I am starting to figure out why all the parents of small kids I've known over the years were always so fussy about traveling with their children. You work hard to achieve a fragile system that keeps your child relatively rested, fed, clean and the right temperature. Then you take a trip only a few hours away and before you know it you're in a hot place with no changing tables, your kid hasn't had a nap in seven hours, and he won't even eat peaches for dinner. This makes him an absolute joy to introduce to strangers, of course.
So, yes, we had a great time in San Diego, though the child was unpredictable and then got sick and scared the pants off us by having a high fever AND we forgot our laptop and our camera and any work Jeff might have gotten to do. But that was not the whole trip, and I don't want you to leave you with that impression. In between various meals with various friends and family of friends, we had time to be tourists and we did so with our usual gusto.
We went down to the beach and walked around the Hotel del Coronado. I didn't realize this until Jeff pointed it out to me, but I am a fan of gawking at schmancy hotels around the world. I have dragged him to the Oriental in Bangkok, Turtle Bay on Oahu, the St. Francis in San Francisco and the Biltmore here. Looking around the lobby or going for tea in a nice hotel is just so much more satisfying than going into debt to stay there. Every time I say I am going to splurge for a couple of nights in an expensive place, I end up backing out at the last minute when I realize I can stay twice as long in the cheaper place across the city. It took a while for the genes to fully activate, but I can honestly say now I am my father's daughter.
Anyway, if you are not me, I highly recommend staying at this hotel:
Here's us in the lobby, like, totally blending:
We also made it to the awesomeness of the Wild Animal Park. Last year Danielle and I went without the boys and I had to stop every five minutes and sit down because I was sixish months pregnant and kind of whiny at baseline anyway. It's still a tad warm in San Diego this time of year. Kurt objected strenuously to being sunscreened:
But was a good sport overall:
And we were lorakeet-ed:
Did I mention I love this park?
About a half hour before closing, Kurt announced he was done… and we got into the car and headed back up north. I drove most of the way, but had some sort of an emotional breakdown on the 101 around Wilshire. I decided I was tired of the front seat and wanted to sit in the back with my baby. Jeff announced his readiness to take the wheel as soon as I felt ready to get off the freeway so we could switch. I was in the far left lane, trying desperately to get into the far right lane, except that new right lanes kept forming, out of nowhere, as the highway widened through that busy part of L.A. I finally got into an exit-only lane…got off the freeway…mysteriously found myself on a busy street in what appeared to be a freeway-only entrance lane…and found myself back on the 101. I could barely see by that point, laughing so hard the tears were soaking my neck. It was another try or two before I finally found an exit that stuck. Los Angeles perplexes me. But I did get to sit in the back for a while.