The Hunt Family Visits San Diego.

After growing up in Tucson, any opportunity to be near water is one I will happily take. So, when my in-laws decided to celebrate 50 fabulous years of marriage with a trip to San Diego and invited us to be a part of the getaway, there was no way we could say no. Also, road trip? Yes please. I love taking the scenic route…although I had never done so with an 18-month old in tow.

Luckily, the interstate stars were aligned and we survived the 6.5 hour trip with nary a toddler breakdown. It might have something to do with the fact that we packed 50 days worth of activities and snacks.

Part of the reason I love road trips is that you never know what you’ll stumble across. Take for instance metal dinosaurs at your average Gila Bend gas station stop.

Triceratops...more like Tricera-gas-stops!  No? Too far a stretch?

Triceratops…more like Tricera-gas-stops!
No? Too far a stretch?

Max is unsure about baby Rex.

Max is unsure about baby Rex.

Graeme, his mini-me, and Mr. Rex

Graeme, his mini-me, and Mr. Rex

Typically when I take a trip, I do it on the cheap. But thanks to the generosity of my in-laws, they booked us all at the Loews Coronado Bay hotel. Also thanks to them, I have a new standard for vacationing! Jacuzzis, on-site restaurants, strolls to the beach, magnificent views. I’m pretty hoity-toity now.

The one thing we all looked forward to the most was the San Diego Zoo. We each had a favorite animal we wanted to visit, and after six hours, half the park covered, and loans taken out to purchase zoo food, we all walked away pretty content.

Karen likes to study the visitors.

Karen likes to study the visitors.

Who can roar the loudest?

Who can roar the loudest?

After the zoo, we visited neighboring Balboa park sites, rode an old-timey carousal, and acted as if we didn’t have a care in the world. Next up – dinner! On the way back to the hotel, we decided to stop at 1887 on the Bay for sustenance.  Although Max can sit still for nearly half a day during a car ride, once we sit down to dinner, all bets are off. From what I remember of dinner, and the 2.5 seconds in which I scarfed it down, it was pretty freaking delicious. Maybe I’ll start being annoying and snapping photos of everything I eat so that I can have some sort of lasting memory.

Another vacation highlight was visiting the USS Midway Museum. It’s a pretty incredible place featuring a ton of history. From bunks, to planes, to sheer magnitude, this vessel is a must see. And I’m not even a military or history buff.

Max demonstrating the sound a car makes.

Max demonstrating the sound a car makes.

Stud muffins.

Stud muffins.

Finally, my favorite part of any coastal visit – the beach! Loews is only a 5 minute walk with direct access to Silver Strand Beach. This beach pleased my newfound hoity-toity senses. The weather hovered around 65 degrees our entire trip, so although we didn’t swim, we definitely enjoyed some restorative beach time.

Max seriously digging the ocean.

Max seriously digging the ocean.

Father/Son silhouette anyone?

Father/Son silhouette anyone?

Max's favorite part was feeling the waves head back to the ocean.

Max’s favorite part was feeling the waves head back to the ocean.

Basically, I can’t wait to return.

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