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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

San Diego Zoo 

We went to the zoo today. First we saw the pandas. I’m glad we got there first because later there was a half-hour wait to see them. A baby was just born in August; it was the second baby panda to live for more than 4 days in a US zoo. It was really cute. Most of the time it just slept while we watched the mom walk around eating.

We also saw a bunch of different kinds of deer, pigs, and birds. We saw elephants, rhinos, hippos, and monkeys. They had a lot of monkeys. The best were the gorillas. They were sooo human-like. They just looked at you and lay around being lazy. A lot of other monkeys were like that too, but I haven’t seen many people jump 10 feet to a branch!!!!

We saw a show at the amphitheatre that gave us more information about some of the animals. I learned a bunch of interesting facts about reindeer. Did you know that the males and females have antlers? The females lose theirs in about February and the males lose theirs in about November. This means that females pull Santa’s sleigh because the males don’t have their antlers at Christmas time!!!!!! I also learned that a reindeer’s main predator is not at all what you would think. Their main predators are mosquitoes. They come in 1000s and drain all of its blood until it dies!!!! GROSS!

There was a ski lift thingy that went over the entire park. Emily wanted to go on it really bad so we went on it while my parents stayed by the exit. We only had enough money to go one way so from the other end we had to walk back. We finally got back, but I think that we took the longest route possible!!!

We had a fun day at the zoo!!

Amanda

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Touch with Greatness 

For the past week we have had a distinguished neighbor. John Daly, of Buick Invitational Golf Tournament Fame, has been parked next to us in his “camper.” His camper is a Featherlite custom bus conversion. It is big and glitzy! Even has a full-sized projection TV in one of the cargo bays.

Since Daly won the invitational today, things are really hopping here now. Emily made a big sign to put on the door of his bus saying, "Good Job!" Once she put it up, others added other notes. When he returned from the tournament, she stopped by and asked for his autograph. Others followed.

He partied last night before the final round so I suspect the party will go on all night tonight.

Janet

Saturday, February 14, 2004

12+ Miles Around the Bay 

Today we biked at least 13 miles.

We started our bike ride at about 3:30. We got on a path that is supposed to take you all the way around Mission Bay. We started and after about ½ hour they saw a turn that went onto a peninsula. We took it because it went out to this really neat sand bar, but that is where the 13th mile comes from. When we got back to the path my mom said that her bike was broken; she said we should ride the rest of the trip (about 9 miles) and she would go back.

We made many wrong turns. Once we went all the way up a bridge and realized that we were going the wrong way. When we finally got back,my mom said that we made it back really fast and that we must have flown around the bay.

Mom is going to do the trail tomorrow after Dad fixes her bike.

Amanda

Friday, February 13, 2004

La Jolla Beach and the Dolphins 

Today we woke up early to take my dad to work. After we dropped him off, we decided to go to a beach right near by. It was obviously good surf because there were at least 20 surfers on the SAME WAVE at times. As we walked down the beach, we came to some tide pools. These were better than those at the first tide pool beach. WAY BETTER! We saw snails, crabs, and sea urchins. We even saw this little spongy thing that we had no idea what it was.

Then my mom spotted some dolphins in the water. I think that there were probably 20 of them!!! They didn’t do any flips like you see at Sea World, but every time they came up (there was almost always one up because there were so many of them) you could see their fin. We got up on a big rock and looked out at them. They went all the way down out of our sight and then they came back. Mom said that they were chasing a school of fish.

While we were up on the big rock, we saw a sea otter. Well, we thought it was a sea otter. It may have been a seal, but we thought that we saw it floating on its back. Also while we were up there, we watched a pelican dive. We could see EVERYTHING from up there! On the front of the rock were mussels so big that you wouldn’t be able to eat one by yourself. We weren’t allowed to take anything though!

Amanda

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Shopping and Stuff 

Even "world travelers" have to shop occasionally and do things like get their truck oil changed.

Both yesterday and today we did some school work then headed out to the shopping areas. The girls needed some new “summer” clothes. We had packed the largest of last year’s shorts, etc, but find now that they need them, that most are too small. Malls are pretty much the same everywhere, but the girls liked the fact that the Fashion Valley Mall is uncovered. Emily was especially amazed that the escalators were out in the open with no covers.

Janet

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Shamu and the Dolphins 

Today was Sea World – Shamu, Dolly the dolphin, and all the rest. This was my second visit to Sea World, the last about 25-years ago. I continue to be impressed. The shows are great – although I would have preferred a few more seal tricks and less dumb comedy in that show. The displays have been built to give maximum exposure to the animals. I could have watched the polar bear swimming all day. His tank is constructed so you can see him under water as well as above. Similarly, we walked through a shark tank – water on three sides.

Perhaps best of all are the “petting” ponds. We fed and touched dolphins, rays, and lots of stars and urchins.

It was a perfect day.

Janet

Monday, February 09, 2004

Sand Castles at Pacific Beach 

This morning Mom went to get a leak fixed on the truck while Amanda and I stayed home and did homework. After a few hours she returned, we had lunch and biked to the beach. When we got there, Amanda and I dug a big moat while Mom went for a walk. We turned the sand from the moat into a big sand castle in the middle. When we were done hollowing out the inside of the castle to make a room, we went out in the water up to our stomachs. It was cold! Then we ran over and woke Mom up and biked home in our wet bathing suits.

Emily

Sunday, February 08, 2004

San Diego 

We arrived here on Friday after 2 hours or so of driving. Not that much compared to what we have been doing lately!! It's finally warm - 70-degrees during the day, but cool at night.

This is the best campground we have been in so far!!!! There is a pool, a bike path, the ocean right near by, an icecream parlor and restaurant, a playground, basketball courts and stuff! So far we have gone swimming and biking on both days!! The bike path goes all the way around the bay and right by Sea World. We haven't gone that far yet!!

Yesterday morning we took my dad to the airport to go on his flight to Switzerland. I can't believe that we are in the best campground and he can't even be here!!!! : (

Today we went to the boat and bike rental and rented a surrey for 1 hour!! It is like a golf cart, but you have to pedal it like a bike!! My mom had to come becuase someone 18 years or older had to be on it. We had a great time!

We found out that next week the pool will be closed for cleaning on 2 days!! : O That will be when we go to Sea World!! It is right on the other side of he bay but i can't really see it!!!

Amanda

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Tide Pools 

Yesterday we went to a beach. We wanted to play in the sand, but the sand felt all ooey gooey, like mud. My mom came back from a walk and said that she saw a lot of tide pools. We went to see the tide pools. We saw lots of Sea Urchins. We stuck our fingers in the middle and they closed in on us. It was really creepy. We looked around more; we saw some hermit crabs that had invaded snail shells. They were creepy, too. Some were big and some were itty bitty. We picked up a few to take home and show Daddy. We also saw these little things that stick to the rocks. The birds stick their beaks under the shell and eat the meat inside. The shell only has one side. The rock is the other. My sister pried one off the rock; I took it home and named him Little Dude. He was really cute. When I put him on my thumb, he stuck to it and made this sucking feeling.

After dinner we had to take them down to the bay by our campground. We said, “Good bye.”

In the morning we looked and saw that the crabs were gone but not little dude. I think that he was dead though.

Emily


Monday, February 02, 2004

Periwinkles 

Today we went to a beach and it was one of those beaches they call a “must see”. And it was all of that. It was beautiful. The sand was really fine and great for digging. We went out into the water and saw these little clam like things. Later, my mom said that she thought they were periwinkles. They were really pretty. They all come in different shapes and sizes. We collected as many as we could. We must have had at least 100! AT LEAST!!! We found a bottle on the sand that someone had put there and filled it with water and periwinkles. We also put in sand and watched them dig down! They stick out their little arms and legs and dig down. They have to be able to do it fast so that they won’t drown in the waves or get picked up by the birds.. We eventually put them back and went home after a great day at the beach!

Amanda

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Livermore to Los Angeles 

We arrived in Livermore yesterday in time to gather our mail. There was sun in Livermore. What a pleasure to walk down the street with it warming our backs.

We spent the night in the Livermore Wal-Mart. Andrew and Jen had an early dinner with us. They planned to be up early in the morning for a snow hiking trip.

This morning we headed to Los Angeles. The trip took about 6 hours with a couple of stops. On one break we wandered around in a grove of trees which we finally determined from the dropped fruit, to be a pistachio grove. I think all farmers should be required to label their orchards clearly so those of us on the interstate can identify them.

Our campground in Newport Beach is very fancy. The girls are already enjoying the bike paths, spa, and pools.

David will visit friends at UC Irvine tomorrow.

Janet

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