Traveling With Kids – San Diego – Maritime Musem

Maritime Madness

Would today be the best day, yet, or the worst?

Ok, let’s be honest here. It could go either way. Why? Cuz of me.

midway carrierSee, Legoland was for the boys. Meeting the mysterious Schmennis was for the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world. Today, well, today we were going to do something for me – We were going to see the aircraft carrier Midway. There would be planes, (some of which I’d built as models in my youth), a chance to see what it was like below the hanger decks and maybe we’d even have the opportunity to listen to some old Vets tell war stories. OMG, nerdgasm!

At least for me.

The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world was, at best, mildly enthusiastic about seeing a whole big hunk of metal parked on a pier. The boys, (despite me jumping up and down and saying “PLANES!!!!” about three dozen times), looked like they would rather be back at the hotel swimming in the pool.

Oh oh.

IMG_0543 (800x600)So we drove to the old town trolley company in, yes, the old town. It was a hop-on-hop-off type of thing. I would have loved to wander around the old town, but by the time we got  going, it was a bit late so that simply wasn’t wasn’t doable. However, the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world did get a chance to look at a few shops while the boys sat on a bench and rolled their eyes. They weren’t even excited about the skulls in the nearby shop, or the real swords or the spooky masks hanging from the walls.

It could be that they were suffering from over-touristing.

But we got on the bus, got a pretty good seat and roared off. There were a lot of sites to see on this tour, not only the Midway, but Seaport Village, the historic Gaslamp Quarter, with its Victorian-themed buildings, the Hotel del Coronado, Balboa Park, and the zoo. Now, we’d seen the zoo and Coronado, (and we thought we’d do one last tour of Balboa Park tomorrow), but that was still a lot to see and do.

Worse, it was the weekend. So it was crazy busy everywhere and that would make quick hit and run visits very hard.

IMG_0544 (800x600) (2)At our first real stop, we got out. The Midway was down the wharf a-ways, but there was a neat collection of ships that we could look at, all part of the outdoor maritime museum. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world loved seeing the HMS Surprise upon which decks Johnny Depp had walked. I, of course, spouted all sorts of cool ship facts (this without actually knowing the facts.)

Me: “Oh, hey, this is an exact replica of a sixth rate frigate, originally made by the French, but captured by the English.”

The oldest: “Is it all made out of wood?”

The youngest: “Can we climb up to the top?’

pirates of carThe Prettiest-girl-in-the-world: “Did Johnny touch that railing?”

Me: “Apparently this replica of the ‘Rose’ is unmatched in its authenticity and attention to detail.”

The oldest: “Is this your favourite ship?”

The youngest: “Why can’t I climb to the top?”

The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world: “If Johnny had to choose between me and that skank Kira Knightly, who do you think he’d chose?”

It was then that I realized that we would all be seeing and experiencing things differently.

IMG_0545 (800x600) (2)We looked at the old soviet era sub, at a clipper named the Star of India and at a stealth navy ship far off in the distance (which I’m still not sure I should have taken a picture of.)

Everyone, oddly enough, seemed to be having a good time, even if it wasn’t all about the interesting facts and stuff. And that was kinda cool.

But would that apply to the mighty Midway?

*****

And hey, thanks to everyone who’s reading this.

If you have a story about traveling with kids you’d like to share, please send it my way, or if you get a chance, like me on FB, or if or if you just want to bug someone, send an invite for them to like me.

I am likable most of the time.

 

 

 

 

Traveling With Kids – San Diego – Balboa Park

Our Secret Spy

bondTruth time. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world had a spy down in San Diego. To protect his identity, let’s call him Schmennis. He‘d gave us advice on where to look for a good Mexican restaurant. He’d given us advice on driving times and things to see, things to do, and things to avoid. He given advice on the weather, clothes to wear and a place the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world could do some shopping.

IMG_0282IMG_0286So, after we had visited the gorillas again, (no sign of the baby), after we had done the gorilla stance, after we had eaten terrible hamburgers while the red-eyed bird kept its eye on the oldest, after we had fed a few ducks, bought a few souvenirs, tried to find popsicles and failed, after we’d bought gorilla t-shirts for the boys, it was on his advice that we went to our next destination.

balboa park mapBalboa park. The park of about a billion museums. Ok, that’s not entirely true, but the park is HUGE!  It has the San Diego Air & Space Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Automotive Museum, the San Diego Hall of Champions, the Centro Cultural de la Raza (whatever the heck that is), the Museum of the Living Arts, the San Diego Museum of Man, (not to be confused with the San Diego Natural History Museum), the San Diego Model Railroad Museum (oh my, the geek in me got all tinglie inside), the Mingei (What?) International Museum, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (for little kids), the Timken Museum of Art, the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, the George W. Marston House and the San Diego History Center.

Whew, right?

Plus there were gardens and green parks and merry-go-rounds and the San Diego Zoo and dogs.

It’s the neat thing about not having a hard and fast schedule. We could do a whole ton of things with our free time. So, we’d researched some options the night before and presented the incredible findings to the boys. The Air and Space Museum had a Ripley’s Believe it Or Not exhibition!!!!

Unlike the epic fail of Universal Studios, this suggestion made the younger one hoot, and the older one smile, just a bit at first, but then he couldn’t contain himself and got all bouncy and excited like his younger brother.

Now you have to understand. The boys, the oldest in particular, has a bookcase full of books about odd things, weird things, smelly things, dead things, and sharks.

johnny depp chocSeeing a real life exhibit by Ripley would pretty much hit most of those things. It would so awesome, like the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world eating chocolate with Johnny Depp or me having the abs of one of those 300 Spartan guys.

So, off we drove.

But our guru had not told us what to expect when we arrived there. It was way better than we even imagined.