February 19, 2008

San Diego: SeaWorld

We hit the road around 5 o'clock Friday evening. On the way down to San Diego we made a pit stop in Ontario for a bite at Fuddruckers. Yum, just as good as we remember it. Bellies full we continued on, we pulled up to our hotel Mission Valley Resort around 9 o’clock. We reserved a king bed, but none were available so we were stuck with two doubles. The room was clean, but everything was small, the bathroom was especially tight. We made the most of it; we crashed pretty early knowing we had a long day ahead.

We slept terribly, each of the beds were lumpy and hard. We called the front desk to see if we could switch rooms, but the girl was unaccommodating and pretty well useless. We figured we try again later. We head out for the day, first stop was Parkhouse Eatery. It was a charming place, with good food and fair service. I had sun-dried berry pancakes and Frank had a ham, pepperoncini and fontina scramble. Next, was a fun-filled day at SeaWorld. We got to the park at 10 right as it opened. Crowds weren’t bad at all. A couple exhibits were being renovated for winter and the sky rides were closed due to high winds.

We started with the sea lions and harbor seals. It was feeding time so we were able to feed them frozen fish.

The seagulls and birds nearby were very aggressive they kept stealing fish out of people’s hands, it was amusing to watch.

A guilty seagull

Next, we caught the dolphin and pilot whale show at Dolphin Discovery.

I took video of the shows, I’ll upload those later. They give a better impression of the experience.

We fed ducks and flamingos at Flamingo Cove to kill time before the next Clyde and Seamore show.

Afterwards we visited the eels, sting rays, freshwater aquarium and shark encounter, but none offered good photo opportunities.

The next stop was the Penquin Encounter

Followed by the Wild Artic Exhibit

We caught the walrus at feeding time. It was great fun. I have a video that captures the interaction, but the pics didn’t turn out well. It’s a shame the glass wasn’t clean.

Beluga Whales

Next was Shamu: Believe

The show was a bit of a let down, but I managed a few great pictures despite us sitting clear across the stadium at the top of the bleachers.

Then we sought after the salt water aquarium. The stonefish was my favorite since I had seen most others displayed at other aquariums around the country.

After that, we saw the sea turtles, these guys were just like the one that spooked us in Mexico a couple years ago.

We covered the park by 4, our final stop was the Hospitality Center to see the Clydesdales, but they weren’t out. It was a fun day, but we were beat.

From SeaWorld we headed downtown to the Gas Lamp Quarter to have dinner at Los Panchos de Charly. A delicious Mexican restaurant we found on our last visit.

A couple photos of downtown

Dinner was excellent. We shared a quesadilla filled with chicken, onions and mushrooms, and devoured chips and salsa. Then, Frank had a California Burrito and I had a Carne Asada Burrito. We washed it all down with Cadillac Margaritas. We were in heaven!

After dinner we didn’t see much more, we were just too tired. We headed back to the hotel. We were able to switch to a king bed smoking room. It stunk terribly, but it was more comfortable than the previous room so the move was worthwhile. Frank freshened it up a bit with a cigar. We spent the rest of the night lounging in bed watching TV.

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