Friday we left Desert Hot Springs and drove 2 hours to San Diego. How shocking that it was cows, hills, grass, and land in between here (Desert Hot Springs) and the beach. Cali has all kinds of surprises.
We decided to make it an extra-special birthday weekend for E so we left Woody behind and used some gift cards to book some hotel rooms.
To show how much perspective can change… hotel rooms used to seem so small for the 5 of us. This weekend, the hotel rooms seemed so spacious! The bathroom looked so big and there was lots of walk-around space everywhere. We were really getting a kick out of how much our brains have changed.
After some hotel room shenanigans we were off to see the Padres at Petco Park!
We took the trolley like the friendly hotel staff recommended and it was quick and easy and cheap. Yay for not having to work hard to NOT argue over driving and parking in a new city :)! We arrived just in time to catch the end of batting practice. Seeing B walk E and AB into their first MLB game was a special memory.
Here’s AB’s first look at the size of the stadium and that beautiful field. They were both amazed.
I know how much baseball means to B so I love watching him at a game. He is always so happy and a tad misty-eyed in a stadium.
I also grew up a baseball fan and have such great memories of going to ball games so I love experiencing this with the kiddos.
You’ll never forget your first MLB game!
They did a great job honoring law enforcement, first responders, and later on – veterans.
E & RR totally loved the experience and game. When AB got tired (she’s younger. it’s understandable) and reached her snack limit – I let her use my camera and she snapped some great action shots.
She loved that girls got to warm up the outfielders:
The last inning we went to the outfield grassy area. I’ve never seen a game from that angle in a stadium before. Very cool to feel almost field-level. It’s a nice stadium.
It was a great memory and the Padres won!
Such a great start to the weekend!
Saturday morning after hotel breakfast we headed to Cabrillo National Monument! So glad our neighbor recommended this. We didn’t even realize there was a national park around the area!
Here was the family’s first glimpse of the Pacific!
The park is at the end of Point Loma which I recognized right away. When I visited USD and UCSD in high school – I went to the navy base on Point Loma where they trained dolphins for research. My high school friend that I visited with had an uncle that had strong connections to the base. Knowing our goal to work with dolphins, they invited us to come visit the dolphins and trainers and learn about how we could volunteer / intern with them through college. My goodness to think how different life would be if I had taken that route! It was so fun to think back 20 years and just praise the Lord for how He has written my story. Thank you thank you thank you!
It was such a beautiful day and the colors were just amazing everywhere! How cool to be up high to look over the city on one side and Pacific on the other.
(Just in case you can see the marks on his face, RR had a fight with the edge of the pool this week.)
The kids worked hard on the work sheets to earn their Junior Ranger Badges. It had a good mix of history, science (geology, zoology, botany, astronomy), military history, and geography lessons. How’s homeschooling going? Excellent! The navigation instruments in the exhibit were particularly interesting. Here’s a history lesson for you:
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo explored this area on his galleon, the San Salvador; in 1542. He started in Mexico, following the coastline to get to Asia. He stopped in this area to wait out a storm and replenish the supply of fresh water. After spotting present-day San Clemente and Los Angeles, he broke his leg when jumping from the boat to come to the aid of his men and would later die from complications (infection). His mission to claim new land for Spain and find the Strait of Anian (a mythical passage between the Atlantic and Pacific) was unfulfilled but he was able to map the coast, as commanded. His data would be used later to help link the continents and set up trade routes between New Spain and Philippines.
The Kumeyaay were the natives in this area and appeared to be prosperous people. They fished far out to sea in reed canoes, made pottery, baskets, shell jewelry, and wore capes of sea otter, seal or deer skin. Although interactions were tense at first, Cabrillo withdrew and returned with gifts. Nothing else was mentioned about the Kumeyaay.
The kids’ fave part was the Old Point Loma Lighthouse that was lived in by a family for many years:
Imagine this being the view from your window and door:
Doesn’t the staircase look like a shell?
We didn’t see any whales but we did see this house / building at the waters edge and decided if that’s where the park ranger’s stay, this park would be a sweet placement!
The Junior Rangers had to try on some armor like the conquistadors would have worn:
And then it was on to the pledge and getting our badges!
It was a great morning and the views were really just mesmerizing.