San Diego

Trip Start Mar 26, 2008
Trip End Dec 07, 2008

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Where I stayed
Ralph and Jere's

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, April 9, 2008

We arrived in San Diego late afternoon and went to meet our new hosts,Jere and Ralph. They live in Bonita which is near Chula Vista and about 20-30minutes South of San Diego.  They have a son in New Zealand and have visited many times over the years as Ralph worked for some time in American Samoa.  They also had a dog called Jake and when we arrived he wasn't so sure about us, nor us about him.  But by the end of our stay he had firmly made us one of the family and it was great to see his enthusiasm when we got home. 

We were welcomed with a beautiful dinner that Jere prepared (she did an aweful lot of that while we were here)  We had a really great time in San Diego, we were determined to have some down time after all the theme parking as everyone was exhausted and we all took turns at crashing and burning and having to put ourselves to bed excessively early.  It was tricky though as there are so many great things to do in San Diego and Jere and Ralph had some great ideas.   Chris and I enjoyed some lovely morning walks around the golf course and Chris discovered the local Starbucks(some habits die hard)  

We visited the San Diego zoo and enjoyed seeing the polar bears frolicking and riding the sky ride over the zoo.  Cassandra and I decided to be less than hearty toward the end and took the bus tour to get out fo the heat, but Chris and Samantha persevered with walking (good on them)

We made a trip to the Midway in the city.  It is an aircraft carrier that is now a museum.  I must admit I wasn't excited at the prospect, but it was great.  There were all sorts of planes to see, and many cockpits that the kids could get into and test out.  The kids had a go at some simulated flying and it was hilarious.  Zack piloted Cass and much of the level we were on came to a standstill as people listened to Cass screaming and Zack roaring with laughter as he flew them in numerous loop the loop moves in between crashing and burning.  Hoots of laughter could be heard from Chris and Samantha too as they made multiple serious and often fatal manouvres.  We followed this trip with a visit to the movies in the city to see Nims island, a nice movie for the whole family.

We planned a quiet weekend and the kids and I joined Ralph for a swim at the Navy pool pool and after we went for a drive to Coronado Island, which isn't an island at all but a peninsular.  We drove over the bridge and saw the Coronado Hotel.  A very famous hotel, made completely of wood.  The movie starring Marilyn Monroe called Some Like it Hot was filmed there.  We decided to stop for a look at a Mexican swap meet on the way home, but it was scorchingly hot (around 100 degrees farenheit) so we didn't last long.

On Sunday Cassandra and I shot up to visit Blue (a school friend of mine from the past in New Zealand) We had a lovely visit and were home by lunch time.  We must be getting used to the distances here, because it didn't feel like a big deal to drive almost an hour and a half each way for a quick morning visit.  After a quick leg stretch we all hopped in the car and  headed to Encinitas to visit Andrew and his family (Chris's Auckland business partner Brents' brother)  We had a lovely visit, the kids enjoying swimming and playing with their kids and us sitting back and relaxing and enjoying great weather and company. 

We enjoyed a couple of meals out during our stay as well as much of Jeres amazing home cooked meals.  We had a meal at a local Marina restaurant and also a Hawaian Restaurant nearby, really interesting meal.  Though inevitably some of the kids really barely coped with looking at the unfamiliar food let alone eating it.  Really funny to see them deal with different food all of the time, what an experience.  We also had a great dinner at home with Ralph and Jere and had a chance to meet their two daughters and grand daughter Makena.( the girls thoroughly enjoyed her company)

Our final day in San Diego we headed for Sea world.  I must admit to feeling a bit of trepidation approaching another theme park of sorts.  However it was a great day, we were pleased to have minimal standing in line and the kids really enjoyed the rides, especially the ride Journey to Atlantis, a mix between a log flume and a roller coaster.  They went on it 5 times and even Chris and I enjoyed this one(that is some praise)  I think the main theme of this park is GET WET!  We got wet on the Atlantis ride, we got wet at two of the shows, in fact drenched is probably a better description.  At the whale show we thought we had escaped the splashes and were feeling a bit smug and then right at the end Shamu, the huge Orca was just finishing and gave a splash with its tail in our direction.  Well, a splash is the wrong way to describe it, it was a wave of water.  We couldn't believe it!  The white water rafting was really a ride designed to get you as wet as possible.  I was waiting for the waterfall ahead to stop just before we got to it but no, apparently not.   With a good dose of chaffing between them from so much time walking around wet, the kids left very satisfied with our day at Sea World.

The next morning we packed up and headed off for Arizona. Thanks so much to Jere and Ralph for a great stay in San Diego.  We have been so amazed at the kindness and generosity of all of the people we have encountered in California.  What a great experience!



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adele.t on

My preference
I liked the zoo better than the other thing.

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