Well I am finally getting around to blogging about our family vacation we took a couple of weeks ago! We survived! Haha I’m kidding, it was fun and Ryder was a great little traveler! I have wanted to go to San Diego for a while, and had even hoped to go there for a Babymoon when I was pregnant with Ryder. It never got it booked, which was fortunate, since we were a little surprised by his birthday! Anyways, my very best friend lives out in Arizona, just a few hours away from San Diego. I had it in my mind that we would go out there when her family could meet us, and I am so glad they did! It was such a fun weekend with our friends, and Ryder loved their little boy, Dalton!
We left here early on a Saturday. I will say, it is a breeze to go through security with a child! I guess they feel sorry for you lugging all the extra stuff around so they whisk you right on through! We were running late (shock I know) so Ryder and I boarded while Chad grabbed some breakfast. Ryder was taking everything in at first, looking out the window and playing with the magazines in the seat pocket. About half way through the flight, though, he started screaming! I am not sure if he was tired or bored, but there was a pilot in the seats behind us who handed Ryder a little stuffed animal to play with. Mind you, I had a whole bag full of toys and tricks to keep him entertained, but that little pink stuffed cat did the trick! Ryder was pretty quiet the rest of the flight! We had to give the stuffed animal back to the pilot so he could take it home to his daughter, but we hightailed it to find a stuffed animal in the Las Vegas airport before our next leg! We found a soft, orange cat at the Life is Good store, and Ryder still loves it! He watched the take off, then slept hard the rest of that short flight to San Diego while cuddling his new friend. It was kind of funny that the guy who sat next to us on that second flight was also flying out of Lubbock, and he asked if Ryder was the one who had been screaming! I bet he was glad he fell asleep so quick on that flight! Ha!
Once we landed we had to wait a while at the rental car place. Here’s the deal, we chose to get a car seat from the rental car company instead of taking our beloved Britax. We didn’t want to risk damaging it with the way they handle luggage, not to mention the weight and bulk it would add to our luggage! Anyways, hindsight, so it ended up being a rather bare, forward-facing, convertible. I swore he would not ride forward facing for a long time, but by that point we didn’t have much choice. He did fine forward facing, and has gone back to rear facing at home without a fuss! We will probably take our own car seat next time.
Thanks to Pacific time, even after all of that traveling it was barely lunch time in San Diego! We met our friends for lunch at Miguel’s on Shelter Island. It was great Mexican food! It was also just a few blocks from our hotel, Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn. We booked it through Groupon, and it was a nice hotel for a great deal! We were able to check in a few hours early, and got ready for the beach! Ryder took a short nap on the way to Ocean Beach, but it had already been a very long day for him. He was NOT impressed when we first got there. The sand was hot! When he saw the water, he took off running for it… that is until a wave knocked him down :-(. It took a while for him to recover and warm up again. That water was FRIGID! Of course, he finally started enjoying the water and the sand right when it was time to leave!
That evening we tried to eat at Anthony’s right on the water, but the wait was really long and the boys were tired. We ended up eating at their little stand outside, which was just as good! The guys actually had to go find diapers for Ryder since we had left them back at the hotel, and he was stinky! Nicole and I ordered the food and got the boys situated while they were gone. It was still a nice view and the weather was great. All in all, nice evening.
Sunday, Father’s Day, was finally the day I would get to see the San Diego Zoo! I have always wanted to go there, and Ryder was a good excuse to make it happen ;-). We had California breakfast burritos at a fast food type place on the way. We arrived about 11, I think, which ended up being the perfect amount of time to get a full day in. Ryder was not feeling the stroller, he wanted to explore! It was a struggle for a while, but he did get out to see all of the animals! We saw tiger brothers who were 18 months old, a momma and baby hippo, pandas, a tasmanian devil, and even fed the giraffes! There were so many adorable baby animals! I had forgotten my big camera on this day so all of these are from my phone. Ryder was so cute waving at all of the animals, and was actually only scared of the fish and turtles! They had a kids area with a petting zoo and a playground. Both boys slept for a while in their strollers, and we stayed until pretty much closing time. By the end of the day, though, Ryder had been through 3 outfits! He had eaten A LOT of ice cream, and his tummy got a little upset. He acted like he felt fine by the time we walked out. He even danced while a band was playing!
We went back to the hotel and got cleaned up, then headed to Little Italy. We ate some really yummy pizza at a unique kind of place, Filipis Pizza Grotto. You have to walk through an Italian market to get to the restaurant at the back. It was late by the time we were done, so we headed back to the hotel. I should mention, Ryder slept like a champ in the port a crib! We put it in a short hallway by the bathroom so that it would be dark and maybe a little quieter. He never even stirred each night!
On Monday morning we hung out at the hotel pool for a little while. I don’t have any pictures from it, but it was a nice salt-water pool. After we got cleaned up, we headed to breakfast/brunch at Hash House a Go Go. It had been recommended to Nicole, and I am so glad it was! It is a funky little place, downtown I guess? There was still a wait on a Monday morning, but it was worth it! It was the best meal we had in San Diego! Chad had the eggs benedict and I had the french toast. So so good. The boys also had fun playing while we ate. When we finished, we headed over to Coronado Island. Our friends needed to head home so we only had about an hour on the island. I only wish I had known how gorgeous it was before we got there! We will definitely have to spend more time on that beach in the future. Golden sand, clear blue water, heaven. We were right in front of the old Hotel Del Coronado. Gorgeous! Just because the picture is funny, Chad wasn’t really dressed for the beach and had left his tennis shoes on! I wanted a picture by the water, and right as Nicole snapped a wave came up and got his shoes wet! Ha! I had put Ryder in a swimsuit, but it was way too big and kept falling down. Dalton also got nice and dirty before their drive home by playing in a big hole he found! Successful day at the beach if you ask me! 😉
After we said goodbye to our friends (which was only a short good bye this time because now they are in our neck of the woods for a visit, yay!), I had this crazy idea that we should take Ryder to LegoLand in Carlsbad, CA. We were hoping he would nap on the way, but he just enjoyed the view. We got there at about 5 I think, and the parked closed at 8. I was hopeful there would be a discounted or prorated rate, but that didn’t start until 6. I bit the bullet and bought the full price tickets for 3 hours worth :-(. In the end, I am glad I did. Ryder LOVED it! They had a few rides he could do with us, which was fun, but he especially loved all of the Lego play areas! If we are being honest, I think Chad did too! The little mini Lego towns were really cool too. We played until closing time, then ate dinner in the LegoLand hotel. It was actually a really nice dinner, and Ryder was out cold on the ride back to San Diego!
Tuesday was our last day in sunny San Diego, but we weren’t leaving until later in the afternoon. We had bought a 2 day pass to the zoo on Sunday because it was cheaper than 2, 1 day passes. We got up early, packed, and headed to Hash House a Go Go for round 2! Yes, it was that good! I had the chicken and waffle tower that day, it was to.die.for. with sage fried chicken and bacon waffles. The iced coconut mocha was also a nice start to the day! Ryder even loved his scrambled eggs! I think they have locations in Las Vegas too, so check them out! We made it back to the Zoo with about 4 hours to kill. We saw all of the animals we didn’t see the first day including the Koalas and Asian Big Cats. That baby orangutan was adorable too! The Zoo is huge (100 acres), but so nice and well kept! A lot of the exhibits allow you to see the animals under water and on land. They have tons of volunteers who know pretty much everything you ask them! They were also very helpful. Ryder did a lot better in his stroller this time, I think just because he was worn out! On the way out, we let Ryder picked a stuffed animal. He was pretty decisive, and picked a hippo! It is cute, but I don’t have a picture of it from there. He was funny trying to carry this big, round stuffed animal. My favorite souvenir, though, was this “handanimal” that they did at the Zoo. They made his hand print into a giraffe, and we have it hanging in his room now. So sweet!
We made it to the airport and Ryder slept the whole first flight. We had a bit of a delay in Las Vegas, so we let Ryder run around at an empty gate we found. He ended up staying awake for about half of the second flight, but finally passed out. He actually pretty much stayed asleep all the way from the plane to his crib!
I am so glad we took Ryder on his first real vacation. I know he may not remember it, but I will always remember his smiles and excitement!
Up next, his 18 month post!