Sunday, July 31, 2011

California dreamin...

Have you ever had one of those vacations that is so different from anything you've done before?  They tend to stick in your memory and you find yourself day dreaming about them.  All you remember is how perfect everything was, how perfect the accommodations were, and how nothing could ever be better.  We just got back from a vacation like that.

I'm not a "beach person"and never have been.  I don't like to get hot if I don't have to, I despise sand anywhere other than my toes, and I have seen Shark Week too many times.  Generally if you ask me where my ideal vacation (especially in the summer) I would tell you that they involve mountains of some sort and cooler temperatures.  Our last vacation of the summer may have turned all of this on its head because San Diego, CA was possibly my perfect place on earth.

My parents rent a place right on the beach (pictures below) and invited Haley and I to come along with my brother, his fiance, and assorted other extended family members.  My brother, his fiance (henceforth known as Whitney), Haley, and I all cleared our schedule and decided to be there for a week to end our summer.  This condo unit that they rent has three smallish bedrooms (two of them have two twin beds and one has a king), two bathrooms, one kitchen, one living room, and an ocean view.  All of this couldn't have been more than 1200 square feet, so there wasn't much personal space.  During our time there we got into a number of mis-adventures that we'll remember forever:

Possibly the best thing that we experienced from the moment we walked out of our condo unit was the Pacific view.  I've seen a lot of ocean views in my short time on this planet, but being able to look up from the dinner table to see the sun setting on the Pacific Ocean is one of the greatest I've seen.  Pictured above is one of my first times attempting a panoramic picture, so don't judge too harshly.

The day after we arrived in San Diego, Haley and I rented a convertible and spent a day cruising up the Pacific Coast Highway.  We left out in the morning and got as far north as Huntington Beach before turning around to go on our next mis-adventure.  While cruising we got to eat some awesome breakfast, see some beautiful country, and enjoy the beautiful weather of southern California.

We came home from Huntington Beach via the interstate because we wanted to visit the USS Midway Museum with Trent and Whitney (pictured above).  Trent and I's grandfather spent time stationed on the Midway during his service in the Navy and we wanted to come see it first hand.  We spent a couple of hours looking around the cramped quarters and Haley and I even randomly ran into one of our favorite students from Coppell on board!  It's a small world.

Of course we had to visit the San Diego Zoo.  While Haley swears up and down that the Tyler Zoo is just as well known as this one, I think the San Diego Zoo might be the greatest zoo on the face of the planet.  It's clean, it's well kept, and there are tons of different vantage points to see all the animals.  We got to watch a handler feed the tigers, llamas fight amongst themselves, and see a trainer call a full grown African elephant like a puppy.  It was a fun morning and we at in San Diego's old town for lunch.

Some of our extended family came into town to stay as well.  Besides the fact that we then had nine people crammed into the same amount of space, Trent and Whitney went with them to Legoland just north of San Diego.  Dad and I took this opportunity to head to one of the most beautiful ball parks I've ever seen, Petco Park.  While the baseball wasn't awesome, we enjoyed ourselves and got out of the house a bit. of my first time trying to create a panoramic picture.

Here's a picture of all the family together.  We really enjoyed ourselves and will definitely be coming back again next summer if my parents will have us.  It was difficult to leave, especially knowing that the following Monday Haley starts Cheer Camp and I begin Football Camp.  These are both sure signs that summer is almost over and school is about to start again.  I'm looking forward to school starting again, but I could just as easily become a beach bum.

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