The parking lot tour of Southern California

Trip Start Dec 20, 2009
Trip End Mar 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Worldmark San Diego - Mission Valley

Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, December 31, 2009

On our way to San Diego, we stopped for a small dose of Disney by walking through Downtown Disney. We didn't go INTO the parks, just looked from the outside. It was rather busy – being that it is Christmas time and all – so we didn't linger too long before hitting the road again.  Our first San Diego stop was a pizza restaurant that we particularily enjoyed when we were here in 2004 – Pizza Nova.  And it was as good as we remembered.  Apparently we’re not the only ones to think so either because it was hoppin’.
We experienced an earthquake that lasted around 15 seconds.  We immediately went online and found a preliminary report (computer generated) which told us that it was centered near Mexicali and measured 4.8.  The following day, the report (now reviewed by a seismologist) was updated to a 5.3. 

I had decided against any San Diego "attractions" in an attempt  to save money.  We did go to Balboa Park - the nation’s largest urban cultural park - where the Zoo is located but once again, we just looked (into the zoo) from outside.  We walked around and enjoyed the botanical gardens.  The boys were especially impressed by the "carniverous plants" exhibit.  After posing for various pictures and negotiating large crowds, the boys needed to burn off some steam as only boys can.  So we found the most fantastic tree for climbing and they behaved like monkeys for a while.

Continuing our theme of visiting attraction parking lots, we stopped by the SeaWorld parking lot (actually we were checking if they offered a twilight rate – FYI  they do not.)  Then we happened upon a fun area called Belmont Park.  It has a few rides and games including a fairly impressive-looking roller coaster.  Jeff and the kids rode it once.  Then we strolled the promenade and walked the Ocean Beach Pier.  It was a beautiful sunny day with a bit of wind. 

Keara’s Christmas money has been burning a whole in her pocket, so she and I went to 'Fashion Valley’ – a high end outdoor mall.  I introduced her to Godiva chocolates and she bought her New Year’s Eve/Gramps’ birthday outfit.

To celebrate New Year’s Eve, we drove to Escondido (30 minutes north) where they were having a large family-friendly celebration.  It was a lovely, cool evening with a full moon as the backdrop for the first  fireworks show.  But it turns out that none of us had the steam to make it to midnight so we returned to our accommodations in time to continue the book I’ve been reading aloud every night – The Time Travelers: book one of the Gideon Trilogy – and quietly say Happy New Year to each other.
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Heidi on

What a great climbing tree!
It doesn't even look real - it looks like you must have photoshopped in some extra branches :)

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