Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Sorry for the lack of substantial updates or sweet pictures this past week. Once the vacation got flowing it was hard to think of doing anything that remotely resembled work or required any real effort. There's something about spending time on the beach that just puts my mind and body at ease. Someday I will learn to surf but until then I'll continue to enjoy diving through the waves and just letting myself float with the rise and fall of the ocean. Even though there were riders everywhere along the Pacific Coast Highway I never really missed the bike. Ten days later and I'm ready to hit it again. Amazing how that time off thing works wonders for your physical and mental state.

Seafood is a family favorite and we totally fell in love with a small fish market/cafe in Carlsbad called Pelly's. Their fish sandwiches were amazing (I had sea bass one day and sword fish another) and the kids loved the fish and shrimp tacos. Speaking of fish tacos, we also ate at a California chain called Wahoo's Fish Tacos in La Jolla a couple of times. The interior was covered with skate/surf/snowboarding stickers and they had skate and surf videos playing on multiple TVs in the restaurant. After watching a few good wipeouts my daughter made me promise that I wouldn't do any surfing on the trip! In-N-Out Burger is also a family favorite and we found time to eat there three times: Twice in Barstow for lunch as we were beginning and ending our trip and once at Oceanside. I'm getting hungry just thinking about all the good food we ate!

Luckily the week of indulgence doesn't seem to have negatively impacted my waistline as the scale registered 162 Monday morning which is my normal just-out-of-bed after using the bathroom weight. Of course between the San Diego Zoo and the two days at Disneyland and California Adventure I logged quite a few hours of walking. Also, since the ocean wasn't particularly warm I think my body was forced to burn a fair number of calories to maintain my core temperature when I was in the water.

Speaking of the Disney parks, we absolutely loved our time there. My kids are 7 and 5 years old and just couldn't get enough of the whole Disney experience. We started each day around 9 am and finished at 10 pm and even though both of them were completely exhausted by the time we left each night they never once complained, whined, or expressed frustration about anything. It was seriously amazing and makes me think there really is magic at Disneyland! The lines were mellow (we never had to wait longer than 30 minutes) and we were able to ride everything we'd planned to ride in both parks multiple times. My personal favorite was probably the California Screamer roller coaster in California adventure followed by The Tower of Terror, Soarin' Over California (both in California Adventure) and the classic Space Mountain. The kids' favorite was Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland which at one point we did four times in a row (there was like a 3 minute wait in between rides). They also liked the 3D shows at California Adventure.

Since returning home Sunday night after 10.5 hours and 662 miles in the car I've been playing catch up at work and sneaking out for quick 1 hour rides in the evening. I'm not thrilled with the weather since I returned to snow in the mountains and morning temperaturs in the high 30's but after a week in southern California I knew that I was setting myself up for disappointment. I need to get out on the mountain bike as it's been nearly 3 weeks since my last dirt ride.


Bearonabike said...

Hey Ut Rider, I read your blog on occasion as I am a good friend of Team Rico. I just happen to be planning a trip down to the beach around Carlesbad. Did you stay in Carlesbad? If so where? and did you happen to go to the wild animal park? How was the zoo? Was it better than Hogle zoo? Sorry about all the questions.


UtRider said...

We stayed in Oceanside at a condo in North Coast Village. It was pretty sweet and only about 5 miles north of Carlsbad. Our last trip (2003) we stayed at the Beach Terrace Inn in Carlsbad. It was a sweet place but the condo ended up being the same price and much nicer & larger.

This trip we passed on the Wild Animal Park but did spend a day at the zoo. The San Diego Zoo is much, much bigger and way, way better than the Hogle Zoo. The enclosures are larger and designed to mirror the animals natural habitat. It's very well done though even after 2 visits (in 2003 and 2007) we haven't seen all the zoo has to offer. If you buy tickets through AAA you can save some $ on the Best Value admission tickets. Having free access to the optional transportation makes moving around a lot easier.

We also really liked the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. It's not as big as the Monterey Aquarium but is clean and well kept. The Children's Pool in La Jolla is fun too as is La Jolla Cove. The latter is a bit extreme for small kids but if yours are older and you'd like to get out in the ocean and swim/snorkel it's awesome.