San Diego

Recently we took our first vacation as a family of four to San Deigo. Quinten thought our hotel was amazing because our window looked out at the boats in the marina and we were near the airport, so planes were talking off above the boats.He would say night night to the boats every evening. He also started to say, “Planes take off in the sky UP HIGH!” Another bonus feature to the hotel was the Mickey Mouse show that he was allowed to watch in the morning. He would wake up and request his cereal and “Tickey Mouse! Tickey Mouse!”

We decided to drive La Jolla to eat breakfast and then take Quinten to the beach. We ate at a delightful café called “The Coffee Cup”. The reason why we decided to stop and eat there was because the name had most beautiful magic word (“COFFEE”) in it. We sat outside and Quinten ate a pancake with a fruit smiley face. The coffee was good, but we had to wait and wait for our food to come, and the bathroom didn’t have a light so I was forced to change Sheldon’s diaper in his car seat, which was a new experience for both of us.
We went to the beach with full tummies. It was so fun to watch Quinten and Derrick splash in the waves. Quinten was running away from the waves and shrieking, splashing and kicking in the water. He finally came in and played with his shovel and bucket in the sand while Derrick went body surfing. After naps, we met up with my Aunt Camilla who lives in La Jolla. She took us to see my Grandpa Seba and Uncle Bob’s picture at the World War II Memorial. It was special see their photographs and lists of achievements, and to show Quinten a picture of his Great Grandpa who he didn’t get to meet. We went to dinner at a local restaurant that served pizza. Aunt Camilla always looks immaculate and I felt a little bad that she was stuck dining with a hullabaloo of Hallums.
Quinten fell off of the booth at one point and there was a lot of general squirming about. He was pretty shy about his great Aunt, and didn’t really give her much attention until she ordered a giant dish of ice-cream for dessert. Once the ice-cream showed up he was very good about thanking her and giving her hugs for his favorite treat. He also managed to steal her spoon when she wasn’t looking and splat a nice helping of chocolate syrup on her once spotless outfit. When we dropped her off for the evening, he sat in his car seat saying, “Aunt La-lil-a, Aunt La-lil-a”. It makes me happy that my children are introduced to the special people from my childhood.
It’s a nice heritage to give them, even if it just becomes a wafting memory when they are older. The next stop on our great adventure was the San Diego Zoo. We met Derrick’s sister Brandi there. It was one of the hottest days of the summer (for San Diego) and we were all sweating by the time we got through the parking lot. I covered Sheldon in wet wipes because the poor guy was stranded in his car seat, condemned to be toted from one sweltering exhibit to the next. Of course, he was full of smiles and all around good cheer. He is obviously a “glass half full” guy.
At first Derrick let Quinten wander leisurely about, looking at crocodiles and naked mole rats (Derrick: “We can find these in pet stores! They look like ugly hamsters”). As I felt the minutes to lunch time slip by, I took over Quinten duty and started hustling everyone. Everything was going great until we decided that we wanted to see the big ticket animals. The quest for the elephants would prove to be our downfall. We finally made it to the Elephant exhibit and Sheldon decided to wake up from his nap and be hungry. Unfortunately for us both, the elephant exhibit has very little shade due to the fact that elephants are allergic to trees. In any case, I sat on a hot metal park bench while Sheldon had lunch. By the time we were finished, I had a headache and I really could care less about pachyderms. Quinten loved the elephants so at least the torture wasn’t in vain. As we passed by the camels, we realized that it was lunch time and we were all teetering on the brink of heat stroke, so we left.
We went to the beach again the next day, and once again, Sheldon sat in his car seat, covered in wipes. We drove home around noon and it took us nine hours to get back because we had to stop to eat, then we had to stop to change a diaper, than we had to change another diaper, than we had to change ANOTHER DIAPER…you get the idea. Our vacation is over and we are all a little tired and a little suntanned, but we all had a lot of fun. I think that as long as we expect the unexpected, and forget about dignity, nutrition and schedules, vacationing with kids can be rewarding and I highly recommend it.//

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