After stopping to spend a night at home we headed north for a night on the Queen Mary. Parker spent the night here with his grandparents for his birthday last year and has been wanting to go back ever since. I haven't been here since I was a child.
Overall it was a fun experieince, but I could have done without all the prep going on for the Ink & Iron festival. The posters of the tattoo loving crowd were rather ummm...I'm sure you can figure that at on your own.
On the day of our arrival we took the ghost tour - Parker's choice, he did it last year and thought we'd like it too. Like many places around the world the Queen Mary claims to be the most haunted place. I wasn't convinced, but the bits and pieces of history I picked up along the way were interesting.
We also spent some time exploring the ship. The engine room and the huge bolts are always impressive. I also enjoyed reading the little blurbs from those who were on the ship when it sailed. Oh, and looking over the side at the massive propellers gave me the creeps. I am not a fan of heights or water so the combo wasn't fun.
After our time exploring the ship we hopped aboard the Passport to head to dinner. This was Grant's highlight of the trip. A vehicle loving toddler that was super thrilled to actually get on and ride a real bus!
This happened to be Ken's birthday so he chose Famous Dave's BBQ for dinner. Same as last year. And just as delicious.
I then had the brilliant idea to Yelp for an ice cream parlor. There was of course one around the corner, but the reviews were less than stellar. But there was an ice cream parlor 1.5 miles away that had excellent reviews. After our huge dinner the walk seemed like a good idea before dessert. Well, this was probably the first time Yelp has ever let me down. Not the best neighborhood to begin with. It ended up being a tiny hole in the wall with drug store ice cream. The reviews and description were so incredibly misleading. We grabbed a couple quick (and luckily cheap) scoops and turned right around. The next day we redeemed this with a trip to Baskin Robbins and huge waffle cones.
After that we climbed back on the bus and called it a night. Tucked in for some sleep to be reminded by our neighbors in the next room that a) the walls on an old ship are really thin. And b) tattoo artists don't tend to care about said thin walls and don't have the best language either. Luckily we were all tired enough to fall quickly asleep.
On our way home from camping in Julian we stopped at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park. After all the years we went with Parker it is hard to adopt the new name change so we still refer to it as the Wild Animal Park.
This was Grant's first trip to a zoo. And like his brother before him he seemed to love it. The highlight of his day was seeing the elephant use the bathroom on the ground ;)
The bat exhibit was quite impressive. Their wings look like fabric stretched over their bones. They were a little creepy, but not much.
The meerkats, my personal fave, were out and about as usual.
Parker naturally loved the aviary and kept snagging feathers of the ground. He already has quite the feather collection going and added quite a few this week alone.
We cooled of with icees at the fill your own icee cup bar.
The gorillas were hiding since it was so hot. And the lions were sleeping. The zoo is so much more fun in the cool, rainy weather. The animlas are so much more playful then. Good thing we got passes so we can visit again on a day just like this.
Ken was due to max out his vacation time so we planned a quick little vacation near home. The first part we spent camping at William Hiese Park near Julian. We first went here in April 2012 and had a great time. A return trip was in order.
When we were packing up to leave Grant kept saying 'camping kevin' which led us to believe he thought we were heading out to go camping with Ken's brother Kevin. Turn out he was actually talking about our 'camping kevin' actually translated to camping cabin and when I listened closer it defintely had more of a 'cavin' to it.
I was feeding a lorikeet nectar at the aquarium. I think it's a little odd that they'd have birds at the aquarium but they did. In this picture I'm feeding the bird nectar and trying to keep the bird balanced on my arm while Grant was climbing on me. I think they are extremely pretty birds. If you saw a single feather lying on the ground you'd think it was fake because it was so bright. The feeling of the bird standing on my arm was a little pointy, and it was heavy. It was very loud because they were all chirping. It was a fun, interesting experience. (written 6/10/13, photo 6/7/13)
***I had him select a photo/experience from last week and freewrite about it. The idea isn't perfection, just getting words on paper. A super simple way to get in a little writing practice. While I did transcribe for him (he has a week long biology class where he gets to get out in the field and learn and I wanted to avoid tears, but I knew he'd tell me about the photo easily). He was right there instructing me where he wanted commas and such. And then took the pen from me after and made several changes. I kept everything written as he wanted - punctuation, grammar, etc. I hope to do this more often - weekly would be ideal ;)