Monday, February 25, 2013

San Diego: Chapter 34 of the Memoir

This year our family vacation was to San Diego.  We love an all inclusive and a beach, but I thought we would change it up a bit this year and go to California as Lucas really wanted to see a Cheetah.  When he has a bad dream we often discuss all the places in the world we would like to go.  Top of his list is Paris, but after that is to go to the San Diego Zoo.  So that was our vacation this year.

The zoo was amazing.  It was a reasonable price, we got to see panda and orangutans and maned wolves.  They have a lot of volunteers and they were so helpful.  They are concerned about the environment and the whole time you are there you feel good about conservation and helping the earth.

We also went to the Safari Park which is kind of like San Diego Zoo, part two.  There we got to see the coolest part of our vacation which was the Cheetah run.  Late in the afternoon, they had a cheetah run the 100m dash.  It was incredible to watch and to hear.  The other part was we saw the cheetah run 3x times.  The other really interesting part of it was Amara the cheetah has a best friend, the dog.  I thought it would be dangerous for dog, but the cheetah and the dog are really best of friends.  At the end of the race they would walk around the race track together.  It was so sweet to see.


We also had times at the pool and one day we went to the ocean to see the sea lions.  Nathan's swimming was really good and he became a cannonball king.  We ate out at lots of restaurants, one Lucas learned about Mad Libs.  In his story he had a giant ketchup bottle chasing Mr. Potato head.   We laughed about it for days. 

One one of our last days (or so I thought) we went to Legoland.  Since I'm a planner I found out which rides were the most popular and we started with a roller coaster.  Nathan was running into the lines, where Lucas was having nothing of this new, scary thing.  So instead we started Lucas with some smaller rides.   The kids had fun but Darryl and I thought it was probably a once in a lifetime thing.  For the cost it wasn't great.  The younger kids enjoyed it, but the rides were very kidish.  I don't think they will enjoy it in a couple of years.

On our last day we drove up the Pacific Coast highway.  We drove through Laguna Beach and saw 3 Ferrari's just driving around.  It was a very rich place, but with very beautiful views.  We spent most of our day at Newport beach, where we had Rubys' delicious chocolate cherry shake.  We also went to a museum where Lucas taught me about bio luminescence.  Smart Cookie, that kid. 

That night we headed up to our hotel where they suggested we go to downtown Disney.  We went to the Rainforest Cafe, which has incredible ambiance but not as incredible food.  Then we saw beautiful fireworks. 

The next morning we packed up and headed to the airport.  We had trouble checking in at the airport, but chalked it up to flying a code share.  When we got to the airport the United attendant couldn't check us in either.  He could find our names but couldn't check us in.  He called the help desk and they realized I booked the flight for March 18th not February 18th.  Because February is exactly 4 weeks all the days are the same in March as they are in Feb.   As it was a long weekend there were no room on the flights we were going to take so we needed to call Air Canada to rebook.  We got out of line and got on the phone to call Air Canada.  To get all 4 of us home was going to take till Wednesday and was going to cost 900$.  Even the Air Canada agent recommended we look on expedia or something similar to get flights.  So instead I called the best airline I know of... WestJet.  They're soonest flight they could get all four of us out was Wednesday, for 300$ a person.... whew.  Instead we stayed in Anahiem and went to Disneyland!

Disneyland was fantastic.  The rides are great and entertaining to everyone, the attention to detail is spectacular.   Carsland was great the Radiator Springs Racers was as good as they say.  The Aladdin show was spectacular and we all really enjoyed the animation academy where we learned to draw Goofy, Pluto and Donald. 

Even though it cost us a fair bit more then we were expecting it was a great trip.  I love making memories and having fun stories to tell and this trip had lots of that. 


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Brilliant Idea

Last week we met with Nathans preschool for parent teacher interview.  I was a bit surprised by this as we never did this when Lucas was in preschool, but I was quite pleased with the good job they did of it when we were done.  What the preschool does is take all of the kindergarten skills and assess them in preschool.  It was very interesting to see how many numbers he could name, shapes he could identify and letters of the alphabet he knew.  One of the other things they test is if he can identify his name, recite his phone number and address.  He could identify his name but didn't know his address or phone number.  The next day we tried working with him and he caught on quickly.  But the numbers he seemed to know the best was the pass code to get into the ipad.  So I changed the passcode.  Made it our phone number so now each time he wants to play a game he has to put in our phone number to do it!!  So far it has been working fairly well.  He usually plays the ipad in the car and he usually confirms the numbers with me, but seems to get it correct 90% of the time.

Brilliant Idea!


Sunday, February 03, 2013

January RoundUp

January is a long month, it was enjoyable and challenging, but all in all quite fun.   If anyone follows on the "other blog" you'll see we did eat at home challenge this month.  It was good and reminded me about planning better for meals and going out.  As we also had lots of fun doing the family resolution things about spending a day together on the weekend and different person picking each week.

Last weekend we went to the community centre and went tobogganing.  It was pretty good although my very cautious older boy, got to the top and went sliding down o his belly.  There were quite a few big jumps and he went feet over head and hurt his chin.  Luckily, kids are resilient and after a couple of runs down the smaller hill he was ready for the big hill again. 

This weekend we went to the ski hill and had a great time too. Skiing is outside in the sun. The weather was great, the company was great and my goal of getting Nathan on the bronze chair was met. He did a really well. Well he did okay. Really well is pushing it.
January is long and often sad. People complain about the winter and staying in but we have done a good job of trying to enjoy the different activites that winter has to offer.