Vacation 1 – Family Visit and trip to the Natural History Museum
Vacation 2 – Legoland and visit with one of my high school friends and her daughter
Vacation 3 – San Diego Safari Park
Here is the thing about visiting your family: you should always start with a family visit and put the “vacation” part of your trip last. That way if your family is annoying, you have something to look forward to.
Surprisingly, though, no one in the family was annoying! Thank you, family! In addition to my parents, Uncle Dan and Aunt Loren came down from Northern California to see Disney’s Next Princess. That’s a lot of family at once, a potentially dangerous situation.
We even went out to dinner as a group. That is usually an opportunity for disaster since each of us has different dietary needs:
- My brother and his wife are vegetarian, and need a clean environment at all times
- I am gluten and dairy free
- My father is a vegetarian who reserves the right to eat bacon
- Fionnuala has a strong preference for either mac and cheese or quesadillas when eating out
- My mother needs to have a lot of air conditioning and cold butter
She picked the restaurant because we were all in a good mood and therefore accommodating. The restaurant was so bad! I’m serious! There was almost nothing on the menu that I could eat. It was really loud in there. And the pizza was on a cracker.
But whatever. Food is just food. The next day we got to see dinosaurs! The Natural History Museum’s Dinosaur exhibit reopened just a week before we were there. I could have easily spent an hour in there. DNP was done after about 20 minutes. She spent longer in the gemstone room (which was also very cool).
And then we had lunch. I am reminding myself that food is just food. The food in the museum’s cafe is also so bad! Bad and expensive! Why is museum food in Europe so good and in America it’s so bad? Just something to think about.
But the dinosaurs were so cool, and DNP got a new toy: a whole bunch of dinosaurs!
Back to my parents’ house for dinner, which was only sort of bad. My mother does not own a potato masher or anything like a potato masher. She also does not own an oven that works properly; apparently it “gets too hot” and also isn’t able to brown things. (I am not making this up; mothers are so funny that you don’t have to make things up).
The bad part of the dinner wasn’t really the food, it was the tiny little fit I pitched (nothing like being back in your childhood home to make you pitch a fit just like a child!) about the way that her kitchen was not suited to cooking crash-potatoes. In my defense: I did calm down and apologize, which is something I was never able to do when I actually lived in that house with it’s sub-standard kitchen and arctic air-conditioning and overly-cold butter.
The next morning, we headed down to Carlsbad for part 2 of our vacation… more on that later.