We spent far too much time at the "world famous" San Diego Zoo, largely because we have passes (so its free to us) and because Kellan kept requesting it!
Everybody got a kick out of Kellan's reaction to my putting a quarter in while he was sitting on the foot massager! He gathered a real audience with all of his hysterical laughter.
I didn't think that Nic would feed the Lorikeets (he is not an animal contact sort of person, let alone allowing birds to actually perch on his arms!), but he actually enjoyed it. We do this on every visit and this is the first time that he's taken part. Look -- my husband smiling!
Kellan could ride the Skyfari all day and all night. I think that eight rides in one visit was our record this trip. Back and forth across the zoo we flew -- and poor Nic doesn't like heights!
The Trona Pinnacles are always a stop on my list when we visit my sister in Inyokern at the foot of the Sierra Nevada.
We also took Kel to visit Manzanar and begin the process of learning about the things that we Americans do to each other. Here he is standing in front of the old gym which now serves as the National Parks interpretive centre.
A stop in Bishop demands a stop at the world famous Erick Schat's Bakkerÿ. This horse was hilarious. An ancient ride on toy. We sat Kel down and slid a quarter into the slot, at which point the contraption started blaring (and I mean blaring to the point that people sitting on the patio could no longer hold a conversation at their tables) cowboy music and literally ran for about ten minutes. It was insane. Kel's face looks a bit uncertain here, but you should have seen him five minutes in!
The Kern River is very near to my sister's house and we all enjoyed a fun day in the mountains. There was even snow at the higher elevations!
The downside to all of our Sierra Nevada fun is the driving. There is lots of driving. Still, it makes for good cuddle time with daddy.
Kel even got to drive a real steam engine and tractor. What more could a three year old boy's heart desire?
There were lots of beach days.
Nic and I took a nature cruise to the Coronado Islands.
An evening at Point Loma turned a bit foggy and chilly, as is often the case on the coast this time of year.
According to Kel, this building was the "bathwoom".
Belmont Park has lots to offer in amusements for children and adults alike.
We had many fun days at Legoland. The horse is definitely Kel's favourite (though impossible to photograph!).
They have a great kid's play area which even includes a train that Kel would ride time and time again. Big surprise.
Kel's buddy, Aiden. They agreed to share the conductor's seat.
This is another favourite, though not for the poor Legoland employee who is stationed at the "driving school" for ages 3-5. Kel will not steer his car. He sits, hands at his sides, pushes the accelerator, and drives straight into the wall. Time after time.
Here is the poor man rescuing Kel yet again. Kel kept him on his toes!
And yet, in the end, they still gave him a driver's license. Seems pretty accurate for California! The cutest bit was that Kel thought this was some sort of certificate because he'd "won". Each time he drove the cars and received his license at the end, he would come rushing out of the gate, brandishing his little card and shouting, "I won, Momma! I won!".
This ride was a mistake. Legoland is located right on the ocean and on this particular day (as on most spring days in San Diego), though it was very hot inland, it was quite cool near the coast. We got soaked. It took us the better part of the afternoon to dry out and I'm not sure that we ever really warmed up after the experience. Still, it was fun.
We spent a fun afternoon at Viejas, a local casino/outlet centre on one of San Diego County's many reservations.
This water display keeps Kellan occupied for hours. The fountains move in time to piped in native american music. It is honestly very beautiful and tasteful. Everybody shops while we take turns with Kellan. They have a spectacular show at night with lights and drums.
We had a fun day trip out to the Railway Museum in Campo.
Everybody enjoyed the Golden State excursion.
After returning to the depot, we went to admire the museum's display equipment. Kellan kept calling this engine, Salty.
And that's it for this trip's highlights. I didn't take as many photos as usual. Too busy enjoying our time together as a family. Normally I'm photographing Kel like crazy to keep Nic updated on our adventures, but this time, Nic was along for the ride. We're headed to the UK a bit later this year and will book our next San Diego trip as soon as we've got those dates sorted. May as well hang out in Springfield for the "nice" weather (what poses for nice in the midwest, anyway). So, until the fall, if I can survive that long...