Saturday, July 4, 2015

Scenes from the San Diego Road(trip)

We have been talking about going to San Diego since we moved to Phoenix over 4 years ago.  

I had always wanted to go to SeaWorld; neither of us had ever been there and it was only about 5 hours away.  It seemed like every few months, San Diego would pop up in conversation, be considered over a cursory peek at the calendar, then be dropped.

The subject popped up again on Saturday... 

On Sunday, we made hotel reservations, and on Monday, we left for SD!  wow...  that is action for us!!

We considered taking the girls (our kitties) but they both acted like they were pretty happy staying home as long as we left plenty of food.

I won't bore you with too many photos of the animals...  after all, they are available online and do not need to be added again.  I will, however, show a few sights that caught my interest, and my camera lens.

There were some funny events during our 5+ mile walk at SeaWorld and our 2.5 mile walk at the Zoo...  like me trying to find a plastic bag to protect my camera from water. 

When I asked, a SeaWorld employee indicated that I could get a plastic bag if I bought something so I picked an overpriced reusable drinking glass (even though I brought one with me) to get the bag....  and they give it to me in a PAPER bag.  No plastic bags anywhere.

Oh, and my hat blowing away on the Atlantis ride, thus requiring me to buy an ugly, not to mention overpriced, hat post-ride to keep my nose from burning. I am sure you are wondering why I didn't buy the hat to get the non-plastic bag!!  well, the water ride for which I needed to protect my camera was the ride that blew my hat away! 

SeaWorld promised to send the hat to me free of charge if they found it after I left town.  I thought that was pretty nice of them after selling me a $12.00 cup that came with $.99 refills but there was only two places that could refill it.

We really enjoyed ourselves at SeaWorld and the staff really went out of their way to educate and answer questions.   Between SeaWorld and the Zoo, I learned: the "pearl in an oyster" guy a hard time might just get you 2 shells for the price of one.

...a huge flock of flamingoes can cause a great deal of STINK. to tell the difference between sea lions and seals... and that sea lions are LOUD.   Its all in the ears, literally.

....seals can stand on their back legs

...that a zebra's stripes are to confuse their predators.

...that the "killer" whales can be very playful.

...roller coasters can still make me scream.

...meerkats always have a "guard" that alerts the others of danger and the guard is the most fun to watch. to tell a few of the sharks apart...  which will come in SUPER handy if I ever have to tell the paramedics which shark attacked me.

...giraffe babies can be over 6' tall and 150# when born.

...there are some really adorable, and some really strange animals out there - and some of the strangest are human. can get wet at SeaWorld for free but it will cost $6 to get dry.

And I learned that southern Cali is humid...  humid like Midwestern humid..

I also touched a few creepy looking swimmy things that I will probably never need to, or want to, touch again.

(An Egg of a Bamboo Shark.  An embryo develops inside, eating the yolk until it hatches (about 4 months).  What you see is a shark with its tail curled around and what's left of the yolk is the half moon in the lower center.)

We enjoyed every bit of SeaWorld, save the "unable to refill the stupid cup" issue.

The Zoo, however, was almost a disappointment. 

The Zoo grounds were beautiful and very well landscaped but the terrain included a lot of hills, stairs, ramps, and steep walkways.  Thus, much of the zoo was hard to access for those physically challenged and those with strollers.  I did find escalators and an elevator so I know they were trying to solve the accessibility issue.  I felt there could be more benches to allow more relaxed viewing of a favorite animal or enclosure and could also allow those challenged by the terrain to rest.

We walked over 8 miles between SeaWorld (5+)and the Zoo (3+). 

We also visited the USS Midway while in San Diego, which was NOT at the battle for which it was named.  Huge...  truly HUGE!

There was a lot of info shared about the ship on the audio tour, all interesting and most was previously unknown to me.  But I was pretty much shocked to find out that, in its day, the USS Midway could travel fast enough to water ski behind it.

Volunteers were offering informative demos all around the boat.  While I was listening to one about the catapult system, hubby found some firemen running practice drills on the flight deck of the ship.

Hubby's souvenir  from the trip was a SD firefighter's tshirt.

I also enjoyed the statue erected on the dock near the USS Midway....  a bit of whimsy.

I DID enjoy seeing the acres of wind generators along the California part of I10 on the way home...  acres and acres of them. 

We had not passed this way previously so I am sure they have been there a very long time but I am thrilled to see some of our wind being harnessed.

From the distance, it would look like the generators would straddle the interstate and, like certain holes in miniature golf, we would have to pass in between the blades safely to get beyond them.

May there always be wind under your sails.

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