herringbone.  Sadly, timing just didn’t work but it had a beautiful atmosphere of plants mixed with lovely draperies and tactful artwork.  There were so many well thought out details and had the sense of calmness to it.  Next time, you’re on my list Herringbone!  

Herringbone Restaurant

The seals, as always were amazing to watch!  The best part is watching them gracefully swim underwater then shimmy shake themselves back onto the beach.  It’s such a funny contrast.  The Mama’s had their pups with them again this year but in contrast to last year when the babies were newborn, all but one of the pups we saw were like mini teenagers already.  Some were almost as big as their Mamas!

Watching the seals in La Jolla

The sea lions down the shore a bit were much more testy and stinky.  Oh, boys!  

The kids got a chance to have fun on the beach like the seals.  The sand on the beach next to the seals was a strangely sticky sand.  Our friends that live in San Diego said its perfect for making castles.  Luckily we didn’t take too much of it home with us. 

The Sushi Tram

For dinner we went to Mikami Revolving Sushi for dinner with our friends.

  It was delicious!  In this restaurant it had a revolving conveyor belt with various foods but in addition it had a little monorail that brought special orders to each table!  It was the craziest thing!  We ordered veggie sushi, miso, marinated fish and some other things from a computer at our table.  It then got delivered to our table via robot shuttle!!  For all I know robots were making the orders back in the kitchen.  Clever and the food was great!

Tram that delivered special orders

We ended the night with sparklers at our friends place.  These particular sparklers were on the long metal rods and were so magical looking.  Each spark looked like a mini shooting star!  

Maritime Museum

We spent the morning exploring ships and submarines at the Maritime Museum.  I could have stayed there all day.  The ships are just incredible as well as the wealth of information to learn.

The main hub of the museum was in a converted ferry boat still floating in the bay, the Berkeley.  In the downstairs of the ferry they had replicas and models of not only the other ships within the museum but others of the time.  It was neat to see all the little details that you can’t see by just walking around the main deck of the boats.  We ended up eating our lunch on the second story of the ferry boat which was so beautiful!  It had artistically crafted wooden bench seats with lovely stained glass around the tops of the exterior walls.  Honestly, the bathroom was lovely too!  As I was peeing I got a great view of the ocean out the window.  

Second floor of the Berkeley

From the vantage point of the 2nd story of the ferry boat we watched as the San Salvador ship set sail for a 4 hour weekend tour.  The ship looked so out of place resembling an old pirate ship among all the modern boats surrounding it in the bay.  What a beautiful ship!  I was wishing we were on that tour until I saw the boat set sail.  It looked so top heavy it made me glad I was on a boat that was never to leave the bay again.  Eek!  

San Salvador setting sail

We went down into the boiler room for a short tour with a gentleman who had actually worked down in the boiler rooms of ships.  The stories he told us were jaw dropping!  He said the boiler room was easily 120* and the room that held the coal was more like 150* with only one very small hole for air.  Can you imagine?!  He talked of staying down in the boiler room for hours and hours on end during storms to keep the ship afloat.  According to this gentleman, it wasn’t uncommon for the large ships to fall completely from side to side during a storm.  Imagine being in a room full of fire, steam and scalding pipes galore and having the whole thing turn on its side without warning over and over?!  How frightening and dangerous!  While we were in the engine room of the ferry boat our guide turned on the motors of various shafts and turbines.  It was very loud and incredible to watch.

Another super neat thing we heard from the engine room was a chorus of snapping sounds.  This sound was actually coming from the California Snapping Shrimp or better known as the pistol shrimp.  These are such crazy creatures that you’ve probably never heard about, I hadn’t!  It has one regular looking pincer and one giant snapper that is often half the length of its body.  The shrimp uses its pistol snapper to fire bubble bullets at its victim knocking them out or killing them.  This snap is nothing to scoff at as the sound reaches 210 decibels (louder than the average gun shot) and for a split second creates 8,000* F temperatures and a flash of light.  Isn’t that just blow your mind crazy?  Some species use this powerful blast to bust through solid basalt rock to make a cozy home.  There are so many other amazing facts about this creature that you should look it up.   

Information display about the California Snapping Shrimp

Each ship had it’s own special charm and awe to it.  The kids had fun playing on the Star of India.  They have a play area for the kids on the lowest floor where they can pretend they are sailing a ship of their own.  The girls had fun playing pirate, “Yaarrr!”

Another neat thing we explored were 2 submarines.  One was the American 555 USS Dolphin and one was the Soviet B-39.

The story behind the Soviet sub was pretty crazy.  You should look up the details of this story but the gist is that the Russian sub was carrying a nuclear torpedo, unbeknownst to the Americans, and due to a series of unfortunate and life threatening events the crew panicked and were very close to using that weapon on the Americans during the Cold War era.  Thankfully it didn’t come to this!  When the Soviet sub surfaced to recharge its batteries they were unsure if they were in the middle of a war and would be fired upon.  Instead, American Navy ships that surrounded the sub greeted them with cigarettes, bread and a jazz band.  Quite a nice surprise to the Soviets I’m sure! 

All the beautiful ships got our family dreaming about what it would have been like to be a passenger on one of these ships.  Our oldest let us know she didn’t want anything to do with a boat if it was going anywhere near cold weather.  She’s been reading a lot about the Titanic!  History books have been the favorite bedtime books for a couple weeks now.  

Super Bowl Sunday

We are not a sport following family but we do like getting together with friends, making and eating food… therefore the Super Bowl is something we can get on board with.  We spent the late afternoon and evening doing just that.  The commercials were fun too!

Tofu “wings”

Winding down 

We are nearing the end of our trip and I know this because…a good portion of our clothes are either too small or have rips in them!  I have patched all but I think 4 pairs of the girls pants combined throughout this trip and most pairs I have patched more than once.  Our little one has outgrown almost all her pants.  We have a month left until I can replenish her supply with my Portland basement stash of hand me downs.  We’ll make it!  My only pair of jeans I brought have now worn beyond repair.  I made 3 very large repairs to them but the fact is, the fabric is threadbare and can’t take anymore.  Any rips from here on out and I will just have to pretend I am a hip college student and let my knees pop out.  Even our bed sheets got a hole in them!  I had just finished wrestling the silly things on our camper bed when I spotted the rip!  I was not about to undo the effort I had put in so I ended up sewing them up while they were on our bed.  It worked out just fine. 🙂 Next year I’m bringing my sewing machine!  It’s good to be reminded of how much effort hand sewing is though.  

I’m hoping that by the time we get back to Portland our oldest will be walking about without Rosita (her walker).  She makes progress every day!  She does her daily “jelly bean walks” where she earns a jelly bean for strengthening her healing leg.  She can now balance on two feet with equal weight on each foot without needing to hold on to anything.  She has even put MORE weight on her healing leg than her good leg to test things out.  So far, so good!