Monday, May 5, 2014

Mini Vacation: Wild Animal Park and Harrahs

Last weekend we loaded up the car and took a mini vacation to San Deigo.  Well, San Diego County, at least!

We had a long ago expired group on deal (the first, and last, I will likely ever purchase at the request of a friend) for the wild animal park.  It had a small value associated with it and we thought it would be fun to take a trip.  But the Park is a bit of a drive, so when we recieved a promotion for a free room at Harrahs' Rincon we thought that'd be the perfect way to make the trip into a mini vacation!

We didn't get very many pictures, we were mostly busy enjoying ourselves.  We did get one of our floor:
We stayed on the 13th floor!!

We took Colin to the buffet.  Colin has always been a great eater, but he's starting to show clear preferences.  Especially when presented with as many options as a buffet.  I don't mind, I do mind his method of demonstrating his preferences; First he puts the food in his mouth.  Then he fishes it out and says "Momma" until I let him put it in my hand.  He will not put it on a plate, a napkin, or anything else.  Just my hand.  Yum.

We did have a small incident.  Colin had been picking at the mashed potatos on my plate when he accidentally grabbed a handful of horseradish!!  I realized it right as it went in his mouth.  His eyes got big and he coughed a little bit, but he was fine.  Poor baby!

The next day we went to the Safari Wild Animal Park.

It was ridiculously hot!

 We arrived as they opened and took off straight for the tram to see the wild animals.

I was so excited that Colin was able to successfully identify the giraffees!  He wasn't really impressed though. He looked up when I asked him what that was, said 'raffes' then went back to playing with the door of the tram.  "What's the big deal mom?  We have a million of those in my room..."  Oh well!  I was proud of his ability to identify the animal from pictures/toys.  He also called the baby Lions 'yats' which is close enough.

Here's a quick picture tirp down memory lane from our first trip to the park in 2008 with Gavin's sister's family, when pushing strollers was NOT a part of my regular life:


What a difference!!

It might not look like it, but it was seriously hot.  We manage to see a few more exhibits before my hands and feet were so swollen I could barely funciton.  We gave up and headed out for lunch.

"Lunch?? Where??"
We went down to a mall a few miles away for burgers.  (Apparently all of the signs in the park worked on me!)  We also stopped by their play place for some air conditioned play time!

Back at the hotel, we tried to convince Colin to nap, but eventually gave up.  The new Harrah's has a new family friendly part of their pool that includes a lazy river.  I wasn't expecting much, but we loaded Colin up and headed down.

I'm a little sad we don't have pictures, because we had SO much fun!  The lazy river was actually really cool.  They had areas where little bubbles came up from the floor (Colin's favorite!)  water fountains you could go through (or under!), water falls, a foggy cave.  We had a fantastic time!  We took along Colin's little floaty and he splashed and dipped his head and bounced.  We considered staying another night so we could spend a little more time in the pool, but decided it would be better to get everyone home and caught up on sleep!

Hotels are a bit of an adventure with kids.  The phone is irresistible and just like we did in Lodi, we ended up needing to unplug it and just let him play with it.  It did keep him occupied for quite a long time.

Colin's favorite part about travel is eating!  (Except horseradish!)

So far, it seems we've been lucky traveling with Colin and this trip was fantastic.  It seems like for us, the keys for managable travel are being organized ahead of time and flexible during.  I'm hoping this holds out and we can manage a BIG family vacation next year!!

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