Friday, July 13, 2012

California Getaway 2012

 Ok, totally late on posting about our recent California vacation. Here goes...

Almost two months ago, Tim, Kaydin and I hopped on a plane to Southern California to spend a few days visiting the zoo and Sea World. It was Kaydin's second time on a plane and our first time all vacationing together (well, besides the weekend trip to Chicago). Unlike other vacations involving airports, we actually didn't have any close calls in the airports. Well, I guess we did walk up to our gate in Des Moines and get right in line to get on the plane. But I call that perfect timing ;)

We got in on a Friday night and Tim and Kaydin wasted no time getting comfortable and playing around in the room. We got in later in the evening on Friday so we stayed at the hotel and got some sleep.
Working on loosening another tooth! Maybe it would fall out while on vacation!

The next morning we found a popular breakfast spot that was fairly close to our hotel, Naked Cafe. This restaurant specialized in whole, natural ingredients. A great find!

They even had fresh juiced apple juice for their kids meals. She downed this well before our food made it to the table.

I ordered the coconut crusted French toast. From reading reviews online, this seemed to be their signature dish. It did not disappoint. I'm gonna have to recreate this at home soon!

Our next stop was the San Diego Zoo. I was really excited to take Kaydin here! I had heard both good and bad reviews of the zoo, but I can report that it is definitely worth it! Everything is pretty spread out but at the same time it all connects easily with blacktop roads and walking trails.

We got there at opening time so we hopped on the first bus tour of the day. I would recommend this because you get a bird's eye view of all the animals, get transportation to see everything, and then can figure out the lay of the land. The whole tour took about 35 minutes and gave us an idea of the things we wanted to see up close.

Meet Sam, Kaydin's pick from the zoo gift shop to take home with us.  This was all Tim. ;)  I said no to the huge overstuffed animal, but little princess got to bring her home. Carting it through the airport, along with her Shamu whale she got from Sea World, got her lots of attention. lol

After the zoo we ventured back to our hotel to get cleaned up and relax before finding a place for dinner. After some research, I came up with an authentic Greek and Lebanese restaurant, Fairouz Cafe and Gallery, that offered a dinner buffet. We all opted for that after we perused the spread. So many different things to choose from. And believe it or not, I had never had a gyro.  After this place though, I am hooked! I have always loved Mediterranean fare, but there were so many options on the buffet we got to try that were sooo good. Tim and I still always talk about this restaurant and have been craving Greek food since!

The next morning we hit another popular local breakfast spot, Broken Yolk Cafe.  Our plan was to get a good breakfast, take the shuttle from our hotel to Sea World and spend the day there.

The Mommy Omelet. All veggies with alfalfa sprouts and avocado. Really good!

Still wiggling it...

We got to Sea World just as people started pouring into Shamu Stadium for the first show of the day. Since the timing worked out so perfectly, we decided to hit this show and get it out of way so we could see everything else and not have to worry about seeing the Shamu later on. Tim and Kaydin really wanted to sit in the Splash Zone. I, however, did NOT. I didn't want to start off the day being soaking wet from salt water. Fortunately, we say high enough that we didn't get soaked, just a few splashes. The people lower than us, though, were completely soaked, just dripping! Tim and Kaydin were lucky that didn't happen to us!

Later in the day, after we watched the dolphin show, we checked out pricing for swimming with the dolphins. The cost was pretty high and she was just a smidge too short. She was able to do the encounter that didn't involve getting into the water. She got to touch, feed, and do a couple commands with them. I'm almost certain she liked the experience. I mean, she did walk away saying she wanted to be a dolphin trainer, be obsessed with the movie Dolphin Tale, have a dolphin in a pool in the backyard, and want to buy anything dolphin related. But I think she only kinda liked it. ;)

For dinner we decided to try one of the hotel's on-site places. Firefly, the most up-scale one to choose from, turned out to be a great pick. After such a long day at Sea World we thought Kaydin would be all tuckered out. We were wrong! We also observed that she needs more practice in nice restaurants. The girl was loud and crazy!
I chose the salmon for my meal. I should have taken a pic of the menu so I could've remembered what all was in it and tried to recreate it at home! This was the first time I have tried salmon skin. I realized if it's cooked and crispy, I like it!
Of course the little moocher had to steal some of everyone's meal. I swear no matter what I have, she wants it too! Always stealing bites of my meals!

The next morning we set out North to drive up the coast a bit,

Tim's mom was actually born in La Jolla so we took a little detour and visited the hospital she was born in. Sadly, I never got the chance to meet his mom, but it was really cool to be able to see the place she was born. I think Tim really enjoyed it, too.
Our next stop was La Jolla Cove. The views here were so pretty. It was an overcast day so I can just imagine what it looks like in the bright sunshine.  There were pelicans and seals all along the rocks just hanging out, making tons of noise. The views were beautiful but the smells- not so much! It was enough to make you gag at some points. Those seals make look cute and fun but they stink!

Kaydin was sooo excited to finally get to step foot in the ocean. The water was freezing, though!

Our next stop was Mission Bay. Here we just lounged in the sand and played at the water's edge.

Beach Babes!

We decided before we left Southern California, we needed to have some good, authentic Mexican food. A quick search showed that Guadalajara in Old Town was a popular pick.
And still wiggling....
I went with the fish tacos. Not the best I've had, the fish wasn't that flavorful, but still good.
Tim got a combination plate. This enchilada was the best I had ever had! The ones here at home do not even compare.
We were leaving the next day and by now her tooth was beyond loose. It was time for that sucker to come out! After lots and lots of wiggling and loosening, Tim finally pulled and the little tooth was out! Shocked her a little bit, but she was excited once it was finally in her hand and not her mouth.
We had a dentist appointment the day before we left and her dentist gave her a tooth box to keep her tooth in case it fell out while we were on vacation. That box ended up getting put to good use :)

The next morning we had some breakfast, packed up and said goodbye to Southern California.


  1. Great Pics! Looks like she had a blast :)

  2. So jealous! I'm yet to visit California... it's on my short list of places I'd love to go!


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