Saturday, 4 July 2015

San Diego with the Bleakleys - 9th April

After a bad night's sleep for me (not used to sharing a bed!) Holly made us a lovely breakfast of asparagus omelettes, avocado and fruit salad. We made up sandwiches and stuff for packed lunches, then hung around the house for a while.

Tim and Holly's bedroom where Scott and I stayed.

Tim and Holly's bathroom and wardrobe area is about as big as half our upstairs at home!

The living room where the older girls slept.

The Bleakley's had had a notice saying they needed to weed their front garden or receive a fine, so Tim decided to get on with some weeding. Lucy, Abi and I did a photo shoot!

Tom and Sam on Sam's bedroom balcony.

Some time after 10.30am, Scott and I decided we'd better get started without the Bleakleys or we wouldn't see much of San Diego. We took Abi and Sam with us, and headed for La Jolla beach, arranging to meet up with the Bleakleys there. 
Scott reversing down the very steep drive, trying to scare us!

Driving through Ramona.

It was quite busy near La Jolla, but we found parking, walked along the sea front, and settled on a bench to watch the wild life. Gorgeous weather again!!

A seal Mum and baby!

There were loads of fabulous huge pelicans.

We then walked a bit further along, went down to a little beach and the kids paddled for a while. Lovely watching them playing together.

After a while the rest of the Bleakleys caught up with us.

Lucy and Abi adding their names inside a little cave.

After a while on the beach we carried on walking around the sea front, just taking in the sights.

Holly and the kids spent a bit of time exploring a cavern. 

Humming bird!

We spent a couple of hours at La Jolla, before our car parking time ran out, then we headed back to the cars and had our packed lunches. We then followed the Bleakleys to Balboa Park, driving past Mission Beach with its famous wooden roller coaster, then through the city.

Before the holiday Scott had asked me to decide where I wanted to go in San Diego, and I'd searched for places that looked nice on Pinterest! One place that cropped up time and again, which I thought looked beautiful was Balboa Park. We weren't sure quite what to expect there, and knew that some parts of it were really expensive. The Bleakleys weren't all that enthusiastic, plus it was a fair drive away, so I was really relieved when it turned out to be simply wonderful - we had a great time there wandering round, and soaking in the varied and beautiful architecture.
The place is 1200 acres of gardens, museums, theatres, and includes San Diego Zoo (though we didn't want to go to the zoo.)
It was free to wander around, and we started in the Spanish Village, where I was delighted to find the coloured paving stones I'd first seen on Pinterest!

Love them!

Walking deeper into the park.

The Bleakleys and the kids were slower than Scott and I, so we'd got a bit ahead. It was lovely seeing them all from a distance, happily looking around!

It really was beautiful! I was so happy!

Harry had another big nose bleed, so we got napkins from a nearby restaurant, and made him a nose plug while we were at this bit!

Harry adored the Bleakey's puppy, Max. He walked it for quite a while (with his nose plug still in!)

Our lovely kids!

After seeing all the main places, we stopped by a fountain for a paddle in the hot evening sunshine. Perfect!

After ages, we dragged ourselves and the kids away, and back to the car park, then headed for San Diego's Old Town.

We parked in the car park of the Mormon Battalion Historic Site building, where we took a few pictures outside, then walked down through the Old Town Historic Park.

We ended up at the Fiesta De Reyes - a kind of Mexican garden surrounded by shops and restaurants. It was great! After quite a bit of discussion before the holiday, we'd decided not to cross the border and visit Mexico, so this was the next best thing!

We had dinner in one of the nearby restaurants... delicious!

After dinner we had another wander round Fiesta de Reyes just as it was getting dark. It was great!! Tried on sombreros and looked at all the Mexican nic-nacks. The atmosphere was great, with live music, and lanterns everywhere.

We then wandered back to the cars. Tim was really eager for us to go to the Mormon Battalion museum, though everyone was getting a bit tired by then, and we still needed to pack up everything ready for an early start the next morning. When we got there though, Tim spoke with the missionaries running it, and they said we could just go in and skip the exhibits and do the activity bits!

One of the sister missionaries took our photo, and emailed us a copy.

I hadn't realised how large a part of the settling of San Diego the Mormons played.

The boys panning for gold!

The girls doing some washing!

We then climbed the tower and enjoyed looking out over Old Town for a bit.

At some point Scott and I had mentioned that we hadn't managed to find a frozen yogurt place in America yet, so we all decided to stop off for some on the way back to the Bleakleys. Holly knew a place near San Diego University where she works part time. (She works at the uni not the yogurt shop!) We ended up having to park quite a way from the shop, but it was great! We took over the place, and the frozen yogurt was gorgeous!

As we finally drove home, we passed by the beautiful San Diego Temple.

What a day! We just packed so much in (not bad going, with eleven kids and a dog!), and it was brilliant being with the Bleakleys. San Diego seems a great place, and there's loads more we could have seen.
Back at the Beakleys we packed all our stuff, and sorted out our much reduced hand luggage - just two rucksacks between us, my camera, laptop, and a couple of plastic bags!
The kids got to bed sometime after 10pm, and we didn't stay up too late. My back which had been bothering me for a couple of days was really starting to hurt, and I wanted to get as good a night as possible.

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