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 – Hilton Doubletree Hotel

How I wake up in My New Life

In my old life, I used to wake up like this…

Actual untouched picture of me in bed.
Actual untouched picture of me in bed.

I’d roll over, look at the clock. It could be 7 or 8. I’d think to myself, self, should I just shut my eyes and go back to sleep or is the day full of so much awesomeness that I have to leap out of bed? Most days, you can guess which choice I made. I’d lie lazily in bed, sometimes sleeping, sometimes in that state that is not quite awake. Sometimes I’d read. Or listen to the news. Or check on facebook. Or see if they’d invented the flying car yet.

By 10, usually, I’d be up. No rush. Just another day in the life of justjoe.

Now, it’s somewhat different.

The youngest pads over to the bed at 7am. “Mommy. My leg doesn’t hurt anymore.”

It’s  very important news for the youngest to deliver. At 7am. Had he waited until, say 8, he might have forgotten to tell us.

My eyes creak open. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world rolls over. Mumbles something. I do not think she uses a single swear word. I think she says, “Johnny, is that you?”

The youngest pokes his mom. “My leg doesn’t hurt anymore.” Cuz like, clearly, we didn’t hear him the first time.

So, 7am. We’re up. Somehow, some way, the youngest managed to get a burn on his knee. A good burn. But from what? What could be hot enough that we saw yesterday that would give him a burn? (spoiler, we figured out that it was the carpet in the Ripley’s display that he hid in and giggled.) But it was good news that it didn’t hurt.

Splish-splash, baby
Splish-splash, baby

Outside, it’s exactly the opposite of what was predicted. It’s sunny. Who knows how long that’ll last but we’re off to Seaworld. We need to take advantage of the good weather. My guess is Seaworld has water and if I’m going to get wet, I want it to be warm outside. I’m starting to have nightmares about shivering in the cold while teenagers drench me in water.

But there’s a lot of challenges today. I’m behind on my writing. Way behind. I need to crave out time somehow. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world has caught a cold. Her nose is red. The youngest wants to do water rides. Lots and lots of water rides. He actually has no idea of what rides Seaworld has, but he’s pretty sure there will be splashie ones.  The oldest is wishing meglodon was at Seaworld. He wants to see people eaten, I think.

Since it’ll be a full day, we  try to get out as quickly as possible.

In my old life, it was brush teeth, shave, wet hair down, then style, look at self in mirror and say, “Wow, you do look like Johnny Depp?” then I’d turn on the lights, and head out. 5 mins top. 10 if I had a shower. Now…

Now you’ll hear me saying things, like “Teeth brushing, not toothbrush eating. Hurry up”

“Of course you have to wear underwear.” (And no, I never say this to the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world.)

“Wait, how did you get pizza sauce on a shirt we just bought yesterday?”

“Come on, let’s hurry, let’s get it in gear, let’s get going, vroom, vroom, vroom, we gotta a full day, hurry, hurry, hurry, fast, fast, fast, move it, move it, move it, ah, cutie.”

Ready to go? All parts protected from the sun?
Ready to go? All parts protected from the sun?

It’s a process, let me tell you. Armies move faster than 2 boys getting ready. Glaciers move faster.

But, by 9, we are good to go. Time for breakfast and Seaworld.

Now, in my old life, breakfast would be all….

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.