So you can imagine his surprise when I declared, "We should go to San Diego. This weekend. Make it happen." And then I did a smart military turn like when I was in marching band. Left flank, harch!
Luckily, my wonderful husband was on board. And he likes marching band references.
So we drove to the San Diego Zoo on Friday afternoon. We only had one hour before the park closed, but what a glorious hour it was. Gorgeous weather, low crowds, well-behaved children, well-behaved animals.
Checking into our hotel was next on the list. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza, which Bryce got for a steal on Hotwire. It was an older but quite lovely hotel, with a lush interior courtyard and a glass elevator.
We settled down for the night. The three boys were in one room; Bryce and Mary and I were in the adjoining room. Mary was very put out that she merely had a roll-away bed instead of a place on the "real" bed but she, after arguing her case, accepted her lot.
So imagine this.
You're lying in bed. Beginning to drift off. But then you smell something.
Something familiar, but awful.
Cigarette smoke. Oh for the love of Pete. You go on to the balcony to see if there's someone right next to your room lighting up. But you can't see anything.
It's getting worse. It's like there are 10 people puffing right into the air vent. You check your hotel door and it says "NO SMOKING" just like you thought, so how could this be? Reason, unlike the smoke, goes out the window. You, or somebody in your party, canvasses the halls with a proverbial fire extinguisher and a snappy speech, ready to nip the problem in the butt. Literally.
But vigilante justice is not the answer. Not because you've come to your senses, but because you can't find the offender. You assume that the person must truly be smoking in the ceiling of your hotel room--that's the only explanation!
This world is full of crazy people, you think as you approach the front desk in your pajamas.
Eventually you are moved two floors away, on the other side of the hotel, away from the pretty courtyard and glass elevator. Away from the mirrored entry ways and art-lined halls. But thankfully, AWAY FROM THE SMOKE.
As a bonus, you get comped a free breakfast at the fancy hotel restaurant.
End drama. You may return your brain to its full and upright position.
On Saturday we drove to the Wild Animal Park. The highlight was going on the Cheetah Run Safari. It was totally worth the extra expense. Bryce was so nice to let me take Tyce and Mary while he ran around with Cameron and Harrison.
In addition to watching the cheetah chase her "toy" down a track (she was truly phenomenal to watch), we also got to see two hyrax up close, and a Perrigrin falcon. Tyce took the cheetah pictures and was especially proud to have taken a better live-action one than I did.
When we met up with the group things seemed to go downhill.
That's when Mary discovered she'd lost her glasses. People were hungry, it was hot, Cameron kept begging for a sombrero (when he meant "souvenier"), and we just seemed to suffer from a lack of organization. But the kids did get candy as we wandered around (because it was Halloween) and then half of the kids did the costume contest. And after that we went back to the hotel.
And you know how Halloween night went.
The next day we packed up and went back to the zoo.
Cameron took this picture of Tyce!
So after a while we bought our sombreros--I mean, souveniers--and headed home. It was a great weekend, and I'd love to go back soon.